This amazing Pad Woon Sen recipe is surprisingly easy to make at home in under 30 minutes. It’s a Thai stir-fried noodle dish made with glass noodles, proteins, veggies tossed in a savory and slightly sweet pad woon sen sauce. It tastes like it came from your favorite Thai restaurant.
Pad Woon Sen is what I would consider Thai fast food, along with all of our favorite Thai noodle dishes like Pad Thai and Pad See Ew.
So What is Pad Woon Sen?
It’s a Thai noodle dish that’s total comfort food. It’s made with glass noodles, some type of protein (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp, tofu, etc.), vegetables, and eggs. Everything is stir-fried together in a delicious sauce that’s savory and sweet.
It’s one of those dishes that takes just a few minutes to make once you’ve gathered all of your ingredients.
Ingredients and Substitutes
Here’s what you need for Pad Woon Sen. Most of them are available at your local Asian grocery stores nowadays!
Pad Woon Sen Sauce
Pad Woon Sen sauce has a savory and sweet flavor, which is made with the following ingredients:
- Soy Sauce – for flavoring. I used low sodium soy sauce but you can sub regular soy sauce.
- Oyster Sauce – a key ingredient that adds a rich and savory flavor to the dish.
- Fish Sauce – adds a salty umami flavor, so don’t skip it. It’s going to smell funky, but trust me, it’s a critical ingredient in making these noodles taste like the authentic Pad Thai Woon Sen. You can find it in the Asian section of the grocery store.
- Sugar – for sweetness.
Pad Woon Sen is traditionally made with glass noodles, which are also known as cellophane noodles, fensi, or bean thread noodles. They magically turn clear like glass once cooked. It’s made of mung bean or green pea flour, so they’re gluten-free. You can find them at most Asian grocery stores or order them online from Amazon.
Proteins (Eggs and Chicken)
I used eggs and chicken in this recipe, but feel free to use other types of protein like pork, beef, or shrimp.
I went classic and included onions, cabbage, tomatoes, and carrots in this recipe. But feel free to add in any other veggies you like.
How to Make Pad Woon Sen
I recommend preparing all the ingredients first, as the actual stir-fry goes really fast.
1. Prepare the glass noodles: Soak the noodles in room temperature water according to package instructions. Cut them into shorter pieces if desired.
2. Make the sauce: While the noodles are soaking, mix together all the sauce ingredients.
3. Stir fry the chicken: Sauté the chicken until cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
4. Stir fry the veggies: Sauté garlic for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add onions, cabbage, tomato, carrots, and white pepper to the skillet and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Cook the eggs: Move the vegetables to one side of the pan, and add the beaten eggs to the empty space in the pan. Scramble the eggs until the eggs are cooked through.
6. Stir fry everything together: Add chicken back to the skillet, and then add noodles and the sauce. Stir fry until the noodles are soft and everything’s coated with the sauce. Sprinkle the chopped green onions and mix gently.
How Can I Make a Healthier Pad Woon Sen Recipe?
To make it healthier, here are some ideas:
- Swap the glass noodles with zucchini noodles
- Replace sugar with honey
- Sub avocado oil for vegetable oil
This recipe can also be made with other proteins or vegetables. You can also add different flavors to this dish:
- Different protein options: You can use pork, beef, shrimp, or tofu in this recipe.
- Different veggies: Other great options include bell pepper, mushroom, and bok choy, etc.
- Make it spicy: Simply add some chopped Thai Peppers or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Make it tangy: Add rice vinegar for a savory, sweet and tangy flavor.
Pad Woon Sen vs Pad Thai vs Pad See Ew
The major differences between these three Thai dishes are the kind of noodles and sauce.
Pad Woon Sen is not as popular as Pad Thai or Pad See Ew but is equally delicious. It’s made of smooth and silky glass noodles (also known as cellophane noodles or mung bean noodles) stir-fried with vegetables and proteins.
Pad Thai is a stir-fry dish made with rice noodles, vegetables, proteins, peanuts, scrambled eggs, and bean sprouts.
Pad See Ew is traditionally made with Sen Yai fresh rice noodles that are extra wide, thick, and flat.
Is Pad Woon Sen Gluten-Free?
The regular Pad Woon Sen is not gluten-free, but if you substitute with gluten-free fish sauce, and gluten-free soy sauce, you can make this dish gluten-free.
If You Like This Recipe Try These Out
If you tried this recipe, let me know how your Pad Woon Sen turns out in the comments below!
Pad Woon Sen Recipe (With Chicken)
- 6 oz glass noodles (dried)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 1 pound chicken breasts (boneless and skinless, and slice them into thin strips. You can also use chicken thighs, pork or other types of protein)
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/2 onion (medium-size, thinly sliced)
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
- 2 cups cabbage thinly sliced (you can also sub other vegetables)
- 1 medium tomato (seeds removed, and sliced into thin strips)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)
- 2 eggs whisked
- 2 green onions chopped
- Prepare the glass noodles: Soak the noodles in room temperature water according to package instructions. Then drain the noodles using a colander. Cut them into shorter pieces and toss with oil to prevent them from sticking.
- Make the sauce: While the noodles are soaking, mix together all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Stir fry the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and sauté until cooked through, about 6 minutes.
- Stir fry the veggies: Transfer the chicken to a plate, and add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add garlic, and sauté for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add onions, cabbage, tomato, carrots, and white pepper to the skillet and stir-fry for about 2-3 minutes.
- Cook the eggs: Move the vegetables to one side of the pan, and add the beaten eggs to the empty space in the pan. Scramble the eggs until the eggs are cooked through.
- Stir fry everything together: Add chicken back to the skillet, and then add noodles, and the sauce. Stir-fry until the noodles are soft and everything’s coated with the sauce. (Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary. Sprinkle the chopped green onions and mix gently. If your noodles are a little dry, you can also add some water, one tablespoon at a time. )