Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew Differences

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Pad kee mao vs pad see ew are two delicious Thai noodle dishes enjoyed all over the world. In this post, we’ll explore the differences between them, from flavors and preparation to ingredients. Discover your favorite noodles now!

Pad kee mao vs pad see ew: comparison of two Thai noodle dishes.

Don’t miss out on my delicious pad kee mao recipe or try drunken mama noodles for a twist using instant noodles!

Prefer pad see ew? Try one of my popular recipes for pad see ew shrimp or beef pad see ew.

Pad kee mao vs pad see ew ingredients

At first glance, pad kee mao and pad see ew might look alike, but their flavors couldn’t be more different. These two dishes stand out because of the unique, classic ingredients that give each one its signature taste.


Noodles in pad see ew: The traditional noodles in pad see ew are wide, flat rice noodles called sen yai. These fresh noodles are chewy and slippery, which allows them to absorb the sweet and savory soy sauce used in pad see ew.

Close-up of homemade Thai sen yai noodles prepped for stir-frying.

Tip: Pad see ew can also be made using thin rice vermicelli (sen mee), as done in my recipe for sen mee pad see ew.

Noodles in pad kee mao: Pad kee mao, or drunken noodles, typically use the same wide rice noodles as pad see ew. However, if you don’t have wide rice noodles on hand, you can easily substitute them with the thinner rice noodles used in pad Thai.

Flavors and sauces

Both dishes are known for their rich flavors and delicious stir-fry sauce.

Pad see ew flavors: Pad see ew is popular for its balance of sweet and savory, thanks to its combination of dark soy sauce and other seasonings. The sauce coats the fresh noodles, vegetables, and protein, creating a slightly caramelized taste with hints of smokiness from the high-heat stir-fry.

Pad see ew shrimp cooking in wok.

Pad kee mao flavors: Pad kee mao is popular for its bold, spicy, and aromatic profile. The flavors come from a mix of soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, fresh chilies, garlic, peppercorns, and Thai basil. This combination results in a dish that’s spicy, fragrant, and incredibly satisfying.

Pad kee mao ready in a wok.

Did you know that in Thailand, drunken noodles are said to be the perfect hangover cure? This dish is not only easy to make, but also versatile – you can toss in whatever ingredients you have in your fridge!


In both pad see ew and pad kee mao, you can choose your favorite vegetables to add a personal touch. However, these are the traditional vegetables typically used in each dish.

Pad see ew includes Chinese broccoli (gai lan), which adds a nice crunch and slightly bitter taste. Garlic and often onion are also added to enhance the flavor.

Ingredients for chicken pad see ew labeled: vegetables, fresh wide rice noodles, white pepper, rosdee flavor seasoning, eggs, dark soy sauce, white sugar, oyster sauce, and chicken.

Pad kee mao is typically stir-fried with a variety of fresh vegetables that add flavor and texture.

Popular vegetables in pad kee mao are baby corn and carrots. Holy basil, black peppercorns, and fresh chili peppers are essential ingredients, providing the dish with its signature spicy and aromatic kick.

Top-view of ingredients for pad kee mao recipe: fish sauce, sugar, oyster sauce, soy sauces, chicken, vegetables and herbs, and rice noodles.


Both street food dishes can be made with different proteins, making them highly versatile and suited for every taste.

You can choose from meats like chicken, pork, and beef. For seafood options, shrimp and squid are the most popular choices.

Tofu is also a great alternative for vegetarian noodles.

Pad see ew vs pad kee mao calories

The calorie count for pad kee mao vs pad see ew greatly based on the ingredients used and their proportions. On average, pad see ew has around 450 calories per serving, while pad kee mao averages about 400 calories per serving.


Pad kee mao

  • Preparation: Pad kee mao, or drunken noodles, are stir-fried quickly at high heat with fresh vegetables, protein, and a spicy sauce.
  • Noodles: This dish typically uses wide, fresh rice noodles, but thin rice noodles, like those in pad Thai, can also be used.
  • Flavor: Pad kee mao is known for its bold, spicy flavors with aromatic holy basil and fresh chilies.
  • Sauce: The stir-fry sauce is a mix of soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and fresh chilies.
Close-up of spicy pad kee mao chicken with green peppercorns, red chilies, and baby corn on a white plate with chopsticks.

Pad see ew

  • Preparation: Pad see ew is stir-fried at high heat with Chinese broccoli, garlic, onion, protein, and a sweet-savory soy sauce mix.
  • Noodles: This dish typically uses wide, flat rice noodles, though thin rice vermicelli or other noodles can also be used.
  • Flavor: Pad see ew features a blend of sweet and savory flavors with a slightly caramelized taste.
  • Sauce: The sauce is a mix of dark soy sauce and Thai seasonings.
Close-up of pad see ew chicken with vegetables.

More Thai noodle comparisons


Thai noodles are diverse and full of flavor. Do you crave the spicy kick of pad kee mao or the sweet and savory balance of pad see ew? Share your favorite in the comments! Follow me on social media: FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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