Pad See Ew is a Thai stir-fry noodle dish that is a Thai street food dish that has made its way into the menu of every Thai restaurant. With its deliciously chewy noodles with a sweet and salty sauce and creamy egg that is often mixed in, it’s super addicting and easy to put together, making it the ultimate comfort lunch dish. While pad see ew is definitely delicious, is pad see ew healthy?
Pad see ew is a very healthy dish given that it is a very well-rounded macro dish that predominantly consists of proteins from the meat and egg and carbs from the noodles. An average serving of Pad See Ew can be up to 430 calories with 32 grams of protein, 15 grams of fat, and 52 grams of carbs.
The key to making this dish low-calorie and macro-friendly is to pick and portion the right proteins and portion the carbs mindfully.
💡 What Is Pad See Ew?
To understand the calorie and nutrition content of pad see ew, it’s useful to look at the core ingredients that make up the dish. Pad See Ew is made of four main components: protein, vegetables, stir fry sauce, and noodles.
- Protein – Pad see ew is often served with chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp, and other seafood. It also often has an egg mixed in, complementing the umami flavor of the stir-fry sauce. If your goal is to keep the calorie count low, using a lean protein such as boneless skinless chicken thigh or chicken breast is ideal.
- Stir Fry Sauce – The sauce consists of a mixture of dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, and vinegar. The sugar and vinegar balance out the saltiness, creating the perfect balance of flavors.
- Vegetables –Pad see ew often has a medley of vegetables mixed in including but not limited to onions, garlic, and greens. None will add a significant amount of calories to the dish.
- Noodles – The rice noodles are a vital part of this dish and carbs are a necessary part of a well-rounded diet. However, it's important to portion the noodles mindfully as carbs can easily add up calorie-wise if not portioned correctly, hindering progress towards your fitness goals.
Looking at each component, it’s easy to see that Pad See Ew can easily be made to be a high-calorie and high-fat dish if the protein and noodles are not chosen or portioned correctly, making it less than ideal for weight loss.
However, it’s not hard to make a version of the dish that is low-calorie and macro-conscious — this recipe will show you some tweaks that will make pad see ew easy to fit into your daily calorie intake.
If you liked this recipe, check out the following:
- Healthy Pad Kee Mao recipe – Also known as drunken noodles, another Thai stir-fried noodle dish with Thai basil and extra spice
- Healthy Pad Thai recipe – A healthier pad thai recipe
- Healthy Thai Food – A collection of my favorite healthy Thai dishes made with fewer calories
🍎 Calories and Nutrition – How To Make It Healthy
In this recipe, I use a heavier ratio of protein to make this a more macro-friendly and calorie-conscious dish. Here are some key tweaks I made:
- Used 1 serving of rice noodles (about 50 grams) at 180 calories
- Portioned 4oz boneless, skinless chicken thigh for a lean protein source
- Added an egg for additional protein and deliciousness
- Carefully portioned the pad see ew sauce ingredients using the measurements below
- Used cooking spray instead of oil, resulting in significantly fewer calories from fat. One tablespoon of oil is up to 120 calories.
For a detailed breakdown of each ingredient, their portioning, and how they make up the nutrition profile of this low-calorie pad see ew recipe, you may refer to the table below:
|Pad See Ew||Ingredient||Quantity||Calories||Protein (g)||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)|
|Chicken Thigh||4 oz||130||22||10||0|
|Dark Soy Sauce||0.3 tbsp||8.3||0||0||1.7|
|Soy sauce||0.3 tbsp||2.5||0.3||0.3||0|
|White vinegar||0.25 tbsp||0||0||0||0|
|Oyster Sauce||0.3 tbsp||6.6||0||0||1.7|
|Rice Stick Noodle||50 g||181.8||2.7||0||41.8|
📋 Ingredient Notes
Some of the typical ingredients of pad see ew include the following.
Pad See Ew Sauce Ingredients
- Dark Soy Sauce – Essential for the sweet and savory flavor of pad see ew. It's similar to light soy sauce, but has a sweeter and richer taste. You can get this at most Asian grocery stores or online.
- Oyster Sauce – Another important ingredient for this dish. You can find it at most major grocery stores. You can also substitute it for more dark soy sauce in a pinch.
- Soy Sauce – Adds a touch of additional saltiness to the dish.
- Brown Sugar – I added only 1 teaspoon at only 15 calories, which helps balance out the sweetness. You can omit it if you’d prefer but a little sugar goes a long way in balancing out the dish without adding calories.
- Vinegar – White vinegar or rice vinegar would both work. This balances out the flavors in the dish.
Noodles and Stir Fry
- Rice Noodles – This dish is often cooked with wider rice noodles. You can buy rice noodles at your local Asian grocery store, online, or even at some major grocery stores like Safeway and Whole Foods.
- Chicken Thigh – I prefer to use skinless boneless chicken thigh since it’s much juicier and still a great source of lean protein. You can also use chicken breast for another healthy option.
- Vegetables – I used garlic, onion, and spinach. You can use Chinese broccoli, carrots, corn, or any vegetable you desire.
- Egg – Gives this dish a great texture and additional protein
- Garnishes – Cucumber, bean sprouts, and chili powder are great to garnish the dish with.
🔪 Step by Step Instructions
Cook the noodles – Begin by cooking the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package and set them aside.
Make the sauce – Gather all the ingredients for the pad see ew sauce and stir together in a small bowl.
Prep the veggies – Prepare the vegetables by mincing the garlic and onion and washing the spinach.
Prep the chicken – Cut the chicken thigh into small, bite-sized pieces, removing any excess fat in the process. Weigh it to ensure you have 4 ounces (or your preferred amount) of chicken after removing the excess fat. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook the chicken and veggies – Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium-high heat to sauté the vegetables. Begin to add in the chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side while stirring the vegetables around constantly to avoid overcooking and burning anything.
Mix together – Once the chicken looks about done and the vegetables have softened, add in the cooked rice noodles and the pad see ew stir fry sauce. Mix everything together thoroughly.
Add an egg – Move the mixture to one side and crack in an egg on the other side. Wait for the egg to begin to solidify, then break the egg and mix it in with the noodles thoroughly.
Garnish and serve – Remove from the pan, top with chili powder and any other preferred garnishes, and enjoy your delicious healthy chicken pad see ew
📖 Substitutions and Variations
Shrimp pad see ew – Shrimp is a great lean protein to cook this dish with.
Tofu pad see ew – Great option for vegetarians.
Use chicken breast – For another lean chicken option
Use Chinese broccoli (gai lan) or bok choy – These are also popular vegetables to stir fry the dish with.
Use fresh rice noodles – You can find them at your local Asian grocery store
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
The main difference is in the stir fry sauce and the garnishes. Pad see ew's sauce is heavier than the soy sauce and has an overall sweeter flavor. Pad Thai has more of a slightly sour savory taste with its usage of fish sauce and tamarind. Pad see ew noodles tend to be wide flat rice noodles while pad thai uses thinner ones.
Pad Thai can be slightly higher in calories due to the usage of high-calorie peanuts as a garnish, but you can easily omit them.
Otherwise, from a macros and calories point of view, Pad See Ew and Pad Thai are actually pretty similar, so it's a matter of your personal preference of whether you prefer something milder (Pad Thai) vs. something with a more sweet and salty taste (Pad See Ew).
To learn more about the nutrition content of Pad Thai, check out my healthy Pad Thai recipe.
Rice noodles are not unhealthy - 1 serving of them runs at about 180 calories so as long as they are portioned right, they can be a great carbohydrate to incorporate into your diet. You can buy rice noodles at your local Asian grocery store, although I've even begun to see them at most major grocery chains.
Pad see ew can last in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. To reheat, microwave for about 1 minute or reheat on the stove.
Healthy Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Oyster Sauce
- 1 teaspoon White Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
Noodles and Stir Fry
- 50 g Rice Stick Noodles (Dry)
- 1 clove Garlic
- ¼ Shallot
- Spinach Leaves (Small handful)
- 1 Egg
- Chili Flakes
- Cook the noodles – Begin by cooking the rice noodles according to the instructions on the package and set them aside.
- Make the sauce – Gather all the ingredients for the pad see ew sauce and stir together in a small bowl.
- Prep the veggies – Prepare the vegetables by mincing the garlic and onion and washing the spinach.
- Prep the chicken – Cut the chicken thigh into small, bite-sized pieces, removing any excess fat in the process. Weigh it to ensure you have 4 ounces (or your preferred amount) of chicken after removing the excess fat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken and veggies – Spray a skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium-high heat to sauté the vegetables. Begin to add in the chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side while stirring the vegetables around constantly to avoid overcooking and burning anything.
- Mix together – Once the chicken looks about done and the vegetables have softened, add in the cooked rice noodles and the pad see ew stir fry sauce. Mix everything together thoroughly.
- Add an egg – Move the mixture to one side and crack in an egg on the other side. Wait for the egg to begin to solidify, then break the egg and mix it in with the noodles thoroughly.
- Garnish and serve – Remove from the pan, top with chili powder and any other preferred garnishes, and enjoy your delicious healthy chicken pad see ew