By the time The BF met me, he already spent years trying to perfect his pad see ew (pad si u, phat si-o, ผัดซีอิ๊ว, etc.) recipe. Lucky me! Well, actually, it’s evolved into something more like pad kee mao (“drunken noodles”), since we add basil and bell pepper. Whatever it is, it’s delicious! The way we make it, it’s also vegetarian (and vegan).
We basically use this recipe (Leela Punyaratabandhu, SheSimmers.com) but with the following adjustments:
- We use fried tofu cubes instead of meat. (They’re dry and fluffy, kind of marshmallow-like, and absorb the sauce perfectly.)
- We include thai basil (we throw a bunch in towards the end of the cooking process).
- We include red or green bell peppers (preferably red).
- Instead of oyster sauce, we use mushroom sauce*, and less than the recipe says (to avoid making the meal taste too fishy).
- We skip the egg. (I’m all for eggs but the BF is not.)
- It’s definitely good if it’s spicy (the She Simmers recipe strongly recommends pickled chilis with it), so we throw in some chopped up red thai chilis or (the lazier option) really hot pepper flakes (leftovers from my Caribbean red hot).
*Regarding using mushroom sauce in place of oyster sauce, you can see this helpful thread on the matter. Basically, it’s a well-accepted substitute for people who can’t or prefer not to eat something shellfish-derived, but it can be tricky to find (in terms of what it’s called). Sometimes it’s just called “vegetarian oyster sauce” but other times it’s called various things with “mushroom” in the name.
Photo taken September 2015.