Thai Beef Chow Fun...Pad Kee Mow

Thai Beef Chow Fun…Pad Kee Mow


Hearty Fall Cookery


Beef Chow Fun aka:  Gon Chow Ngau Ho (Cantonese), Gan Chow New He (Mandarin)

 Pad Kee Mow (Thai)

You’ve got it! This Cantonese dish has gone global although a long wide rice noodle known as fun, he fen, ho fen, or pad, is the defining ingredient no matter where you choose to chow down on this delectable Asian noodle stir fry.

 I’m going for the Thai version here… of course… as I live in Thailand, and that means it’s going to be…

HOT, Fragrant, and Pungent!

Pad Kee Mow:  Serves 3 to 4


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil 
  • 1 tablespoon  microplaned (finely grated) fresh garlic  
  • 4 teaspoons  microplaned fresh ginger  
  • 1 inch piece galangal, peeled and sliced into 4 discs (if available)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons oyster sauce 
  • 2 tablespoons shao xing (Chinese rice wine)  
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (nam Pla)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • 2 teaspoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 oz(200g) beef fillet, thinly sliced across the grain

Combine the marinade ingredients; peanut oil, garlic, ginger, galangal, soy sauce, oyster sauce, shao xing rice wine, fish sauce (nam Pla), sesame oil, palm sugar, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Add the sliced beef and immerse it into the marinade and set aside for 1 to 2 hours at room temperature.

Stir -fry:

Thai Beef Chow Fun...Pad Kee Mow

Thai Beef Chow Fun…Pad Kee Mow

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil for searing the beef
  • 3/4 cup thinly sliced mushrooms (optional)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 1-2 long red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced and cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1-2 bird’s eye chilies, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh green peppercorns (or Szechuan peppercorns)
  • 2 cups pre-steamed young kale leaves, ribs removed and sliced across the leaves
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
  • 1/2  cup stock (or water)
  • 8-10 oz fresh chow fun noodles
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (optional)
  • yellow chives (or green onions), sliced
  • Thai red chi lie flakes
  • Prepare and assemble all the stir-fry ingredients and arrange them in addition groups near the stove. Stir-frying happens very quickly so there is no time for distractions once you start cooking!
  • A word about wok cooking: As you probably know special double ringed gas burners are used for woks in traditional Asian cooking. They are fiercely hot and it is nearly impossible to attain this kind of heat in the home kitchen. An outdoor grill may come close, but otherwise heat the wok on your stove top until it is blistering hot before adding the oil, which will smoke almost immediately. Toss in the meat to be seared and work it all around the sides of the wok as well as the bottom. This will sear the meat quickly which is the objective of wok cooking like the pros do it in your local Asian restaurant.

Remove the beef from the marinade and shake off excess marinade. Reserve the marinade to add to the stir-fry later.

Heat the wok over the highest heat possible and when blistering hot add the peanut oil. Once the oil smokes, almost immediately, add the beef and stir-fry, tossing the beef as described above, to sear it quickly, about 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms (optional), shallots, red chilies, and bird’s eye chilies. Stir-fry, tossing the ingredients until they soften, about 1 minute.  Add the reserved marinade (including the galangal) and toss until the marinade thickens slightly. Add the green pepper corns, pre-steamed kale leaves, and basil and continue stir-frying for about 2 minutes.  Add the stock and throw in the chow fun noodles, tossing briskly to ensure the noodles separate and combine with the other ingredients, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Taste and add additional oyster sauce if needed.

Remove from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over the stir fry and toss.

Serving: Remove the galangal if you can find it, otherwise don’t bother. Galangal tends to be quite hard and not meant to be eaten, but whoever finds it in their stir-fry will be delightfully surprised with the intense flavor it imparts. Scatter yellow chives or green onions over the chow Fun, a lime wedge (optional) on the side, and a must have in Thailand, Thai red chili flakes for ramping up the heat!!!


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