Longing for spicy noodles? Then you must make this Pad Mee recipe. It’s so quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious too!
Pad Mee originates from Korat in northeast Thailand. Unlike it’s popular cousin, Pad Thai, Pad Mee requires less ingredients, making it even easier to make.
But the less ingredients doesn’t mean it compromises on flavor. Oh no! Quite the opposite in fact. This Thai rice noodles recipe is so full of flavor and taste.
I can’t even stop my friends and family for going back for seconds or thirds!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
This recipe is super simple to make and only takes about 35 minutes to make.
I know you’ve heard me rave on about its flavor, but trust me when I say you will love this!
The sauce is the perfect balance of spicy, tangy, and sweet. This makes the Pad Mee to die for.
Cost To Make
Estimated cost = $4.75, or $1.18 a serve
Please note that below is a guide for some of the ingredients we used in the recipe. The printable recipe further down the page has the complete list of ingredients, including quantities and step-by-step instructions.
I have broken the ingredients into two parts: the sauce and other ingredients.
For the sauce:
- Vegetable oil
- Shaved palm sugar
- White sugar
- Minced garlic
- Small red onion, finely chopped (or thinly sliced)
- Soybean paste
- Fish sauce
- Tamarind concentrate (paste)
- Chilli powder (or to taste): Even though Pad Mee is a spicy dish, if you do not like too much spice, you can reduce the amount of chili powder you use.
- Water: If you find your sauce is a bit too thick, you can add a little bit more water to thin the sauce down.
For the other ingredients:
- Thin rice noodles: You can use Thai rice noodles (Thai vermicelli noodles) or even angel hair rice noodles.
- Vegetable oil, plus a teaspoon extra
- Cooked prawns, chopped into small pieces and lightly salted: You can substitute with tofu or mince such as pork.
- Eggs, lightly whisked
- Bean sprouts (shoots)
- Spring onions / green onions, finely sliced
- Lime wedges, to garnish
- Fresh Coriander (cilantro), to garnish
Here are detailed instructions on how to make pad mee.
Making the sauce
Step 1 - In a medium fry pan or wok on medium heat, place 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Once the oil is heated, add the palm sugar and white sugar and cook until it turns a light caramel color.
Step 2 - Add the minced garlic and finely chopped red onion and stir through the sugar. Cook for a few seconds or until the sugar has become a slightly darker color.
Step 3 - Then add the soybean paste, fish sauce and the tamarind paste. Stir through the mixture and allow the mixture to simmer for 1 minute.
Step 4 - Add the water and chilli powder. Stir through and then remove from the heat. Set aside for use later.
For the noodles
Step 5 - Soak the rice noodles in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes, or until just slightly firm in the centre. Drain the noodles and set aside.
If you use thick rice noodles, I found the pad mee turned out gluggy.
The same was when I used hot water instead of cold water to soak the thin rice noodles.
This is why I recommend to use thin rice noodles for this recipe. Be sure to soak the thin rice noodles in cold water.
Step 6 - In a large fry pan or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Place the prawns in the pan and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
Step 7 - Add the noodles and sauce mixture. Stir through until mixed well.
Step 8 - Move all the noodle mixture to one side of the pan. In the empty side of the pan, add the extra teaspoon of oil.
Pour the eggs and cook into a thin omelette. When the egg is nearly cooked, gently break it up and mix it through the noodles.
You will need to add the extra oil so that the egg does not stick to the pan or wok.
You must work a bit quickly here so that you do not burn the noodles when you are cooking the egg.
If you are worried about burning the noodles when you cook the egg, you can remove the noodles from the pan or work and then cook the egg.
Once the egg is cooked you can then add the noodles back into the pan or wok.
Step 9 - Add the bean sprouts and spring onions to the pan and mix through until combined.
Serve with some spring onion, a lime wedge, or garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro).
Tips for Success
- After you have soaked and drained the noodles, you can lightly toss them in oil to prevent them from sticking to each other. This will also make it easier for the noodles to mix through the sauce.
- To toss the noodles through the sauce I found it easier to use both a spatula and tongs. I used the spatula to fold the ingredients together and the tongs to lift the noodles up and drop them down. This makes it easier to get a more even flavor through the noodles and have less clumpy noodles.
- If this dish seems too spicy for you, you can always reduce the amount of chilli.
Substitutions / Variations
If you would like to make this vegetarian, you can substitute the prawns for something such as tofu.
You can also add as much or as little chili to your preference.
Pad mee can be stored in the fridge for 2 to 3 days in an air tight container. After a few days, the noodles start to become dry and hard.
Pad Mee is usually spicier than Pad Thai. Pad Mee also doesn’t use some of the ingredients Pad Thai does, such as tofu, peanuts or radish.
No, Pad Mee is best eaten on the day it is made. If it is left for a few days, the sauce will absorb into the noodles making it go gluggy.
Of course you can! Instead of using the prawns, you could substitute a firm pressed tofu or a ground plant based meat. You can also remove the eggs. Fish sauce can also be removed, but you will need to adjust the seasoning with salt to taste.
Made this recipe? Let us know how it went in the comments below! We'd love to hear how it turned out.
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 20 grams (0.71 ounces) palm sugar shaved
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons soybean paste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder or to taste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 200 grams (7.01 ounces) thin rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus a teaspoon extra
- 200 grams (7.01 ounces) cooked prawns chopped into small pieces and lightly salted
- 2 eggs lightly whisked
- 100 grams (3.53 ounces) bean sprouts (shoots)
- 2 spring onions finely sliced
- lime wedges to garnish
- fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish
To make the sauce
- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the palm sugar and white sugar and cook until it turns a light caramel color.
- Add the minced garlic and onion. Stir through the sugar. Cook for a few seconds or until the sugar has become as lightly darker color.
- Add the soybean paste, fish sauce and the tamarind. Stir through the mixture.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for 1minute.
- Add the water and chilli powder. Stir through and then remove from the heat. Set aside.
For the noodles
- Soak the rice noodles in cold water for 5 to 10 minutes, or until just slightly firm in the centre. Drain the noodles and set aside.
- In a large fry pan or wok, heat 2tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium to high heat. Place the prawns in the pan and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the noodles and sauce mixture. Stir through until mixed well.
- Move all the noodle mixture to one side of the pan. In the empty side of the pan, add the extra teaspoon of oil. Pour the eggs and cook into a thin omelette. When the egg is nearly cooked, gently break it up and mix it through the noodles.
- Add the bean sprouts and spring onions to the pan and mix through until combined.
- Serve with some spring onion, a lime wedge, or garnish with fresh coriander (cilantro).