Thai Pad Woon Sen

pad woon sen

 The Spruce / Cat Lau

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Yields: 2 plates

This Thai stir-fried noodle dish is a no-fuss option served at street-food stalls and in home kitchens. Pad woon sen means stir-fried vermicelli in Thai, and the dish usually includes crisp-tender vegetables, egg, and sweet and savory sauce. It's as easy to make as tossing several fresh ingredients together for a delicious and comforting dish.

Thai vermicelli is different from the thin wheat spaghetti found in Italian cuisine. The noodles, commonly found in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and other Asian cuisines, are thin pasta made from rice. The rice noodles are used in stir-fries, salads like bun, and soups.

Like many Thai home recipes, there are many variations to this dish. We like to add the vegetables at the end because it keeps them bright and crunchy. If you prefer your vegetables on the soft side, add them first. This is a vegetarian take on the dish, but you can easily add protein like chicken, pork, or tofu.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces vermicelli (rice noodles)
  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 small onion (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
  • 1 large tomato (cut into wedges)
  • 3 spring onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup mushrooms (sliced)
  • 1 cup green cabbage (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce 
  • 1 tablespoons fish sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    pad woon sen ingredients
      The Spruce / Cat Lau
  2. Soak the vermicelli in water for 15 minutes. Drain in a strainer and leave to one side.

    soaked vermicelli in a colander
      The Spruce / Cat Lau
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs to the pan and stir-fry until scrambled.

    eggs cooking in a pan for pad woonsen
     The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  4. Add the onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Stir in the vermicelli and cook until it softens slightly.

    vermicelli with onion and eggs in a hot pan
      The Spruce / Cat Lau
  5. When the scrambled eggs begin to brown, add the tomatoes, spring onions, mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots.

    pad woon sen in a pan
     The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  6. Stir-fry until the vegetables soften, then season with the oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and pepper.

    pad woon sen cooked in a pan
     The Spruce / Cat Lau 
  7. Serve immediately.

    pad woon sen in a pan
     The Spruce / Cat Lau 

Tip

This dish is easier to make in a wok, but a large, deep skillet will work in a pinch.

Recipe Variations

  • To add meat, substitute chicken or pork for the mushrooms and cook the protein with the onion and garlic before adding the eggs.
  • Like most stir-fries, you can add or swap out for your choice of veggies. Some good options include broccoli, cauliflower, peas, snow peas, baby corn, bamboo shoots, and more.