Thai Pad Woon Sen (Thai Glass Noodle Stir-Fry) With Chicken and Vegetables

Thai Glass Noodle Stir-Fry With Chicken and Vegetables

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
288 Calories
6g Fat
40g Carbs
20g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 288
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 1g 4%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 1498mg 65%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 15%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 77mg 385%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 817mg 17%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Glass noodles, also known as cellophane or bean thread noodles, magically turn transparent when you cook them, making for a unique-looking dish. In this Thai Pad Woon Sen recipe, the noodles combine with chicken or tofu, mushrooms, and bell peppers in a flavorful sauce, making this dish a complete meal. Make sure you have all of the ingredients prepped and ready before you begin because this dish cooks quickly once you heat your wok or skillet.

Made of mung bean or green pea flour, glass noodles are wheat-free, meaning they are safe for a gluten-free diet. You can substitute thin rice noodles found at nearly any supermarket, though you won't get quite the same result. Keep in mind that glass noodles absorb a lot of sauce, so it's important to season your stir-fry sauce properly before you toss it with the noodles.

"This quick and easy stir-fry is so satisfying thanks to the noodles. They happily absorb the sauce, giving them great flavor along with their pleasantly chewy texture. Follow the instructions on your noodles for cooking and feel free to add more veggies to the mix." — Lauren Randolph

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For the Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock, or vegetable stock

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, or an additional 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce for vegan option)

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed

  • Red pepper flakes, to taste

For the Noodles:

  • 1 chicken breast, or 3/4 cup firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 6 to 8 ounces bean thread noodles, or thin rice noodles

  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 shallot, minced, or 1/4 cup minced red onion

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped mushrooms

  • 1 red bell pepper, diced

  • Lemon juice, or lime juice, optional

  • Generous handful fresh cilantro leaves

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Thai Glass Noodle Stir-Fry With Chicken and Vegetables ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. Combine stir-fry sauce ingredients in a cup or bowl and mix. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of sauce over chicken or tofu and toss to evenly distribute. Set bowl in the refrigerator to marinate until ready to cook.

    marinate chicken in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Cook noodles according to package directions, either bringing a large pot of water to boil or pouring boiling water over them in a bowl. Stir to separate noodles and cook or soak until they turn transparent and soft enough to eat (rice noodles should be cooked al dente). Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil over noodles and toss well to keep them from sticking.

    cooked glass noodles

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil, then add garlic and shallot. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add chicken or tofu. Stir-fry until chicken turns opaque or tofu starts to turn light brown, about 2 minutes. If pan dries out, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of stir-fry sauce.

    cook chicken in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Add mushrooms and bell pepper and 2 to 3 tablespoons of stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.

    Add the mushrooms and bell pepper to the chicken in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Add noodles and 3/4 of the remaining stir-fry sauce. Use tongs or 2 forks to lift and toss noodles with other ingredients, allowing them to absorb most of the sauce.

    add the glass noodles to the chicken and vegetables in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Taste, adding more or all of the remaining stir-fry sauce as needed. If you need to increase saltiness, add more fish sauce or soy sauce; to cut saltiness, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

    add lime to the glass noodle stir fry in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Serve immediately with fresh cilantro sprinkled on top.

    Thai Glass Noodle Stir-Fry With Chicken and Vegetables in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada


  • To make tossing and serving the noodles easier, use a pair of clean kitchen scissors to cut the glass noodles in a couple of places, as the long strings can be hard to handle.
  • If making this dish vegan, use tofu and skip the fish sauce, using more soy sauce in its place; hoisin sauce is typically safe for vegans to eat.

Recipe Variations

Feel free to add more veggies to this noodle stir-fry or swap in some favorites. You can add as much as double the veggies called for for a higher vegetable-to-noodle ratio. Other great options include:

  • Small florets of broccoli or cauliflower
  • Diced carrots
  • Chopped snow peas
  • Thin green beans
  • Baby bok choy
  • Thinly sliced cabbage