You can make restaurant-quality phat si ew at home in less than 30 minutes. Here’s how

Olga Massov

THE WASHINGTON POST – When we think of phat si ew, we probably conjure up a stir-fry made with broad rice noodles. But when Andy Ricker, chef-owner of Pok Pok restaurants and cookbook author, showed us how to make phat si ew with thin, delicate glass noodles (wun sen), we couldn’t get enough. The familiar flavours of the takeout favourite pair beautifully with the translucent threads. Here at The Washington Post, when we like something, we try to crack the code to make it easier for home cooks to master.

To simplify the multi-step phat si ew sauce, we omitted the simple syrup and instead dissolve the sugar in the soy sauces and add a splash of water. While you’ll have plenty of additional sauce left, keep in mind it will store for six months, so next time you’re hankering for this stir-fry, your sauce will be ready. Or you could use the sauce on other types of noodles and vegetables.

In the end, the preparation for the recipe took about 20 minutes, while active cooking took about five minutes. When making a stir-fry, it is imperative to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go, but I also find it useful to line them up in order of use.

Stir-Fried Glass Noodles With Chinese Broccoli. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST.


25 minutes

Two to three servings

Storage: Leftover stir-fry can be refrigerated for up to three days.

Make ahead: This recipe makes more phat si ew sauce than you’ll need for the dish. The leftover sauce can be refrigerated for up to six months.


For the sauce

1/2 cup Thai thin soy sauce

Three tablespoons Thai black soy sauce (or dark soy sauce)

1/3 cup water

Two tablespoons granulated sugar, or more as needed

For the stir-fry

Five ounces dried glass noodles

Two tablespoons canola oil or another neutral oil, divided

Two small cloves garlic, crushed in a mortar or finely grated

Eight ounces meat or lean shoulder, thinly sliced against the grain and cut into bite-size pieces

One tablespoon fish sauce

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

Two large eggs, at room temperature

Four ounces young Chinese broccoli, stems trimmed by two inches and clusters separated,

1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper


Make the sauce: In a one-cup glass jar with a lid, combine the soy sauces, water and sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. You’ll wind up with about one cup. Reserve 1/4 cup for the noodles and refrigerate the rest.

Make the stir-fry: In a medium bowl, combine the noodles with enough warm-to-hot water to cover by one inch. Let soak until very pliable, about eight minutes. Drain well, then snip the noodles into four- to six-inch lengths and set aside.

While the noodles soak, set a wok (preferably flat-bottomed) over very high heat and heat until it begins to smoke lightly. Add one tablespoons of the oil and swirl the wok to coat the sides. Add the garlic and cook, shaking the wok, for just five to 10 seconds, so the garlic is fragrant but not coloured.

Add the meat and return the wok to the heat; stir well. Add the fish sauce and sugar and stir-fry, constantly stirring, scooping and tossing the ingredients until the beef is just cooked through, about one minute. Transfer the beef to a small bowl.

If necessary, wipe out the wok and return it to the very high heat. When it starts to smoke lightly add the remaining oil and swirl the wok to coat the sides. Crack in the eggs; they will spit and sizzle loudly, and the whites will bubble and puff.

Cook, without moving, until the edges turn light golden brown, about 30 seconds. Using a fish spatula, quickly but gently flip the eggs over, break them up slightly and push them to the side.

Add the Chinese broccoli or broccolini, noodles, cooked beef and pepper. Cook, without stirring, for 10 seconds, then stir-fry, breaking up the egg a bit more as you go, until the noodles and broccoli leaves have slightly wilted, about 30 seconds. Add the 1/4 cup reserved phat si ew sauce and stir-fry until the sauce is fully absorbed, the noodles are cooked and the flavors meld, one to two minutes.

Divide the stir-fry between two plates and serve.


(Based on three servings)

Calories: 370; Total Fat: 18g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 190mg; Sodium: 1500mg; Carbohydrates: 30g; Dietary Fibre: 1g; Sugars: 7g; Protein: 21g.