If you have been to a Thai restaurant, you might be familiar with Pad-Se-Ew; or stir-fried wide noodles depending on what they call it on the menu. It's my favorite Thai dish. Yes! I like it more than the commonly known dish Pad Thai. I constantly look for a new challenge to take on because I get bored easily. Therefore, this Pad Se Ew is different than what you may have seen in a restaurant. I used vegetable noodles I got from a friend whose family owns a noodle company called Wan Hua Foods in Seattle. It's an interesting noodle. The green color from spinach caught my eye. It's the same width as fettuccine so I will call it an Asian Fettuccine.
I've been to her office and got to see the assembly line of noodles. It....is...pretty cool! Family owned businesses remind me of a non-profit organization called Washington CASH (Community Alliance for Self-Help). I was fortunate enough to attend their annual fundraising event this year. To hear successful stories from real clients, real people, and real businesses is so touching and inspiring. To be successful they need a mentor to walk them through their biz plan and broaden their vision - that's what Washington CASH provides. It's such a blessing to have this kind of organization to support the community.
Okay, before going too far, let's get back to my Pad Se Ew. It's called Pad Se Ew because the soy sauce used in this dish is known in Thailand as "se-ew", and the motion of stir-fry is called "pad". Therefore, the stir-fry-noodle-in-soy-sauce motion becomes a Pad Se Ew dish. Vegetables used in Pad Se Ew in most Thai restaurants in the US are a little different than what is served in Thailand due to availability. Traditionally, the dish only uses Chinese broccoli. It's more bitter than American broccoli and cheaper! ...over there. However, it's the other way around in the US. So when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Broccoli and carrots are in place. Both vegetables are plentiful in the US!
My version is even more different than the traditional one. I substituted meat with tofu. I fried them up to two types--seared tofu and tofu croutons, and added more veggies - like bell peppers - for the color. The seasonings are still the same.
I recently bought a brand new quality wok. A nice wok heats up fast, so food gets cooked fast too. The tips to using a wok are motion and speed. Keep swirling or using a wooden spoon to move food by creating a folding motion. Have all the ingredients close by so that you don't have to walk or turn around and turn back to see your food getting burned up!
If you have only tried Pad Thai, next time you go to a Thai restaurant you should try Pad Se Ew! I hope you like it.
Pad Se Ew Tofu with Vegetable Noodles
Yield: 4- 6 servings
2 8oz. packages of firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 lb precooked vegetable noodles
2 TBS oyster sauce
2 TBS yellow soy bean paste
1 1/2 TBS black soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 heads broccoli, chopped at stem
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 cup carrot, sliced widthwise
1/2 cup roasted onions
4 garlic cloves, minced
a splash of Siracha (optional)
Vegetable oil for deep fry and stir-fry
- Heat up a wok to medium hi heat until it's hot like it's about to smoke, then add 1 TBS of oil. Swirl it to coat. If you add oil when the wok isn't hot enough, the wok will absorb oil
- Add garlic and stir frequently because it gets burned fast. Crack the eggs. Stir.
- When eggs start to cook, add vegetable-broccoli first because it takes longer to cook, the rest to follow. The tips to using a wok are motion and speed. Swirl it to mix. Add roasted onions and keep the food moving
- Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, yellow soy bean paste, sugar, vinegar, white pepper. Stir to mix. Remember, we want to have crisp veggies so don't overcook.
- Add noodle, stir in between. Mix well.
- Add tofu. We add tofu last because it has been cooked. We only need to warm it up and coat with seasonings.
- The stir-fry process happens fast. That's how to work on a wok-motion and speed!