Phat Si Ew (Stir-Fried Rice Noodles with Pork, Chinese Broccoli, and Soy Sauce)

October 25, 2013
4 Ratings
Photo by Austin Bush
  • Serves 1 as a one-plate meal (to make more, double or quadruple the ingredients, but cook each batch separately)
Author Notes

• A Thai granite mortar and pestle
• A wok and wok spatula

A NOTE ON CHINESE BROCCOLI: The ideal Chinese broccoli for Phat Si Ew is the young, thin-stemmed kind that’s sometimes called gai lan miew (essentially, “little Chinese broccoli”) or gai lan “tips” and occasionally labeled choy sum. (The term choy sum essentially means “small shoots” and is used to refer to many different vegetables in their young state.) —JJ Goode

What You'll Need
  • For the pork
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small garlic clove, peeled and lightly crushed into small pieces in a mortar
  • scant 4 ounces boneless pork loin or lean shoulder, thinly sliced against the grain into bite-size (approximately 1/8-inch thick) strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon Thai fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • For the noodles
  • 6 ounces fresh wide (about 1 1/2-inch), flat rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon Thai thin soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Thai black soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • small pinches ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, Naam Man Krathiem (fried garlic oil), or Naam Man Hom Daeng (fried shallot oil)
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 11 grams peeled garlic cloves, halved lengthwise and lightly crushed into small pieces in a mortar (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 ounces baby Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed to 1 or 2 inches and clusters separated, or regular Chinese broccoli, leaves coarsely chopped and stems thinly sliced
  1. Cook the pork: Heat a wok over very high heat, add the oil, and swirl it in the wok to coat the sides. When it begins to smoke lightly, add the garlic, take the wok off the heat, and let the garlic sizzle, stirring often, until it’s fragrant but not colored, about 15 seconds. Put the wok back on the heat, add the pork, and stir well. Then add the fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients) until the pork is just cooked through, about 1 minute. Transfer the pork to a bowl. You can cover and refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
  2. Prepare the noodles: Carefully separate the noodles. Unless you’ve found freshly made noodles, either microwave them briefly or briefly dunk them in boiling water (for a few seconds) just until they’re pliable enough to separate without crumbling. Drain them well before proceeding.
  3. Stiry-fry and serve the dish: Combine the thin and black soy sauces, sugar, and pepper in a small bowl and stir well. Wipe out the wok, if necessary, then heat it over very high heat, add the garlic oil, and swirl it in the wok to coat the sides. When the oil begins to smoke lightly, crack in the egg. It should spit and sizzle violently and the whites should bubble and puff. Cook without messing with it until the egg turns light golden brown at the edges, about 30 seconds. Flip the egg (it’s fine if the yolk breaks), then push it to one side of the wok (up the wall of the wok is fine).
  4. Add the noodles and cook for 15 seconds or so, prodding and stirring them lightly them so they spread out a bit and don’t clump together. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds or so, stirring to mix and to break up the noodles and egg slightly. Add the Chinese broccoli and stir-fry (constantly stirring, scooping, and flipping the ingredients) until the leaves just begin to wilt, about 15 seconds.
  5. Add the pork, then the soy sauce mixture (add a splash of water, if necessary, to make sure nothing’s left behind in the bowl), and stir-fry, letting the egg break up as you do, until the pork is heated through and the noodles have had a chance to absorb the liquids, about 1 minute. Transfer it to a plate and eat it right away.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ashley Marie
    Ashley Marie
  • Matilda Luk
    Matilda Luk
  • JJ Goode
    JJ Goode
  • JohnL
I help chefs write cookbooks! I’ve co-authored several, including Pok Pok: Food and Stories from the Streets, Homes, and Roadside Restaurants of Thailand (Ten Speed) with Andy Ricker, A Girl and Her Pig (Ecco) with April Bloomfield, and Truly Mexican and Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales (Wiley) with Roberto Santibanez.

6 Reviews

JohnL August 13, 2015
I have made these noodles, its fairly easy. It's a simple batter that you pour into an oiled pan and then its steamed. Continue until batter is all used up. Funny story, there is a place in Washington DC that probably supplies the entire DC area with rice noodles. I used to go there just for the noodles when they weren't really available in other stores. I went into a back area looking for the restroom and there was an area with what looked like hundreds of boxes of Swansdown cake flour. The secret was out. In the recipe I tried, cake flour was mentioned as a substitute for rice flour.
Ashley M. February 19, 2014
You inspired my dinner last night with this recipe! I didn't have all the ingredients (or the time) but I came up with something VERY yummy and shared it on my blog!
Matilda L. November 6, 2013
I always thought "choy sum" referred to the tender "heart" or center of a leafy vegetable that's left after the outer leaves are stripped away.
JJ G. November 6, 2013
Thank you for this comment, Matilda! It's funny, the phrase does literally mean "vegetable heart," and seems to refer to a specific vegetable in theory though not in practice, if the Chinese markets in New York are any indication. And since we had limited space to explain, we decided to leave out the literal translation and go with the somewhat evasive "essentially means." That way we could talk about what the label tends to signify in the market rather than explore the actual definition, which is quite confusing. As far as I can tell, actual choy sum isn't necessarily the heart of the vegetable (at least not in the "artichoke heart" sense), even though the word "heart" is in the title. We struggled with how we could indicate this without claiming that choy sum meant small Chinese broccoli, which is doesn't. It's also funny that we Americans seem to translate some names of vegetables (gai lan=Chinese broccoli) but not others, like bok choy, whose translation would be the awkward, unhelpful, and unappetizing "white vegetable." Mmmm? :)
amyeik November 6, 2013
Thank you for this recipe. I love Pok Pok and that place makes my Portland experience complete every time. I have a general question: How difficult is it to DIY your own rice noodles as compared to flour? Is there a way to bring the fresh Asian noodles to the market in the same way Italian have been? I always think about this when something requires purchasing...not because I am a cooking masochist, but I am just curious how easily this technique can be revived>

JJ G. November 7, 2013
That's a great question! If anything, making them yourself would remind you that the folks we buy the noodles from are doing us a tremendous service and that they're selling noodles for a bargain price. Plus if you don't have someone selling fresh noodles in your city it'd be incredible to be able to make your own. In Charles Phan's cookbook he gives a recipe for fresh Vietnamese bun. I wonder if he also gives a recipe for these wide rice noodles? I assume they're made from a rice flour batter that's steamed in a thin layer then peeled from the pan. Has anyone tried to make them at home? Has anyone seen a really good recipe?