The ultimate stir-fry delight! Glass noodles, fresh veggies, and your favourite proteins – Pad Woon Sen, or Thai Glass Noodle Stir Fry is easy, versatile, and bursting with Thai flavours!
Pad Woon Sen is one of my favourite Thai dishes ever! Pad Woon Sen is a glass noodle stir fry that is underrated and in my opinion deserves as much fanfare as its Pad Thai counterpart.
Glass noodles, stir fried in a delicious savoury sauce with crunchy vegetables and eggs… Pad Woon Sen is delicious and easy to whip up!
Why you will LOVE this Pad Woon Sen recipe?
- QUICK & EASY: This is a hectic weeknight saviour! Prep work for the glass noodles are incredibly quick, and the noodle dish comes together easily in a stir fry.
- CROWD-PLEASER: This is one of the rare Thai dishes that is not spicy… and actually fares well not being spicy! I did make mine spicy though, by adding Thai bird’s eye chillies, but its totally optional.
- Versatility Rules: Pad Woon Sen is ultra versatile! Have it with any of your favourite proteins, and vegetables to adapt to your taste!
- Easy Clean-Up: One wok wonder! Minimal dishes mean more time enjoying your creation and less time stuck at the sink.
Key Ingredients for Pad Woon Sen
Glass Noodles (Woon Sen)
Glass Noodles (woon sen) are also known as tang hoon, clear noodles, bean thread noodles or cellophane noodles. In its dry form, they are opaque white, but once soaked or cooked in water, they turn clear, hence its name, glass noodles!
Glass Noodles tend to come in a bunch, with each clump being about 20g. This amount can vary brand to brand. This recipe uses 40g of glass noodles, which is good for about 2 servings.
To prepare glass noodles for cooking, you will need to soak it in water for about 10 minutes, or until it turns clear and malleable. If the packaging comes with instructions, follow it instead for best results. You can use warm water to speed up the softening process, but I don’t find it necessary – glass noodles will soften easy enough!
They are not to be confused with rice vermicelli, which in its dried form, looks similar to glass noodles. That said, if you don’t have glass noodles, you can easily replace with vermicelli! The steps and recipe portions remain the same!
What Proteins to Use for Pad Woon Sen?
In Bangkok, Thailand, the typical proteins are sliced chicken. Any protein of choice will work, such as beef, seafood or tofu.
TIP! Marinade the chicken slices with fish sauce and pepper prior to stir frying. Whenever I meal prep in the week, I marinade my chicken slices with fish sauce and pepper – these go in pretty much any stir fry involving chicken!
We’re also adding an egg in the recipe, for another boost of proteins and flavour.
Make this a well-rounded, nutritious by adding your favourite vegetables! I used shredded cabbages and carrots (which I always meal prep so it’s ready-to-go in the fridge always), with spring onions to bring this dish to life.
Other vegetables you can try Pad Woon Sen includes bell peppers, beansprouts, bok choy and mushrooms. Cook the firmer vegetables first, until tender, before adding the leafy ones.
The Seasoning Sauce
The sauce comes together so easily, and using ingredients that are easily found in an Asian pantry.
Stir frying is a super quick process – make sure to combine these sauces before you heat up the wok!
- Fish Sauce: This is the main seasoning for the dish. Alternatively, you can use soy sauce, increase the quantity by 1-2 teaspoons as fish sauce has a typically higher salt content than soy sauce.
- Oyster Sauce: Oyster Sauce adds a gorgeous layer of umami as well.
- Dark Soy Sauce: This adds a slight sweetness, umami and colour to the Pad Woon Sen! I often use Kecap Manis instead for this!
- White Pepper
- Maggi Seasoning Sauce (optional): In Thailand, Golden Mountain is used – but I almost always replace it with Maggi Seasoning Sauce which is a lot more easily accessible. This adds an additional layer of umami to the noodles. This is optional.
- Water: A few splashes of water will create a more fluid sauce, which is essential to allow the noodles to absorb the seasoning.
How to Make Pad Woon Sen
- Prepare the Noodles: Soak the glass noodles in water for about 10 minutes, or until they’re soft and malleable. Then drain and set aside.
- Prepare the Seasoning Sauce: While the noodles are soaking, make the stir fry sauce by combining all of the seasoning sauces in a separate bowl.
- Stir-Fry Magic: Heat up your wok or pan, sauté garlic (and chillies, if using) until aromatic, then add chicken. Cook until it’s just about done, or when the surface is not pink anymore.
- Veggie Extravaganza: Toss in veggies and stir-fry until they’re crisp-tender.
- Noodle Fusion: Add the soaked noodles to the wok, followed by the seasoning sauce. Stir it all up until everything’s beautifully coated and infused with flavour.
- Add Egg: Push noodles to one side, and pour in eggs. Scramble to cook, before combining with the noodles.
- Serve and Enjoy!: Plate noodles, and garnish with a wedge of lime, crushed peanuts and chilli flakes. Enjoy!
More Recipes Like This
Pad Woon Sen | Thai Stir Fried Glass NoodlesCourse: Recipes
40g glass noodles
50g Chicken, sliced
1 tsp Cooking Oil
1 clove Garlic, minced
1-2 Chillies (optional)
20g Carrot, sliced
20g Cabbages, sliced
2-3 stalks Spring Onions
- Pad Woon Sen Seasoning Sauce:
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp White Pepper
1/2 tsp Golden Mountain Sauce or Maggi Seasoning Sauce (optional)
2-3 tbsps Water
- Serve with:
- Soak the glass noodles in water for about 10 minutes, or until the noodles turns clear and easily malleable. If instructions are available on the packaging, follow that instead.
- While glass noodles soak, combine the ingredients for the seasoning sauce in a bowl and stir well.
- In a pan, add oil and heat over medium to high. Stir fry garlic and chillies until fragrant.
- Add chicken or protein of choice and stir fry to cook.
- Add vegetables, and stir to combine with the chicken for about 1-2 minutes.
- Once vegetables are tender, add the soaked glass noodles and pour over the seasoning sauce. Toss to combine, until the glass noodles have absorbed the sauce, and slightly darkened in colour.
- Push noodles to one side, and scramble in eggs. Let the eggs almost cook before combining with the rest of the noodles.
- Once eggs cook through, Pad Woon Sen is done! Serve with chilli flakes, crushed peanuts and a wedge of lime.