| | | |

Pad Mama (Thai Instant Noodles Recipe)

This post may contain links to affiliate websites, such as Amazon, and I receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you using these links. I appreciate your support!

Pad mama is the best choice for a quick and easy dinner on those busy days. This Thai instant noodles recipe is perfect for all home cooks, and you can make it healthier by tossing in those leftover vegetables and protein.

Pad mama, Thai instant noodles stir-fry, served in a patterned dish.

My favorite Thai stir-fry noodles are pad Thai, pad see ew, and pad kee mao (drunken noodles). When I don’t have rice noodles, I’ll make myself pad mama for a quick meal.

This stir-fried instant noodles recipe is budget-friendly, super easy to make, and great for kids. In Thailand, children absolutely love instant noodle stir-fry. My niece and nephew are huge fans and ask for it every single day!

What is pad mama

Pad mama is a Thai stir-fry dish made with MAMA instant noodles. The noodles are stir-fried with Thai seasonings, vegetables, and optional proteins. It’s a popular choice for anyone who wants quick and easy noodles.

What are instant noodles

Instant noodles are pre-cooked, dried noodles with seasoning packets and/or seasoning oil. They’re popular worldwide because they’re available in many variations, and are quick to prepare for a fast meal.

The first instant ramen noodles were invented by a Japanese-Taiwanese businessman named Momofuku Ando, who aimed to fight hunger in Japan after World War II. His first creation was chicken ramen, the world’s first instant ramen noodle product.

Hand holding a large bag of instant noodles.
I bought a big bag of instant noodles without seasoning packets, ideal for making pad mama!

Instant noodles are really versatile and come in lots of variations and flavors. I personally love tom yum instant noodles (Yum Yum brand) and crab flavor (Wai Wai brand).

My friends in Belgium used to call every instant noodle “ramen”, but there’s a difference. Here’s a quick explanation:

Instant noodles vs ramen

Ramen is a type of instant noodles, but not all instant noodles are ramen.

Instant noodles is a collection of thin, fast-cooking noodles. There are many different instant noodle types, like instant pho, cup noodles, and instant ramen.

Instant ramen noodles are a Japanese convenience food version of traditional ramen noodles used for making ramen. These noodles are wheat-based and have a different texture and flavor from other instant noodle types.

Plate of pad mama, with stir-fried instant noodles lifted on a wooden fork.

What’s most important in any pad mama is that it’s a quick, flavorful, and easy noodle dish that brings together instant noodles with Thai seasonings.

You can use Thai MAMA instant noodles for making pad mama, or any other instant noodle brand you’ve got in your pantry. If you have some extra noodles, you can also try making pad kee mao mama.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Ingredients for pad mama: instant noodles, egg, oyster sauce, sugar, vegetables, garlic, golden mountain sauce, and dark soy sauce.
  • MAMA instant noodles – The Thai MAMA brand instant noodles are perfect for stir-frying. You can find MAMA at any Asian grocery store and Asian market. You can use other brands, as long as the noodles are similar to the thin MAMA noodles.
  • Golden mountain sauce – Adds a savory flavor and adds to the umami of the stir-fry sauce.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy sauce gives the noodles a caramelized color and a hint of sweetness.
  • Oyster sauce – A key ingredient in many Thai stir-fry recipes. This sauce adds a salty and slightly sweet flavor.
  • White sugar – Balancing the flavors is an important part of Thai cooking. A sprinkle of sugar balances the salty flavors.
  • Cabbage, carrots – My choice of stir-fry vegetables, feel free to customize with your favorites.
  • Garlic – The base of many stir-fries, garlic adds aroma and a pungent note.
  • Egg – The eggs are scrambled into the noodles, adding richness and texture.
  • Oil – Use a neutral oil with high smoke point for stir-frying, like canola oil or vegetable oil.

How to stir-fry instant noodles

Instant noodles cooking in a wok.

Step 1: Boil the noodles just until they are firm. Avoid overcooking, as they will soften further during stir-frying.

Instant noodles draining in a colander.

Step 2: Once cooked, pour the noodles into a colander to remove all water.

Fried omelet in a wok.

Step 3: Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Gently scramble the egg until it’s mostly set, then remove it from the pan.

Golden garlic sautéed in a wok.

Step 4: In the same pan, cook the garlic until it becomes aromatic.

Fried cabbage and garlic in a wok.

Step 5: Add cabbage to the pan and cook until it reaches your preferred level of tenderness.

Stir-fried instant noodles in a wok.

Step 6: Return the noodles to the pan. Add white sugar, golden mountain sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir thoroughly to ensure the noodles are well-coated with the sauce.

Pad mama ready in a wok.

Step 7: Add egg, carrots, and green onions to the wok. Stir everything together, then remove the pan from the heat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Kitchenware

  • Pot or wok for boiling the instant noodles
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Wok or large frying pan
  • Spatula or tongs

What to add to instant noodles

Spicy instant noodles: For spice, add a sprinkle of Thai chili flakes, a dash of Thai hot sauce, or simply add fresh chili peppers.

Vegetables: Feel free to toss in whatever veggies you have on hand like bell peppers, mushrooms, baby corn, onion, green beans, Chinese broccoli, and spinach.

Toppings: Garnish with chopped green onions, cilantro, Thai basil, crushed roasted peanuts, or fresh lime juice.

Proteins: You can add any meat or seafood like chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu for vegetarian noodles.

What to eat with instant noodles

Instant noodles can be paired with a minced pork omelette, Thai fried chicken, and Thai vegetables stir-fry. I love them with some crunchy vegetable spring rolls or a spicy salad like som tum Thai.

Storing and reheating leftovers

Storing: Allow your leftovers to cool to room temperature. Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheating: Reheat in a pan on the stove over medium heat. If needed, you can add a splash of oil. Alternatively, you can microwave the leftovers, covered with a microwave-safe lid.

Frequently asked questions

How long can you eat instant noodles after expiration date?

Some sources say you can eat instant noodles a few months past their expiration date, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Are instant noodles bad for you?

Instant noodles are often high in sodium and lack essential nutrients. Enjoy them in moderation, paired with fresh vegetables and lean proteins to make them healthier.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

No, instant noodles aren’t gluten-free, and this recipe calls for soy sauce.

What is the difference between pad mama and pad Thai?

Pad mama is made with instant noodles and a mix of savory sauces. Pad Thai uses rice noodles and is known for its tamarind-based sauce with sweet, sour, and salty flavors.

Authentic Thai noodle recipes

Loved reading this pad mama recipe? Please make my day by dropping a star rating and/or a comment below! Follow me on FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

Pad Mama (Thai Instant Noodles Recipe)

Pad mama, Thai instant noodles stir-fry, served in a patterned dish.
Pad mama is a quick and easy Thai instant noodles recipe that's perfect for busy weekdays.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Main Course
Serving Size 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 packages of instant noodles see notes
  • 3 eggs
  • 5.3 ounces cabbage chopped
  • 1.7 ounce carrot shredded
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1.5 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon golden mountain sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 0.7 ounces green onions cut into 2-inch sizes.

Instructions

  • Boil the noodles just until they are firm. Avoid overcooking, as they will soften further during stir-frying.
  • Once cooked, pour the noodles into a colander to remove all water.
  • Heat oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Gently scramble the egg until it’s mostly set, then remove it from the pan.
  • In the same pan, cook the garlic until it becomes aromatic.
  • Add cabbage to the pan and cook until it reaches your preferred level of tenderness.
  • Return the noodles to the pan. Add white sugar, golden mountain sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. Stir thoroughly to ensure the noodles are well-coated with the sauce.
  • Add egg, carrots, and green onions to the wok. Stir everything together, then remove the pan from the heat. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Notes

  • For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.
  • In Thailand, we can buy instant noodles for stir-frying without seasoning packages. If you're left with those seasoning packets, you can save them for future stir-fries to add more flavor.
  • MAMA instant noodles - The Thai MAMA brand instant noodles are perfect for stir-frying. You can find MAMA at any Asian grocery store and Asian market. You can use other brands, as long as the noodles are similar to the thin MAMA noodles.

Similar Posts

3 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating