If you love eating at Thai restaurants, but don’t know the best health conscious options, then this article is for you. In this post, we will specifically discuss the popular dish Pad See Ew to see how healthy an option it really is, especially compared to other Thai dishes.
What is Pad See Ew?
Pad See Ew, or Thai stir-fried soy sauce noodles, is a popular Thai food dish that consists of wide rice noodles stir fried in a sweet and savory sauce along with Chinese broccoli stems. The dish typically has a source of protein such as tofu, chicken, beef or pork.
Pad See Ew is a popular Thai street food and is now an integral part of Thai cuisine. The origins of the dish go back to China where the stir-fried noodle tradition began. It is believed to have been created by Chinese immigrants in Thailand in the late 1930s and has since spread across the globe.
Is Pad See Ew healthy?
It’s hard to label Pad See Ew as “healthy” or “unhealthy” because it truly depends on the individual, their specific nutrition requirements and wellness goals.
Overall, the dish contains valuable nutrients such as vitamin A, but it also contains nutrients that can be harmful in excess such as sodium.
It’s not particularly high in fiber and is rather high in carbohydrates which could be an issue for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.
It contains a good amount of protein, as long as you add protein like chicken or tofu to the dish, and a low amount of saturated fat as long as fatty meats like beef aren’t added to the dish.
It’s rather low in nutrients typically lacking in the American diet such as iron, potassium and calcium. That being said, it’s a great source of vitamin A and vitamin C.
Overall, while it isn’t the most nutrient dense dish around, it’s fine to consume in moderation and can be a good source of protein and vegetables.
Pad See Ew Nutrition Breakdown
The following nutrition breakdown is based on the “Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles)” recipe found on recipetineats.com. The nutrition of Pad See Ew purchased from a restaurant or made using another recipe might differ slightly.
One serving of Pad See Ew contains about 510 calories. The serving you receive at a restaurant may differ slightly, so keep this in mind when determining the nutrient content of your Pad See Ew.
One serving of Pad See Ew contains about 74 grams of carbohydrates, 25 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat. In the carbohydrates category, this dish contains about 2 grams of fiber and 3 grams of sugar. In the fats category, this dish contains only 2 grams of saturated fat.
Vitamins & Minerals
One serving of Pad See Ew is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It also contains moderate amounts of iron and potassium. Overall, the Chinese broccoli stems and protein add some micronutrients, but the rice noodles aren’t very nutrient dense.
Pad See Ew Recipe
This is a basic Pad See Ew recipe, based on the “Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Noodles) on recipetineats.com. Overall, it’s pretty easy to make, but may require you to go to the international grocery store to grab some less accessible ingredients.
- 7 ounces dried wide rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoon cooking oil (canola oil, avocado oil, vegetable oil)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 ounces chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, cut into chunks
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 6 Chinese broccoli stems, sliced thinly
- Lime wedges, optional
Substitutions: You can replace the dark soy sauce and sugar for 2 tablespoons of Thai black soy sauce and the chicken thighs for chicken breast.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add half of the oil. Add the garlic and chicken. Season with salt and white pepper. Continue to cook until the chicken is browned on the outside.
Add the Chinese broccoli stems and stir-fry until the chicken is fully cooked. Remove from the pan. Add the egg and scramble. Remove from the pan.
Add the remaining oil and throw in the noodles and the sauce (dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, light soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar). Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce begins to caramelize.
Add back in the chicken, egg and broccoli stems. Toss everything together and leave in the pan for about a minute so the bottom of the noodles can brown.
Remove from the heat and serve immediately. Serve with lime wedges.
Where to find the ingredients
Some of the ingredients for this recipe might be hard to find in a conventional grocery store. Some of these ingredients include dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, white pepper, Chinese broccoli and wide rice noodles.
For these ingredients, I recommend checking out your local Asian grocery stores or International grocery stores. They will likely have all the ingredients you need to make a delicious Pad See Ew dish.
If you are unable to find these ingredients, you can always use substitutes. For example, you can use regular soy sauce instead of dark soy sauce, black pepper instead of white pepper, regular broccoli or broccolini instead of Chinese broccoli and thin rice noodles instead of wide rice noodles.
How to store for later
If you have any leftovers after making this delicious Pad See Ew recipe, you can always store it for later. Once your leftovers have cooled, transfer to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days. You can heat the leftovers in the microwave or in a skillet over high heat.
To ensure you are properly following food safety guidelines, ensure you don’t leave your leftovers out for more than two hours before transferring to the refrigerator. Also make sure your refrigerator is at the proper temperature and you are fully reheating your leftovers to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Alternatives to Pad See Ew
There are a few alternatives to Pad See Ew that you can order at your Thai restaurant. They are both similar to Pad See Ew since they are made with rice noodles, but they do have different flavor profiles and ingredients. Both are worth a try as both are very delicious.
Pad Thai is a notorious Thai dish that is perhaps the most popular here in the United States. The main difference between Pad See Ew and Pad Thai is the flavor profile. Pad Thai is spicier and more umami compared to Pad See Ew which is sweeter and milder.
Along with this, Pad Thai is made using thin rice noodles and typically contains peanuts. If you have a peanut allergy, definitely stay away from this dish. If you don’t, it’s definitely worth a try.
Drunken Noodles is another popular Thai dish with its origins in street food. It’s similar to Pad See Ew due to it being made with wide rice noodles. The biggest difference is the spiciness. Drunken Noodles are quite spicy, though you can typically get mild variations.
It also typically uses different vegetables. In the variations I’ve had, it typically contains bell peppers and occasionally broccoli and other vegetables. Pad See Ew almost exclusively comes with Chinese broccoli stems and sometimes leaves.