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Lad Na Noodles Recipe (Rad Na Thai Gravy)

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Lad na noodles recipe is the best comfort food you can whip up in your own kitchen! Think tender pork and crisp Chinese broccoli (gai lan) all bathed in a saucy, savory Thai gravy. This dish brings the authentic flavors of a Thai restaurant into your kitchen and it’s totally doable for every home cook!

Lad na noodles with Thai gravy served in a white dish.

Lad na is made with fresh wide rice noodles, sen yai. Here are some more recipes with sen yai noodles you can try later: Beef pad see ew, kuay teow kua gai, and sen yai noodles recipe.

What is lad na

Lad na, also known as rad na, is a Thai noodle dish featuring wide rice noodles, protein like pork or chicken, and Chinese broccoli, all smothered in a thick, savory gravy. This popular street food is a staple in Thai cuisine and balances sweet, salty, and umami flavors.

Lad na is actually pronounced as “rad na”, but it can also be written as lad nar, rad nah, rat na, and raad na. In Thai script: ราดหน้า.

No matter how you spell it, it all leads to the same delicious plate of gravy-smothered noodles. It’s a true classic that everyone loves!

What does rad na taste like

The taste of lad na is a mix of savory and slightly sweet, thanks to its thick gravy made with soy sauce and a hint of sugar. Protein like chicken or pork adds a rich, meaty taste, and the wide rice noodles have a chewy texture. The Chinese broccoli provides a fresh, crunchy contrast and extra nutrition.

Close-up of Thai lad na, highlighting the pork gravy, Chinese broccoli, and fresh rice noodles.

Thai gravy

Lad na is a delightful Thai-Chinese noodle dish, and it’s one of my favorite fusion foods.

I love everything about it, from the fresh wide rice noodles with their chewy bite from the thick pork gravy sauce and the fresh Chinese broccoli.

While Thailand prefers the rich flavors of pork (moo) as the main source of protein, you can use other meats as well. The beauty of Thai food is how versatile it is, and this lad na recipe is just that.

Lad na noodles being topped with lad na gravy sauce.

Whether you prefer tender chicken, beef, seafood such as shrimp or squid, or a vegetarian version with tofu, anything you put in the thick lad na sauce will come out amazing.

The lad na sauce is where the magic happens, combining everything into a whole. A rich and savory gravy with garlic, soy sauce, soybean paste, eggs, and white pepper, wrapped around the wide flat rice noodles and the meat.

Lad na recipe

Lad na moo is one of the lesser known Thai noodle recipes, and I’ve never understood why. I think these flat rice noodles in pork gravy are on par with chicken pad Thai, pad kee mao (drunken noodles), and even chicken khao soi.

The secret of lad na is in the noodles – go for “fresh flat rice noodles” or “sen yai”. You’ll usually find these at your local Asian grocery store. No luck there? You can simply make them yourself using my sen yai noodles recipe. They’re gluten-free and super fun to make!

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

Wide rice noodles are the way to go. Some variations of lad na are made with rice vermicelli (thin rice noodles), just like we have sen mee pad see ew, and they are a good substitute, but I prefer the version with sen yai noodles.

Thai Chinese noodle dish

Lad na’s roots trace back to China, where it’s thought to have originated from the Guangdong province, particularly the Chaoshan region in the east. The name itself gives us a hint about the dish: ‘Lad’ translates to pour, and ‘na’ refers to the surface.

It’s like a handshake between Chinese and Thai cuisine, combining the best of both worlds. Born in China and developed in Thailand, lad na is this amazing rice noodles dish that’s a bit of both worlds.

Chinese immigrants brought over their recipes and Thai locals added their own twist – lad na is a Thai dish with a nod to Chinese cuisine.

In Thailand, every family stirs up lad na a bit differently. Some love a splash of fish sauce, others add a pinch of red pepper flakes for some heat, while some keep it cool and spice-free.

Thai beef pad see ew in a clay dish with Chinese broccoli, onions, and garlic. On the plate is a pair of wooden chopsticks, and next to it is a glass cup with red chili flakes.
Pad see ew is another Thai Chinese fusion dish made with fresh rice noodles.

Lad na can be found everywhere, from local street food stalls to Thai restaurants and even in the west, it has everyone totally hooked. Here are two more fusion dishes you’ll love: Thai massaman chicken curry recipe and khao moo dang (Chinese red pork).

Even Malaysia has its own version of lad na – named wan tan hor or wonton noodles in gravy. It’s similar, but instead it’s garnished with fresh vegetables such as Chinese mustard greens and bean sprouts.

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Pork marinade

Ingredients for pork marinade: An egg, pork, palm sugar, tapioca starch, and oyster sauce in glass cups.
  • Pork – Pork has a rich flavor with tender texture, making it the ideal meat choice. A pork broth is always flavorful! I suggest using pork loin or pork shoulder, which naturally contain some fat and more flavor than lean pork tenderloin. Alternatively, you can use chicken, beef, seafood, or tofu.
  • Oyster sauce – Oyster sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce that’s a staple in Thai kitchens for its savory and slightly sweet flavor. It’s commonly used in stir-fries, marinades, and even sauces.
  • Tapioca starch – Coats the meat, preventing moisture from escaping during cooking, resulting in tender pork. Alternatively, you can use cornstarch.
  • Palm sugar – Palm sugar is a beloved ingredient in Thai cuisine for adding a rich caramel-like sweet flavor to dishes. Its unique taste sets it apart from white sugar, brown sugar, and other sweeteners.
  • Egg – Including egg in the marinade makes the meat richer, more juicy, and extra flavorful.

noodles & pork gravy

Rad na ingredients: fresh flat rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, dark soy, soybean paste, light soy, flavor seasoning, tapioca starch, water, eggs, white pepper, and garlic.
  • Fresh flat rice noodles – The key for a traditional rad na are fresh flat rice noodles, also called hor fun, sen yai, and kuay teow. If you can’t find them, you can use dry rice noodles or rice vermicelli. Make sure to soak them in water until they become soft before using, according to the package instructions.
  • Chinese broccoli – Also known as gai lan, kai lan, or Chinese kale. It has long leaves, which sets it apart from Western broccoli. The stems have an outer layer that has to be removed before cooking.
  • Dark soy sauce – Sligthly sweetens the noodles and darkens their color.
  • Soybean paste – Soybean paste is made from fermented soybeans, I use it as a flavor booster. It’s not an essential ingredient, but it adds a unique taste.
  • Light soy sauce – A key ingredient in Asian cuisine for adding a salty / umami touch.
  • Flavor seasoning Rosdee – Rosdee is a popular Thai seasoning powder. It’s similar to golden mountain seasoning sauce, either can be used.
  • Tapioca starch – Acts as a thickener in the gravy. Depending on your desired thickness, you can adjust the amount of tapioca starch used in this recipe.
  • Eggs – Adding eggs to the gravy is standard in my lad na recipe. They enhance the texture and flavor, making it creamy and rich. If you don’t like the look of the egg bits, you can skip them. But many enjoy them, and there’s a famous Bangkok restaurant that always includes them in their lad na gravy.
  • White pepper
  • Garlic
  • Water

You should be able to find all ingredients at an Asian grocery store or at Asian markets.

Short recipe video

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The best Thai food, Thai noodles with pork gravy! Rad Na recipe #thaifood #thairecipe #porkrecipe #food

♬ Yummy Mealtime – Official Sound Studio

Cooking instructions

Making this Thai noodle dish is a three-step process: marinate the meat, stir-fry the noodles with dark soy sauce (essential for the best lad na), and prepare the pork gravy, which takes only 10-15 minutes.

Bowl with marinated pork.

Step 1: Marinate the meat. Crack the egg into a large bowl and combine it with palm sugar, oyster sauce, tapioca starch, and the sliced pork meat. Mix thoroughly, then let it rest in your fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Chopped Chinese broccoli and garlic on a bamboo dish.

Step 2: Prepare the broccoli and garlic. Remove the outer layer from the Chinese broccoli stems, then slice the stems into thin pieces, and roughly chop the leaves and the garlic.

Top-down view of measuring cup with dark sauce mixture and a wooden spoon.

Step 3: Now, we’ll prepare the gravy. In a large mixing bowl, combine soybean paste, white pepper, light soy sauce, flavor seasonings, and crack in both eggs. Combine until well blended.

Top-down view of glass cup with tapioca starch and water mixture on a wooden background.

Step 4: In a separate cup, thoroughly mix tapioca starch and 3.4 floz of water.

Step 5: In a large bowl, combine the fresh rice noodles with black soy sauce. If you’re using dry noodles, first soak them in water according to package labeling. Use your hand and a plastic glove to mix. Next, stir-fry the noodles for just 2 minutes and set aside.

Close-up of golden brown fried garlic in a pan.

Step 6: In the same pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic, fry until it turns golden brown.

Step 7: Add water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add pork and spread out the meat to ensure it doesn’t stick to each other.

Close-up of pan with a broth, and a dark sauce is being added to it.

Step 8: Add the mix of gravy prepared in step 3 once the water comes to a boil. Stir gently just to mix. The clutched egg will float to the top, this is normal. The egg gives a firmer structure to the sauce and a rich taste.

Step 9: Add Chinese broccoli and let boil for 2 more minutes, or until soft enough.

Tapioca starch in a cup being added to a pan with pork gravy.

Step 10: Give your tapioca starch and water mixture another stir. Make sure your gravy is boiling and pour it in as you stir the gravy. Keep stirring afterward to make sure it gets well mixed with the gravy (important!!).

Close-up of lad na gravy sauce in a pan.

Step 11: When the lad na sauce thickens, your gravy is ready.

Step 12: To serve your Thai gravy, place the stir-fried noodles in a bowl or on a large plate and pour the gravy over them.

Kitchen tools

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Spatula or wooden spoon
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Wok or large skillet
  • Mixing bowls

Recipe tips and tricks

  • Thai cooking is all about balance. Chefs in Thai restaurants tweak and taste as they go, perfecting those flavor balances before serving. Taste as you go and adjust the seasonings if needed.
  • Opt for high smoke point oils like vegetable oil, peanut oil, or sunflower oil. Steer clear of olive or sesame oil for this dish.
  • Use fresh flat rice noodles for authentic taste and texture. If you can’t find them, rice vermicelli or dry rice noodles (wide) are a good alternative.
  • Adjust the tapioca starch to get your gravy just right. Want it thicker or thinner? You’re in control!
  • Add more vegetables like baby corn, bell peppers, bean sprouts, mushrooms, classic broccoli or broccolini.

How to serve Thai gravy

Scoop a good portion of noodles into your serving bowl. Ladle on the pork gravy and make sure there’s a good mix of meat and veggies in each serving. Garnish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped green onions, Thai chili flakes, and crispy fried garlic. A good condiment for lad na is prik nam som. Serve hot.

How to store and reheat

If possible, store your leftover noodles and gravy in separate airtight containers once they have cooled to room temperature. Keep it in the refrigerator, and it’ll keep well for up to three days.

Reheating instructions: Simply reheat in a skillet over medium heat, stirring gently, until the gravy returns to its original consistency. Microwaving can make the noodles soft.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between pad see ew and rad na?

Pad see ew and rad na are both noodle dishes made with sen yai noodles. Pad see ew features charred stir-fried noodles with a soy sauce-based seasoning, and rad na is known for its thick gravy poured over the noodles.

Can I make this in advance?

Yes, you can prepare Lad Na in advance. Cook the components separately and store them in the fridge. When ready to serve, reheat and combine them.

Can I make this vegetarian?

Yes, simply swap the meat for tofu and add more vegetables. Replace sauces with vegetarian alternatives.

Is this recipe gluten-free?

This is not a gluten-free recipe. For a gluten-free version, you can use gluten-free soy sauces and gluten-free oyster sauce, but it’ll alter the flavors of the original recipe.

Is lad na spicy?

Traditionally, lad na is not a spicy dish. Some people like to sprinkle with Thai chili flakes for extra heat.

What kind of noodles for rad na?

Wide rice noodles, known as ‘sen yai,’ are ideal for rad na.

Related Thai noodle recipes you’ll love

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5 from 1 vote

Lad Na Noodles Recipe (Rad Na Thai Gravy)

Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 15 min Rest Time 2 hour Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 4 Calories: 599

Description

Enjoy wide rice noodles coated in a delicious pork gravy sauce with crisp Chinese broccoli.

Ingredients

For the marinade

For the noodles & gravy

Instructions

  1. Marinate the meat

    Crack the egg into a large bowl and combine it with palm sugar, oyster sauce, tapioca starch, and the sliced pork meat. Mix thoroughly, then let it rest in your fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight.

  2. Prepare the broccoli and garlic

    Remove the outer layer from the Chinese broccoli stems, then slice the stems into thin pieces, and roughly chop the leaves and the garlic.

  3. Prepare the gravy

    In a large mixing bowl, combine soybean paste, white pepper, light soy sauce, flavor seasonings, and crack in both eggs. Combine until well blended.

  4. In a separate cup, thoroughly mix tapioca starch and 3.4 floz of water.

  5. Stir-fry noodles

    In a large bowl, combine the fresh rice noodles with black soy sauce. If you’re using dry noodles, first soak them in water according to package labeling. Use your hand and a plastic glove to mix. Next, stir-fry the noodles for just 2 minutes and set aside.

  6. Cook gravy

    In the same pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic, fry until it turns golden brown.

  7. Add water and bring to a boil. When boiling, add pork and spread out the meat to ensure it doesn’t stick to each other.

  8. Add the mix of gravy prepared in step 3 once the water comes to a boil. Stir gently just to mix. The clutched egg will float to the top, this is normal. The egg gives a firmer structure to the sauce and a rich taste.

  9. Add Chinese broccoli and let boil for 2 more minutes, or until soft enough.

  10. Give your tapioca starch and water mixture another stir. Make sure your gravy is boiling and pour it in as you stir the gravy. Keep stirring afterward to make sure it gets well mixed with the gravy (important!!).

  11. When the lad na sauce thickens, your gravy is ready.

  12. To serve your Thai gravy, place the stir-fried noodles in a bowl or on a large plate and pour the gravy over them.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4


Amount Per Serving
Calories 599kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.2g16%
Saturated Fat 2.4g12%
Total Carbohydrate 97g33%
Dietary Fiber 8.3g34%
Sugars 3.8g
Protein 30.9g62%

Vitamin D 58 IU

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Use fresh flat rice noodles for an authentic taste and texture. If you can't find these, you can use rice vermicelli or dry noodles.
  • Pork is the most common choice of meat, but you can also use beef, tofu, chicken, or seafood.
  • Adjust the amount of tapioca starch to achieve your desired thickness of the gravy.
  • If you wish, you can adjust seasonings to your taste. Some people prefer it more sweet and some prefer it more salty. For me, it's absolutely perfect like this, definitely Thai restaurant quality!
Keywords: lad na, lad na noodles, lad na recipe, rad na
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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  1. Mike

    Very good recipe. The rad na I used to eat in Bangkok had a lot more sweet soy sauce in the gravy, but other than that, spot on! My wife and son loved it! Thank you very much!

    • Praew

      Hey Mike,
      I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for leaving a comment.

  1. Mike

    Very good recipe. The rad na I used to eat in Bangkok had a lot more sweet soy sauce in the gravy, but other than that, spot on! My wife and son loved it! Thank you very much!

    • Praew

      Hey Mike,
      I’m glad you and your family enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for leaving a comment.