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Pad woon sen recipe delivers a Thai glass noodle stir-fry that’ll make you ditch takeout for good. This classic Thai noodle dish is so quick and easy, perfect for busy weeknights. Picture tender chicken and crunchy vegetables coated in a savory sauce to die for.
What is pad woon sen
Pad woon sen is a classic stir-fried Thai noodle dish made with glass noodles, your choice of protein like chicken, and crunchy vegetables. Everything is coated in an irresistible savory sauce, making it the perfect choice for a quick meal.
Thai glass noodle stir-fry
This stir-fried glass noodle dish is totally a family favorite. It’s so good that even the little ones can’t stop eating.
It’s a simple dish, and if you’re a fan of Southeast Asian cuisine, chances are you’ve got all the ingredients in your kitchen pantry.
My pad woon sen sauce is a simple mix of golden mountain sauce, dark soy sauce, and oyster sauce. So savory, so delish! Feel free to add a tablespoon of fish sauce for extra umami.
These noodles are my definition of comfort food, seriously. With tender chicken, cabbage, scallions, and whatever veggies you’ve got left in your fridge, this Thai food comes together in a matter of minutes. So quick, so easy!
Next time you’re at a Thai restaurant, look for it on the menu. It’s the perfect side – light, simple, and so good. So good!
When it comes to making pad woon sen, you have to use smooth and silky glass noodles. They go by many names – bean thread noodles (usually when they’re made from mung bean starch), mung bean noodles, mung bean threads, or cellophane noodles.
These thin noodles are crafted from mung bean starch (a legume), tapioca, or sweet potato starch. They’re the best at soaking up all that savory sauce.
If you live in Thailand like me, the noodles are just a street food market away. If not, your local Asian grocery stores should have dried ones, or you can get a pack online at Amazon.
Don’t mix these up with rice vermicelli. Glass noodles are slicker, starchier, and chewier. Just like the sweet potato starch noodles you’ll find in Korean cuisine, which also turn opaque when cooked.
As far as texture goes, glass noodles have a satisfying chewy bite, while rice vermicelli is soft and less sauce-friendly.
5 Reasons to try this easy noodle recipe
- Easy weeknight recipe: This glass noodle recipe is fast and simple, and all you need is one pan!
- Customize the protein: Whether you like chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, or other seafood, you can easily adjust this recipe. Vegetarian? Use tofu or tempeh, and swap oyster sauce for vegan mushroom sauce.
- Filling yet light: This easy glass noodles recipe can totally do as a main-dish, but it’s a light dish that’s often eaten as a side-dish in Thailand. It’s perfect as part of a larger meal or for serving a large crowd.
- Up the veggies: You can basically toss in any crunchy vegetable – carrots, bell peppers, bean sprouts, red onions, shiitake mushrooms, leek, broccoli, and lots of others.
- Healthy: Packed with vegetables, this noodle stir-fry doesn’t just taste amazing, it’s also healthy and nutritious.
For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the page.
- Glass noodles – They soak up all the flavors of the pad woon sen sauce when cooked.
- Eggs – Adds a rich flavor. Feel free to omit if egg ain’t your yum.
- Green onions, conical cabbage, coriander, garlic, onion – My veggie combo to add crunch, color, and flavor. Feel free to get creative with your own mix.
- White sugar – Swap it out for brown sugar or honey for a healthier alternative.
- Oyster sauce – Adds umami and a savory flavor.
- Dark soy sauce – Adds a subtle sweet taste and darkens the color of the stir-fry.
- Golden mountain sauce – A staple of Thai cuisine. Feel free to sub with Maggi seasoning sauce.
Soak the glass noodles
Follow the package instructions to soak your glass noodles in water. After soaking, cut them in half.
Sauté garlic & onion
Preheat oil in a wok or skillet over medium heat. Sauté garlic and onions just until they start to turn golden – about 20 seconds.
Add the eggs into the pan. Scramble and mix with the other ingredients.
Add sauces and seasonings
Pour in oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, golden mountain sauce, and sugar. Thoroughly combine.
Add the noodles
Add the soft glass noodles. Stir and ensure each noodle gets a coating of the sauce. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water.
Add the vegetables
Toss in the remaining vegetables. For a crunch, stir-fry for about 30 seconds; for softer veggies, go for a full minute. Serve immediately.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Use enough neutral oil: this will help prevent the glass noodles from sticking.
- Avoid overcrowding: Make sure there’s plenty of room in your wok or skillet. No one likes a soggy stir-fry, right?
- Cutting board and chef’s knife
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Wok or large skillet
- Colander: For draining the glass noodles after soaking them.
How to serve
Serve on its own for a light lunch or dinner, or pair it with one of my other authentic Thai recipes for a complete Thai meal.
- White pepper or black pepper
- Red chili flakes: For those who love a spicy flavor.
- Lime wedge: For a tangy twist.
- Fresh herbs: Add cilantro or chopped green onions for a refreshing taste.
How to store and reheat
Let your stir-fried noodles cool down to room temperature. Pack them in an airtight container and pop them in the fridge. Enjoy for up to three days.
Reheating instructions: Reheat on the stovetop over medium heat, adding a tablespoon of water or oil if needed.
Did you know?
The name “pad woon sen” translates to “stir-fried glass noodles” in Thai. “Pad” means stir-fried, “woon” is a type of noodle, and “sen” means thread “woon sen” is glass noodles
Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s)
Is pad woon sen healthy?
Pad woon sen can be considered a healthy option. It’s often prepared with many vegetables and a protein like chicken or shrimp. To keep it healthy, use a moderate amount of oil, and go easy on the sugar and other seasonings.
What does pad woon sen taste like?
Pad woon sen is a light and aromatic stir-fry that combines savory soy and oyster sauces with fresh vegetables, protein, and herbs. Glass noodles absorb all the delicious sauce, offering a chewy, flavorful texture.
Are glass noodles gluten-free?
Yes, glass noodles are gluten-free. They’re made from mung bean starch, sweet potato starch, or tapioca starch, rather than wheat. It’s always a good idea to double-check the packaging, though.
Can I make this in advance?
You can prepare the vegetables in advance and pre-mix the sauces. It’s best to cook this dish right before serving, so the noodles and vegetables keep their structure.
Can I substitute glass noodles?
You can totally prepare this stir-fry with rice vermicelli or regular rice noodles.
More noodle stir-fries you’ll love
- Easy rice vermicelli stir-fry
- Chicken khao soi – A delicious egg noodle soup, rich with coconut curry.
- Pad mee korat – An easier, spicy version of pad Thai.
- More noodle recipes
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Pad Woon Sen Recipe (Thai Glass Noodle Stir-Fry)
This pad woon sen recipe can be customized with your favorite vegetables and protein.
Soak the noodles in water according to package label.
Heat oil in a wok pan or skillet over medium heat. Stir-fry onion and garlic for 30 sec until almost golden.
Crack the eggs into the pan, scramble them, and mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
Add the sauces and seasoning (oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, golden mountain, and sugar) to the pan and stir quickly to mix.
Next, add the glass noodles to the pan and continue stir-frying at a high pace. Mix the noodles well with the other ingredients, ensuring that each noodle is coated with the flavorful sauce. If you wish, you can add a few tablespoons of water.
Add the remaining vegetables and stir-fry for 30 seconds to keep them crunchy. If you prefer soft veggies, then stir-fry for 1 minute instead. Serve immediately.
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- Amount Per Serving
- Calories 582kcal
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat 9.1g14%
- Saturated Fat 2.8g14%
- Total Carbohydrate 112g38%
- Dietary Fiber 6.8g28%
- Sugars 16.7g
- Protein 14.7g30%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
- Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
- Feel free to customize with your favorite vegetables or seasonings.