Pad See Ew noodles are a favorite in this family (my youngest daughter absolutely loves them!) and Thai style done vegan is just so naturally easy. Thai flavors (and noodles!) are sublime when paired with tofu or tempeh.
Pad See Ew noodles are the Thai version of Chinese “chow fun” pan-fried rice noodles. Add bok choy, Chinese broccoli and other veggies plus tofu and you’re firing up the wok with flavor.
What makes Pad See Ew a little different from its sister noodle dish Pad Thai is the sweet soy sauce made with molasses. If you can’t find this type of soy sauce, don’t worry. Add tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos sauce (sweeter than soy) as a substitute. There’s a sweet-salty balance in Pad See Ew that hits all the umami notes. Adding more veggies, crushed peanuts and cashews makes a signature noodle dish you can call your own.
PAD SEE EW with SUMMER SQUASH, THAI BASIL & TOFU
2 tbl sesame oil
14 oz wide rice noodles
14 oz summer squash
10 oz bok choy
10 oz Chinese broccoli
2 Thai chiles (optional)
6 garlic cloves
1 small bunch fresh Thai basil
1/2 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup sweet soy (*homemade, see recipe below or sub coconut aminos)
1/4 cup worcestershire
4 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbl brown sugar (optional)
2 tbl tamari soy sauce
1 lime, halved
2 scallions, chopped
4 oz. pan-fried tofu or sautéed tempeh (optional)
- Pan-fry cubed tofu or tempeh in a small pan with oil and garlic. Set aside.
- Roast the peanuts in a small sheetpan in oven or in a cast iron pan on stove until nicely browned and toasty. Take care not to burn them. Set aside.
- Make the sweet soy sauce (recipe below).
Place a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Add the rice noodles to boiling water and turn down flame to medium, 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the heat and allow the noodles to become tender, 5-7 minutes.
Drain and rinse with cold water.
Trim and slice the squash into half moons. Chop the bok choy. Deseed and mince the Thai chiles (optional). Peel and mince the garlic. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Chop the Thai basil and peanuts.
Sauté the garlic, chile and onion in a large skillet or wok on medium-high with a little oil. Stir constantly until the garlic golden and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
Add squash to the pan and sauté, about 8-10 minutes. Add bok choy and broccoli and toss to combine all in pan, cooking until the greens are tender but not overcooked, about 3 minutes.
Add the cashews to the pan. If adding tofu or tempeh, add into the pan with the cashews. Stir and allow the cashews and pan-fried tofu/tempeh to get some heat and color.
Add the cooked noodles and sauce to the veggies in the pan and toss to combine over the heat, separating the noodles as you go, allowing everything to become well coated with sauce in the pan.
Turn off the flame.
Add half of the Thai basil and peanuts.
Taste and season the noodles, adding more sauce until it tastes well balanced.
Garnish with Thai basil, chopped scallions and peanuts. Squeeze half a lime over all the noodles.
Serve and enjoy.
Make this sweet soy sauce to coat the noodles:
Sweet Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons light (regular) soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon peanut oil or coconut
Dash of sesame oil (optional)
Combine the brown sugar, light and dark soy sauces, water, and oil in a small saucepan. If using coconut oil, add a dash of sesame oil. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stir to make sure the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside to cool completely before using. The sauce can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, covered, and left at room temperature.