Pad See Ew vs Pad Woon Sen Differences

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Ever find yourself staring at a Thai menu, wondering whether to choose pad see ew vs pad woon sen? Both options are incredibly delicious, but they bring something unique to the table. Let’s find out what makes each of these Thai noodle dishes special so you can pick your new favorite!

Pad see ew vs pad woon sen: comparison of two Thai noodle dishes.

After reading this post, you’ll know which Thai dish is right for you!

If pad see ew sounds like your kind of meal, check out my recipes for beef pad see ew, chicken pad see ew, or pad see ew shrimp.

If pad woon sen is more your style, don’t miss my recipe for pad woon sen!

Pad woon sen vs pad see ew ingredients

Let’s discover some of the key differences between pad woon sen and pad see ew. Both dishes are prepared with distinct noodles, flavors, and vegetables.

Keep in mind that the taste of any Thai dish can vary depending on who prepares it. Different regions in Thailand also have unique flavor preferences, but the main ingredients remain consistent.


Noodles used in pad see ew: This dish features wide rice noodles, known as sen yai in Thai. These noodles are chewy and perfect for soaking up the rich, savory flavors of the pad see ew sauce.

You can find wide rice noodles at Asian grocery stores or supermarkets. If you have some extra time, you can make them yourself using my sen yai noodles recipe.

Freshly made sen yai noodles on a woven bamboo mat with banana leaf.

Noodles used in pad woon sen: Pad woon sen uses glass noodles, also called mung bean noodles. These noodles are perfect for stir-fries and soups, as glass noodles are tender yet chewy and soak up sauces beautifully.

Glass noodles are also used in yum woon sen, a tasty Thai salad, and in Thai chicken glass noodle soup.

Thai glass noodles.

Flavors and Sauces

Flavor of pad see ew: Pad see ew is known for its rich, savory, and slightly sweet flavors. The noodles are stir-fried with a combination of dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, and oyster sauce, resulting in a caramelized, umami-rich dish.

Flavor of pad woon sen: Pad woon sen offers a lighter flavor that’s perfect for kids. The sauce typically includes a mix of Thai sauces, like soy sauce and oyster sauce.

The dish is often stir-fried with garlic, carrots, cabbage, and onions, making it fresh, slightly sweet, and savory, depending on the seasonings used.


Vegetables used in pad see ew: Chinese broccoli (gai lan) is a key ingredient in pad see ew, providing a slight bitterness that balances the sweetness of the dark soy sauce.

Sliced Chinese broccoli and minced garlic.
Chinese broccoli and garlic, two ingredients for pad see ew.

Vegetables used in pad woon sen: Pad woon sen is usually prepared with a mix of vegetables, including carrots and celery. This mix adds vibrant colors, flavors, and textures, which can vary from recipe to recipe.

Pad woon sen ready in a wok.


Garnishes for pad see ew: Typically, pad see ew doesn’t come with a lot of garnishes. However, you can always squeeze a bit of fresh lime juice over it or add some fresh chilies or Thai chili flakes if you like a bit of heat.

Garnishes for pad woon sen: Fresh cilantro and lime wedges are perfect for garnishing pad woon sen. I prefer spicy Thai food, so I usually garnish my stir-fried glass noodles with red pepper flakes.


Both pad see ew and pad woon sen can be customized with various proteins like chicken, pork, shrimp, beef, or tofu. Chicken and pork are popular choices, and tofu is a great vegetarian option that absorbs the flavors beautifully.

Pad see ew vs pad woon sen calories

Pad see ew: Typically contains between 500-700 calories per serving, depending on the portion size and ingredients used.

Pad woon sen: Generally ranges from 300-500 calories per serving. The glass noodles and lighter sauce contribute to its lower calorie count.


Pad see ew

  • Preparation: Stir-fried quickly at high heat with Chinese broccoli and a savory stir-fry sauce.
  • Noodles: Fresh wide rice noodles.
  • Flavor: Sweet and savory with caramelized edges.
  • Sauces: Pad see ew is typically made with dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar. The recipe can vary, with some versions also including fish sauce.
Close-up of stir-fried rice noodles with beef, onions, Chinese broccoli, and garlic.
Close-up of pad see ew with beef.

Pad woon sen

  • Preparation: The noodles are stir-fried with a mix of vegetables and a light, savory sauce.
  • Noodles: Slippery, translucent glass noodles.
  • Flavor: Light and delicate with a variety of textures.
  • Sauces: A mix of Thai sauces like soy sauce and oyster sauce.
Vegetable pad woon sen with chopsticks, served in a traditional bamboo dish.

More Thai Noodle Comparisons

If you’re curious about other Thai noodle dishes, check out some of my other posts!


So, do you crave the sweet, savory flavors of pad see ew or the light, flavorful charm of pad woon sen? For me, both dishes have their own special moments. Share your favorite in the comments below, and follow me on social media for more Thai recipe inspirations! FacebookInstagram, and Pinterest.

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