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Pad Woon Sen (Thai Stir Fried Glass Noodles)

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Pad Woon Sen is a classic Thai noodle dish that may not be as popular as Pad Thai but is equally delicious. Smooth and silky glass noodles are stir-fried with crunchy vegetables for contrast, then topped with cilantro for freshness and Thai bird chili for a spicy kick.

pad woon sen in a small wok

Pad Woon Sen is one of my very favorite Thai dishes. It may not be as popular as Pad Thai but is sure to satisfy your taste buds. Silky glass noodles (woon sen) are stir-fried in a savory sauce. This dish is loaded with veggies and protein, making it a very satisfying meal.

What Noodles to Use for Pad Woon Sen

pad woon sen with chopsticks

Bean thread noodles (also known as “glass noodles” or “cellophane noodles”) are easily mistaken for rice vermicelli when uncooked because they look very similar. A lot of Asian supermarkets keep both types of noodles on the same shelf, so read the packaging to ensure you’re buying the right kind.

Once they are cooked, you’ll be able to see that the rice vermicelli is white and opaque, while glass noodles are more transparent.

You’ll also notice a difference in textures between those two types of noodles. Glass noodles are slightly smoother and more starchy than rice vermicelli. It is very similar to the sweet potato starch noodles used in Japchae, only thinner.

 

How to Make Pad Woon Sen

Soak 160g of (dry) glass noodles in room temperature water for about 10 minutes before preparing the rest of the ingredients.

Keep them soaking in the water until just before you start cooking. Drain the noodles using a colander or strainer just before you fire up the wok.

bean thread noodles soaking in water for pad woon sen

Next, prepare the sauce by combining 2 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon of sugar, and a dash of ground white pepper.

Stir well to combine the sauce ingredients.

pad woon sen sauce ingredients

Lightly beat 2 eggs.

Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Pour the beaten eggs into the wok, and let it sit for about 30 seconds untouched.

fried beaten egg in a wok for pad woon sen

Then, scramble the eggs using your wok spatula. I prefer larger pieces of scrambled eggs, but you may certainly keep breaking it up into smaller pieces if you prefer. Remove the scrambled eggs from the wok and set them aside.

scrambled egg in a wok for pad woon sen

Add a splash of cooking oil to the wok if it is too dry, then stir-fry 3/4 cup of chicken thigh (cut into small pieces). When the chicken is almost cooked all the way through, add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce just to give it some additional flavor and color.

diced chicken thigh in a wok for pad woon sen

Add 1 small onion (sliced), and 3 cloves of garlic (minced) to the wok. Continue to stir-fry until the onions are slightly translucent and the chicken has cooked all the way through.

chicken, garlic and onion in wok for pad woon sen

Push the chicken, onions and garlic to the side of the wok to make way for 1 cup of julienned carrots and 1 cup of shredded cabbage. (Tip: use coleslaw mix to save time here!)

cabbage, carrot and chicken in wok for pad woon sen

Add 1 tomato (cut into small wedges) to the mix.

stir fried vegetables in wok for pad woon sen

Toss the glass noodles into the wok, right on top of the chicken and veggies.

vegetables and glass noodles in a wok for pad woon sen

Pour the sauce over the glass noodles, then give everything a good stir until all of the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.

pouring the sauce for pad woon sen

Return the scrambled eggs to the wok, then add 2 cups of fresh bean sprouts.

pad woon sen with bean sprouts in wok

Add 2 stalks of scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces.

Stir to combine all ingredients.

pad woon sen with scallions in wok

Transfer the noodles to a large serving bowl or dish. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sliced Thai bird chili if desired.

Enjoy!

pad woon sen overhead shot with thai bird chili

Pad Woon Sen

Char Ferrara
Pad Woon Sen is a classic Thai noodle dish that may not be as popular as Pad Thai but is equally delicious. Smooth and silky glass noodles are stir-fried with crunchy vegetables for contrast, then topped with cilantro for freshness and Thai bird chili for a spicy kick.
4.54 from 177 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
 
 

  • 160 grams bean thread noodles dried
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken thighs cut into small pieces
  • 1 onion small, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup carrots julienned
  • 1 cup cabbage shredded
  • 1 to mato cut into wedges
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 stalks scallions cut into 1-inch pieces

Sauce

Garnish

  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • 3 - 4 Thai bird chili sliced

Instructions
 

  • Soak the bean thread noodles in a large bowl of room-temperature water for about 10 minutes before preparing the rest of the ingredients. (Drain the noodles using a strainer just before cooking).
  • Prepare the sauce by combining the water, oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Pour the beaten eggs into the wok and leave untouched for about 30 seconds before scrambling them. Remove from wok and set aside.
  • Add a splash of cooking oil to the wok if it's too dry, then stir-fry the chicken. When almost cooked all the way through, add 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to the chicken.
  • Add onion and garlic to the wok. Continue to stir-fry until the onions are slightly translucent and the chicken has cooked all the way through. 
  • Add cabbage and carrots. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato wedges.
  • Add the glass noodles to the wok, then pour the sauce over the noodles. Give everything a good stir until all of the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce.
  • Return the scrambled eggs to the wok, then add bean sprouts and scallions.
  • Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with cilantro and Thai bird chili.

Nutrition

Calories: 242kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 72mgSodium: 525mgFiber: 2gSugar: 5g
Keyword noodles, stirfry
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Recipe Rating




Kelley

Tuesday 15th of June 2021

I made this recipe today. It came out JUST like when I order it at the Thai restaurant. I used shrimp, chicken, and bison for the protein and used a drop of hot sauce instead of white pepper in the sauce. I will definitely make it again!!

Char

Wednesday 16th of June 2021

I'm so happy to hear this, Kelley! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this comment!

Heather

Wednesday 24th of February 2021

Thank you so much for sharing! I made as directed without the meat to make it vegetarian! I also added zucchini to add more veggies. For some reason my sauce came out very salty, any suggestion or ideas as to what went wrong or how I can cut the salt?

Char

Saturday 27th of February 2021

Hi Heather! I'm sorry the sauce turned out too salty. I would try adding a bit more water and/reduce the amount of soy sauce and oyster sauce. When stirring the sauce into the noodles, try adding a bit at a time until it's just right. I hope that helps!

Suzanne

Friday 12th of February 2021

I forgot to mention I like to add sliced mushroom and pea pods.

Char

Saturday 13th of February 2021

Yumm!!!

Suzanne

Friday 12th of February 2021

OMG I love love love this recipe. If you have everything ready, it only take about 10-15 minutes. I soak the noodles at least 20 minutes and use my kitchen shears to cut them in about half. I have used only half the amount of noodles the last few times but I think it is better with more, like you suggest. I have used thinly sliced beef chuck instead of chicken and it is delicious too. Thank you soo very much for sharing this recipe. I only recently discovered that I like this dish and when I spend $20 on this and some egg rolls at the restaurant to go, I feel very guilty. At home... no guilt! I've been making it nearly every week too!

Char

Saturday 13th of February 2021

@Suzanne, you're so welcome! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad you enjoy this recipe. I often feel guilty when I dine out as well. haha!

Milette

Friday 1st of January 2021

This is delicious! I wanted to make this when my son comes to visit, he only eats gluten free meals, is the fish sauce, oyster sauce ok to use? I have the tamari soy sauce gluten free, Ste there substitute for fish sauce & oyster sauce? I love this recipe and thank you for sharing!

Char

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Hi Milette! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm so glad you love this recipe and that you'd like to prepare it for your son! Most fish sauce is gluten-free but I recommend checking the ingredients list on your bottle to make sure there are no wheat products added. With regard to oyster sauce, a lot of brands do add some type of wheat flour to thicken it. I came across this recipe from I Heart Umami for homemade gluten-free vegetarian oyster sauce if you'd like to give it a try: https://iheartumami.com/vegetarian-oyster-sauce/ Otherwise, just substitute with just a bit more soy sauce with brown sugar. Hope this helps!