Mix it up by making this Pad Woon Sen recipe, a lesser known Thai Glass Noodles Stir Fry recipe, in just 30 minutes. It’s a great recipe to use up leftover protein or vegetables.
What Is Pad Woon Sen
Pad Woon Sen noodles are loaded with bright flavors, a savory sauce, crunch vegetables and the protein of your choosing. Top with thai peppers for an extra layer of flavors and heat.
Pad Woon Sen is an often overlooked Thai stir fry recipe. Popular Thai recipes, such as Japchae, Yum Woon Sen, and Pad Kee Mao, overshadow this gem.
Pad Woon Sen Noodle
Pad Woon Sen noodles, made with mung bean, are also known as glass noodles, bean thread noodles, or cellophane noodles.
They are easy to find at any Asian grocery store or online. The noodles are thin and bright white! They turn translucent when cooked, hence the name “glass noodle.”
If you’re unsure if you have the right noodle, just check the back for “mung bean starch” on the ingredient list.
Here are the non-staple ingredients to make Pad Woon Sen. The full list of ingredients is listed in the recipe card below.
- Bean Thread Noodles
- Soy Sauce
- Oyster Sauce
- Fish Sauce
Noodles – While bean thread noodles are traditional, you can use what you have on hand. Rice vermicelli , sweet potato glass noodles or any rice noodles would work in a pinch. Just cook according to the directions on the back of the box.
Fish Sauce – Fish sauce really makes the dish. It provides a huge umami punch, so try and grab some next time you’re grocery shopping. If it’s not an option, just sub in extra soy sauce.
Oyster Sauce – No oyster sauce? No problem. Replace in equal parts with low sodium soy sauce.
One of the best things about stir fry dishes is the ability to customize the vegetables. Use the veggies you need to use up in your fridge. Ideally, we like cabbage, carrots and snow peas, when making glass noddle salad, but other ideas that would work well:
- Bell Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Bean Sprouts
- Baby Corn
- Snap Peas
- Bamboo Shoots
- Water Chestnuts
How To Make Stir Fry Glass Noodles
Pan Woon Sen doesn’t require much time to prepare, but it is all hands-on time, such is the nature of stir fry recipes.
Here’s the general steps you’re looking at, when making. For the full recipe, reference the detailed recipe card below.
Noodles – Cook the rice noodles by soaking them in boiling water.
Sauce – Whisk together the sauce ingredients.
Chicken & Egg – Stir fry the chicken and eggs.
Vegetables – Stir-fry the vegetables
Sauce it Up – Toss the chicken and vegetables with the sauce and grub away!
Pad Woon Sen can also be made with other proteins or even edited to be a vegetarian dish.
To make this recipe for glass noodles with beef, replace the chicken with equal parts beef. Just sprinkle with salt and pepper before cooking.
To make pork noodles, replace the chicken with equal parts pork (sliced or minced). Just sprinkle with salt and pepper before cooking.
Vegetarian Noodles Stir Fry
Omit the chicken altogether or replace with tofu. Cook the tofu using your favorite cooking method.
Spicy Thai Noodles
Spike the sauce with red pepper chili flakes or even a hit of gochugaru.
Stir Fried Glass Noodles Tips
- Do You Need A Wok? Nope. A large skillet will do just fine. If you have a skillet with high edges, use it.
- Slightly undercook the noodles as they’ll continue to cook when you add them to the skillet. Plus they’ll be less likely to stick together when frying.
- The oil should be hot (slightly popping) before adding the food.
- This glass noodles recipe is best when enjoyed immediately.
Stick with an off-dry Riesling or Pinot Grigio when serving Pad Woon Sen noodles.
PAD WOON SEN SAUCE:
- 3 Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- ¼ cup water
- 1 lb chicken breast, cut into thin strips
PAD WOON SEN STIR FRY:
- 6 oz bean thread noodles
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil (divided)
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- ½ white onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup matchstick carrots
- 2 cups thinly sliced green or Napa cabbage
- ½ cup snow peas, trimmed and string removed
- ½ tsp white pepper
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- 3 stalks green onion, chopped (divided)
PREP THE SAUCE & NOODLES:
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a small bowl and whisk to combine.3 Tbsp oyster sauce2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce2 Tbsp sugar1 Tbsp fish sauce¼ cup water
- Prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Once softened, drain and use scissors to cut into shorter pieces. Toss with a smidge of oil to prevent them from clumping together.6 oz bean thread noodles
COOK THE PROTEIN:
- Pre-heat a skillet or wok over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the chicken and saute until cooked, approx. 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.2 Tbsp vegetable oil (divided)1 lb chicken breast, cut into thin strips
- Add the eggs and scramble until cooked throughout. Transfer to the plate with the chicken.2 large eggs, whisked
STIR FRY THE DISH:
- Add the remaining oil and garlic and saute for 30 seconds, until fragrant.2 Tbsp vegetable oil (divided)2 Tbsp minced garlic
- Add the onions, cabbage, carrots, snow peas, 2 green onion stalks, and pepper and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly tender. Do not overcook.½ white onion, thinly sliced½ cup matchstick carrots2 cups thinly sliced green or Napa cabbage½ cup snow peas, trimmed and string removed½ tsp white pepper3 stalks green onion, chopped (divided)
- Add the cooked chicken and eggs, sauce and noodles to the skillet. Stir fry until the noodles are soft and the sauce is fully incorporated, approx. 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle the remaining green onions over the top and serve.