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Friday, June 4, 2010

Pad Se Ew Tofu with Vegetable Noodles


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. 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.

one package of tofu is for making tofu croutons, the other for searing it

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
3 eggs
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!

Pad Se Ew Tofu With Vegetable Noodles on FoodistaPad Se Ew Tofu With Vegetable Noodles


Yasmeen said...

Appetizing tofu and noodles :D

Mo said...

Hahaha I like your tofu croutons! :)

I'm not very familiar with Thai food. There's a Thai restaurant that my sister LOVES going to but I'm almost never in that part of town when I'm hungry. :P

And regarding the japchae... Obviously you're more knowledgeable about Asian cuisines than I am, but are you sure about the buckwheat noodles? I was surprised by that, since I've only ever seen them made with "glass" noodles. Not always with mung bean starch, but always glass vermicelli. I don't know of any Korean restaurants around here (surely they're there but I've never been haha) so I don't know how they make it but maybe one you've been to used buckwheat? Or I'm just horribly misinformed. :)

Chef Dennis said...

What a beautiful presentation!! wow...and what a great way to make tofu, I have been roasting it, I will have to give it a try next time, it looks great that way...
your explanation is really helpful, you give a great deal of useful info!!
thanks so much for sharing!

denise @ quickies on the dinner table said...

This looks a-ma-zing!!! I'd love a plate right now, and I've already had dinner!! I love tofu and veg so I would so happily scarf this down :D

lequan@luvtoeat said...

Thank you for your lesson with the Thai words. That actually helps a lot when it comes to trying to remember the names of Thai dishes. I love Thai food cause it has the perfect amount of spices and spiciness. Your dish looks and sounds wonderful. I like that you substituted tofu for meat as I am not much of a meat fan. Thank you for sharing this yummy recipe Tanantha. Hope you have a great weekend!

roxan said...

Tanantha this looks so good! Pad se ew is my husband's favorite thai dish also. Thanks for the recipe :)

Have a great weekend! Have you signed up for a CSA yet? I think you'd have a lot of fun with it. It's fun trying to figure out what to do with the produce in the box.

Lazaro Cooks! said...


Great post. Interesting and informative. Love the dish. Full of flavor, bright colors, beautifully presented. What more can you ask for!


The Lonely Radish said...

Did you get the noodles at Uwajimaya? I have been looking for their tofu, and haven't been able to find it.

Anonymous said...

This sounds so wonderful to me right now! I have a cold and this would be just the best comforting and delicious dish to have!

Pekeam said...

Looks great! It's making me hungry and craving some Thai noodles.

Magic of Spice said...

This is a fantastic dish!

Magdalena said...

Great, great ! The only thing I am not familiar of are those vegetable noodles. Very interesting, to try one day. Have a good evening :)

Cook with Madin said...

Love this dish. I love everything noodles. I will definitely try this recipe. Thank you for sharing.

Monet said...

What a wonderful vegetarian dinner. I love the vibrant colors set against the white plate. So beautiful!

Biren said...

Looks very appetizing! Tofu is always good in stir fired noodles.

Pacheco Patty said...

This looks very good, I love Thai food, your photos are perfect!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Looks amazing. This is absolutely one of my new fave sites!!!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

Stella said...

Hey Tanantha, this looks so healthful, and there is nothing I love more than a yummy, Asian noodle dish. I actually have has Pad Se Ew at a very inferior Thai place. I'm sure yours is much better (smile)!

Liv Wan said...

Hi Tanantha,
I love this noodle. It's looks tasty and healthy. I love Thai food very much and I even want to move to Thailand just for Thai food (also beach, view, lovely weather....)
Many thanks for sharing this lovely recipe. I'm so happy that I can cook authentic Thai food at home now.

Rick said...

Tofu is one of my favorites and this looks like something I would eat every week.

Tanantha P. said...

Thank you everyone! I hope you like Pad se ew as I do :) All the questions you asked here have been answered on your blog

Chef Dennis said...

HI Tanantha

Congratulations on making the Food Buzz Top 9!! Very much deserved, you do such great work!


Judy said...

Congrats on the Top 9, Tanantha! My husband and I love pad se ew and we order this often at Thai restaurants. I've never made this at home but I'm motivated to try now! :) Hope you had a fabulous weekend.

Katie@Cozydelicious said...

Yum! This is my stand-by order when we get Thai take-out. I have never tried making Pad Se Ew at home but I am so excited to try.

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said...

Mm, that looks like what I usually order every time I go to my favorite little Thai place. I should try making it myself now, thanks for the recipe!

Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said...

Mm, that looks like what I usually order every time I go to my favorite little Thai place. I should try making it myself now, thanks for the recipe!

Spicie Foodie said...

Beautiful photos and mouthwatering recipe. Sounds perfect!

citronetvanille said...

Oh I know I would love this one, everything in that dish looks soooo good!

Dot said...

Looks wonderful! However most of the pictures are showing flickr's photo unavailable message, at least to me.

Tanantha P. said...

Sorry for the unavailable photos! I accidentally deletes some. Will fix soon!

Laura T. said...

I really like the idea of using "fettucine." I love pad se ew so much I tried making it at home after trying it at a Thai restaurant. The only problem was I didn't really know how to cook the traditional rice noodles and I ended up with total mush. I'm hoping this type of noodle prevents that problem.

Pacheco Patty said...

Hi Tanantha, I just came by to tell you that I left an award for you on my blog, thanks for all your wonderful recipes, I enjoy your site and look forward to your recipes! Thanks, Patty

Z-Tawan said...

Thanks for another great post! I love Pad-see-ew, but never have a success with making it. Your instruction seems pretty easy to follow. I need to try making this dish again and will let you know if I have any luck. Cheers!

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