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Glass Noodle Stir Fry | Pad Woonsen | ผัดวุ้นเส้น

The last time my parents-in-law came to visit, they brought us massive quantities of woonsen (known as bean thread or glass thread noodles).  So many, in fact, that they overflow from the “noodle” basket to take up the majority of our pantry.  After living with this abundance of woonsen noodles for a few months, I decided it was time to regain my pantry space.  First up, this glass noodle stir fry known as pad woonsen.

Standard pad woonsen recipes call for glass noodles stir fried with a protein of your choice, egg, and vegetables (cabbage, tomatoes, carrots, onion, green onions) with soy sauce and white pepper seasonings.  My father-in-law makes his pad woonsen sans tomatoes and cabbage, but with the addition of pickled garlic.  We love this twist on the traditional pad woonsen.

Pickled garlic adds a subtle sour flavor which plays nicely against the inherent sweetness of the carrots and onion.  And in addition to soy sauce, I like to use oyster sauce and a little fish sauce for a multi-dimensional salty flavor.  I also tend to omit the white pepper for my toddler, but hubby usually adds some form of spice (whether white pepper or nam pla prik) back to his final dish.

The result is a really delicious plate of Thai glass noodles.  We have been enjoying this version of pad woonsen at least once a week recently.  Perhaps soon we’ll venture out and make some other dishes with woonsen, like yum woonsen, suki haeng, goong ob woonsen, or even pad see ew or pad Thai made with woonsen noodles.

For now, though, I’m just happy that we’re starting to make some headway on our pantry space issue!

Glass Noodle Stir Fry | Pad Woonsen | ผัดวุ้นเส้น

Makes 3 servings

Glass Noodle Stir Fry | Pad Woonsen | ผัดวุ้นเส้น



  1. Start by soaking the woonsen noodles in a bowl of warm water for approximately 10 minutes. This can be done while you prepare the other ingredients. Once the noodles are soft, cut the strands in half with scissors.
  2. Chop the garlic finely, and slice the pickled garlic cloves thinly. Cut the onion into thin slices, and the green onion into 2" lengths. Slice the carrots thinly into 2" matchsticks, and the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Add approximately 1 Tablespoon of cooking oil to a wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and pickled garlic and stir fry until they are golden brown.
  4. Next add the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce and allow to cook until the chicken is almost cooked through. Then push the chicken to the side, and crack the eggs in the middle of the wok. Allow to cook halfway, then incorporate the chicken and scramble together.
  5. Add the onion and carrot slices and allow to cook until slightly tender. You may add a few tablespoons of water as needed to allow for faster cooking.
  6. Then add the soft woonsen noodles and the remaining sauces. Stir fry until everything is mixed together, the sauces are spread throughout the noodles, and all ingredients are cooked through. Taste and adjust any seasonings as necessary. I often add 2 dashes of dark soy sauce at the end.
  7. Finally, add the green onions and stir fry for 30 seconds more. Plate and enjoy!

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