Thai fried egg_basil pork

Thai fried egg: what it is and how to make one

You are most likely familiar with sunny side up, over easy, medium and hard. But have you tried Asian fried egg? Thai fried egg in particular is crispy and it enhances the flavour and texture of many Thai dishes! Having said that, you should find out more about this type of fried egg and what makes it unique with us!

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What is Thai fried egg?

Thai fried egg or Kai Dao refers to a way that egg is commonly fried in Thailand. However, keep in mind that it does not mean fried egg made from Thai chicken or eggs. Instead, what sets this Thai style fried egg apart is the way to cook it such that the egg white becomes crispy while egg yolk is still runny (or completely cooked if that’s your preference).

While Thais often serve this egg alongside other Thai dishes, you can eat it alone with white rice as well. However, normally we will add a simple sauce made from fish sauce, chili, and sometimes lime to the dish for some extra taste.

Thai fried egg_chili

How to make Thai style crispy fried egg

There are a few simple tricks to achieve the crispiness of Thai fried egg while keeping the egg yolk runny.

The heat: To achieve the ultimate crispiness, you will need high heat. Hence, cooking with a stove/gas would be easier than an induction cooker

The pan: Curved pan (commonly used in Asia) or we call it “wok”

The oil: Generous amount of oil to ensure that it can cover all of the egg white

The cooking method: First, heat the oil with a big fire then reduce to medium right before you add the egg. Second, add the egg into the center of the curved pan to ensure that the egg white is surrounded by oil. Then, use a spatula or wok turner to scoop up oil from the side to pour it over the egg yolk until it suits your liking (runny or over medium). This will produce crispy egg white with runny egg yolk in the middle!

Thai style crispy fried egg

What dishes go well with this egg?

We would not call Thai fried egg a dish, however, this egg makes many other Thai dishes a lot better. In fact, many restaurants in Thailand offer this egg as part of the dish. Otherwise, you can pay an extra THB10 – THB15 for it.

  • Kra pao: Kra pao or Thai basil stir-fried is one of the staple dishes in Thailand. The dish however is not complete without Thai fried egg! Or better yet 2 of them
  • Thai green curry: Thai green curry is delicious with rice or Ka Nom Jeen noodles. However, whether you like rice or noodles, the green curry will taste better with a fried egg! (boiled egg also works as an alternative)
  • Pad Kee Mao: Pad Kee Mao tastes great on its own, however adding a fried egg can make it even better!
  • Garlic pork: Stir fried pork with a lot of garlic and soy sauce and white pepper also goes really well with fried egg or Thai chili sauce
  • Fried rice: Thai fried egg and chili fish sauce add taste and texture variation to fried rice on top of bringing more nutrition. Check out simple fish sauce recipe here
Thai fried egg_basil pork

Is Thai style crispy fried egg different from Thai omelette?

If you have heard of Thai omelette with crab, it is different from Thai style crispy fried egg. Similar to their Western counterparts, fried egg and omelette are different things. We will be covering Thai omelette in a different article.

How much do we enjoy this egg and why?

We especially love this egg when it comes with other dishes, especially Kra Pow rice. This is because the egg really adds texture to the food, especially the crispy edges of the Thai fried egg. Moreover, if you have runny yolk, it will add moisture to the dish. We do not know about you, but we do not like our dish to be too dry sometimes. In conclusion, go ahead and try Thai fried egg and see whether you like it as much as we do!

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lard na_soup noodle

Lard Na (aka Rad Na): Thai noodle with thick soup

Have you ever seen noodles with sticky soup while in Thailand or when you are in a Thai restaurant? The dish you just saw is called Lard Na and it is quite delicious! Previously we have talked about other Thai noodles including Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mao, and Pad See Ew and their comparisons as well. Learn more about this noodle, its variation, taste and what makes the soup sticky here!

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What is this dish about?

Lard Na is a Thai dish that originates from Chinese cuisine. Based on its name, Lard Na directly translates to “Lard” = Pour, “Na” = surface or topping. The dish derived its name from how this types of noodles are prepared and served. First place your noodles in a bowl, then pour the hot soup which also contains protein/vegetables before serving, hence the name Lard Na. If you had lived in Malaysia and Singapore before, you will also see some similarities between this noodle and Hor Fun.

lard na_lard na soup

Lard Na soup: what makes the soup sticky?

This dish’s unique feature is its sticky soup base, but what makes the soup sticky? This noodle commonly uses pork stock soup as the base. You can then mix the stock with corn starch for the sticky texture. To enhance the flavor, Thais often add to the soup a bit of sugar, white pepper, light soy sauce, and fermented soybean sauce.

Lard Na noodles

You can use many types of noodles in this dish. Thais usually use large rice noodles as Lard Na noodles. However, the most special noodle type for this dish would be the crispy egg noodles. Lard Na with crispy egg noodles makes use of fried round/flat egg noodles to add extra texture and crunchiness to the dish (which is very yummy!). Apart from that, you may find other noodle variations such as vermicelli or even instant noodle!


lard na_ingredients

From our coverage on Pad Thai, Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew, you should know by now that Thai noodles are flexible when it comes to ingredients. The same also applies to this noodle. Nonetheless, we will go through the common ingredients below.

Noodles: You have a broad choice of noodles ranging from crispy noodles to vermicelli or big rice noodles. You can mix and cook the rice noodles with dark soy sauce first before being served

Soup: As mentioned in the above section, you can create the soup/gravy using soup stock, corn starch and a bit of sugar, white pepper, light soy sauce, and fermented soybean sauce

Protein: Specially prepared Pork is the most common choice for this dish. Slice the pork and mix them with corn starch, baking soda, oyster sauce, pepper, and egg for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This is to give the pork taste and tender texture. However, apart from pork, you can also find other meat options like chicken and seafood as well

Vegetables: The most common vegetables used in Lard Na are young kale and baby corns. However some shops also add other vegetables like carrot, asparagus or mushroom

Do not forget about seasoning

While Lard Na is a Chinese cuisine-influenced dish, it cannot escape Thai’s love for seasoning. Thais typically serve this dish with chili, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and white pepper on the side (or at least chili and vinegar). We personally love adding spicy and sour taste to our noodle!

Should you try Lard Na in Thailand?

If you like noodles with thick soup / gravy, this noodle might be right up your alley. You should try this noodle while in Thailand because there is a difference between this and the Chinese-style thick gravy noodle. Also, with the different kinds of seasoning typical of Thai dishes, you will have a unique experience with this dish. 

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is marijuana legal in Thailand_cannabis salad

Is marijuana legal in Thailand? 2022 update and outlook

Is Marijuana legal in Thailand? Understand Thailand cannabis legalization process

There has been news about Thailand legalizing marijuana. You might also have seen photos of food and beverage businesses incorporating cannabis in their menu. Many of our readers have raised a lot of questions along the line “Is marijuana legal in Thailand?”. This is not an uncommon observation especially after Thailand initiated its push to legalize cannabis in 2019 – and there has been a lot of market movements until 2021. 

Now in 2022, Thailand is starting to release details on the requirement and process which will allow households to grow cannabis/marijuana at home. Learn more about latest trends with us in this article!

Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019) which allows the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes. 

However, this does not mean anyone can freely grow, have in possession, consume or distribute cannabis. Understand restrictions and allowed usage according to the most updated Thailand drug law below.

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Understanding Thailand drug laws

The Narcotics Act of B.E. 2522 identified marijuana as a category 5 illegal substance. Category 5 includes cannabis, hemp, psychoactive mushrooms, krathom, among other things. Possession of category 5 illegal substances can lead to imprisonment or fine of up to THB 1.5m (~USD 50,000). However, with the Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 effective on February 19th 2019, the use of cannabis for medical and research purposes is now legal. 

Footage from SCMP on 360 Cannabis Expo, Thailand.

Is Marijuana legal in Thailand then?

The short answer is NOT YET, to a larger extent. This is because recreational usage of cannabis is still illegal. Moreover, people can only use cannabis leaves and roots for cooking.

Can anyone cultivate cannabis? Only licensed medical professionals, state-registered agricultural community programs and government agencies can cultivate and possess cannabis. 

The state-registered agricultural community program allows households to grow up to 6 cannabis plants each – with intended medical usage.

In order to consume cannabis, you will need a prescription obtainable only from a FDA-licensed physician. However, locally produced CBD extracts (with less than 0.2% THC or tetrahydrocannabinol, which is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis) are exempted. People can use these extracts for medical and herbal usage.

2022 cannabis legalization update

In 2022, the Ministry of Public Health is pushing for legalization of all cannabis parts. And this is seen as the last remaining hurdle for the full use and commercialization of cannabis. Previously, Thailand removed stems, roots, leaves and sprigs of cannabis from its Category 5 narcotics list, but kept flowers and buds on it. Under the new Narcotics Code, cannabis and hemp are no longer on the list.

However, one form of cannabis will remain in the list i.e. cannabidiol (CBD) extracts with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of more than 0.2%. This is not to worry the general public because most commercial use of CBD (in soap, cosmetics, supplements, etc.) has <0.2% of THC. This level of THC is deemed dangerous according to the WHO.

January 2022

In January 2022, the government has announced a plan to remove cannabis from the drug list. This means they are allowing households in Thailand to grow cannabis at home after notifying the local government. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect. 

May 2022

In May 2022, the government announced a plan to allow households to register and grow cannabis at home. The plan is set to roll out in June. Interested households can register through a mobile application “Plook Ganja” without having to go through any approval.

June 2022

Now that we are in June 2022, the Thai government has legalized cannabis for cultivation and commerce. Marijuana and hemp were legally removed from the narcotics list effectively on June 9th, 2022. You still cannot smoke cannabis in public though. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay a penalty of 25,000 THB (or USD 780) or a jail sentence of up to 3 months. On the other hand, the legality of smoking cannabis at home or in private areas remains ambiguous. 

There is some recent news about the application for cannabis cultivation at home via the Plook Ganja app. The excitement of the Thai people registering for cannabis cultivation caused the app to crash. Keep in mind that to use the app to register you will need Thai ID number. 

Is marijuanna legal in Thailand_plook ganja

Thailand drug law on marijuana and its impact today

There are state-registered pilot programs for households that are growing cannabis plants. 

Restaurants in Thailand also can legally use some parts of cannabis into their cooking. For example, they can use the leaves and roots supplied by FDA certified producers in their cooking.

This development is rather new. So there is still some misalignment between the FDA and Ministry of Public Health on the usage of cannabis plants. 

Regardless, you can see cafes and restaurants started using CBD and certain parts of cannabis in their offerings. This is happening only at a small scale today, not that mainstream yet. Some examples are IS AM ARE, Kiew Kai Ka Cafe and GTG Cafe.

The current Narcotics Act (No. 7) B.E. 2562 (A.D. 2019) will be up for another review in 2023. So, there is hope that the usage of marijuana will be a lot more open in the future.

(We also have a post about safety in Thailand if you are starting to feel unsafe about a country that is legalizing drug.)

Cannabis in Thailand Food and Beverage scene today

What kind of Cannabis menu can you find in Thailand? 

Is Am Are restaurant incorporate Cannabis into multiple dishes like omelets, fried fish and salad.

At GTG cafe, they incorporate CBD into various drinks including ice milk tea. You can also get CBD cookies or croissants with CBD-infused butter.

Kiew Kai Ka Cafe serves Thai green curry with cannabis leaves and cannabis leaf salad. The salad has fried cannabis leaves served with Thai-style salad dressing (photo below).

is marijuanna legal in Thailand_spicy pork salad

Ordering cannabis infused snack online

Corona virus outbreak has made dinning out difficult in Thailand, hence many shops are now switching to sell items online. This trend has extended to cannabis and marijuana related F&B. We have tried a couple of cannabis infused snacks and beverages which we delivered on our door step!

Verdict on the question “Is marijuana legal in Thailand?

Based on the Thailand drug law, cultivation and possession of cannabis are still illegal except for medical/research usages. However, there are interests from both the public and FDA to legalize cannabis further in the future.

In 2021, we are starting to see more incorporation of CBD and certain parts of “certified” cannabis into the F&B sector – but that is pretty much all. Another update from 2022 is that government will proactively promote that almost all hospitals in Thailand now have cannabis clinics offering alternative medicine. They are also looking to putting approved medicines with cannabis extracts on the main drug list for the universal coverage scheme available to all people.

Keep a look out for more updates as both private and public sectors are making moves ahead of 2023 when the Thailand drug law is likely going to be revised again.

Check out other relevant posts about Thailand

Thailand legalize marijuana_plant

When will Thailand legalize marijuana for general usage?

In the past article, we have talked about Thailand’s marijuana laws and their limitations. There have been some developments in Thailand marijuana scene in the past few years. Some observations include more people growing marijuana in the country as well as marijuana-themed menus are introduced in some cafes and restaurants.

This article will look into the timeline, 2022 development, and prospects of Thailand legalizing marijuana.

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Timeline of Thailand's progress in legalizing marijuana

  • 1979: Thailand passed Narcotics Act AD 1979 to replace the original Narcotics Act AD 1922 and Marijuana Act AD 1943. Cannabis fell into the category of a type 5 Narcotics (i.e. illegal) 
  • 2019: Thailand passed the Narcotics Act (No. 7) in 2019 to allow the usage of cannabis for research and medical purposes
  • 2020: FDA announced that cannabis leaf, root, and CBD produced by certified sources are exempted from being part of type 5 Narcotics 
  • 2021: 100+ locations (government agencies and state-registered agricultural communities) have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA
  • 2021: Restaurants and cafes are incorporating certified parts of cannabis into their menus
  • 2022: January 2022 – the Thai government has annouced a plan to remove cannabis from its drug list. This move, once formalized, will allow households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use at home
  • 2022: May 2022 – the government has announced an update which is expected to take effect in June 2022. The update will allow households in Thailand to register to grow cannabis at home through Plook Ganja mobile application
  • 2023: Another amendment of the Narcotics Act might take place in 2023

Growing marijuana in Thailand

There are now more than 100 companies and state-registered agricultural communities that have registered to grow cannabis with the FDA throughout Thailand. Registered households can grow up to 6 cannabis plants while registered companies operate on a larger scale.

In this example, the company is growing almost 1,000 plants. The FDA keeps track of approved locations, and you can see that households and companies are growing cannabis throughout Thailand.

Thailand legalize marijuana_planting locations

The Thai government announced a new project in August 2021 to dedicate 10,000 rai (16 square kilometers) of land area for herb plantation development. The project however, also includes plantation of cannabis and hemp. This project will be developed in the Eastern Economic Corridor located in Chonburi, Rayong and Chasengsao (3 Eastern province in Thailand).

Furthermore, the Thai government has announced a plan to exclude cannabis from its drug list in 2021, allowing households to grow cannabis for non-commercial use. This change however, still needs to be published in the Royal Gazette, after which it will take another 120 days to come into effect.

Thailand legalizing marijuana for the F&B

The FDA is reporting over 5,000 patients who received cannabis as part of their medical treatment each month. However, the general population can only legally consume cannabis at restaurants and cafes that incorporate certified cannabis into their menu.

We are starting to see new cafés that specialize in cannabis and CBS menu like GTG Café. 

Most recently, COCA, a long-standing Thai restaurant brand (since 1957), also introduced a Cannabis menu under “Coca feel good”. In this menu, they incorporate cannabis into main dishes, soups, and desserts (reviews and photos in Thai).

Thailand legalize marijuana_Coca menu

Photo and review from Spoonwalk.

What’s the prospect of Thailand legalize marijuana for more usages?

The answer is we are still unclear on this. Thailand is still very strict and far away from countries like the Netherlands when it comes to marijuana law. There are, however, interests from both the private and public sectors on this.  It would be exciting to see the developments in the coming years ahead of, hopefully, another revision to the Narcotics Act in 2023.

Check out our other posts on Thailand:

Pad See Ew calories_featured

Pad See Ew Calories: How healthy is this dish?

We have covered many stir fried noodle variations in Thailand. Previously we make a comparison between two popular Thai stir fried noodles Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew. In this article, we will be breaking down Pad See Ew calories and how to make a lower calories version of this Thai noodles.

Pad See Ew calories

A serving of Pad See Ew has roughly between 500 to 900 calories depending on the serving portion. For our estimation, we use a recipe from Phol Food Mafia. Compared to other Thai stir-fried noodles like Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao, Pad See Ew have a relatively simple recipe and their calories for 1 to 2 servings can be found below.

  • Noodle: Large rice noodles 484 calories
  • Protein: Pork and egg 270 calories
  • Vegetables: Chinese Kale 30 calories
  • Sauce and seasoning: Dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and oil 135 calories

A combination of the above ingredients totals up to 900+ calories for 1-2 servings. Note that in Thailand, Pad See Ew is often served with a range of optional seasonings like sugar, chili, fish sauce, and fish sauce. So if you add any of these (especially sugar), the calorie count will go up as well!

Noodles calories in Pad See Ew

Pad See Ew noodles calories mostly come from carbs, or the noodle itself. This dish typically makes use of big rice noodles which has a relatively high-calorie count when compared to other noodles. Another popular noodle alternative for Pad See Ew is vermicelli which contains 150 calories / 100g as opposed to 220 calories / 100g. Making this switch can reduce Pad See Ew noodle’s calories from carbs by more than 40%.

Ways to reduce calories in this dish

Pad See Ew calories_vermicelli

If you are health conscious, you might want to cut down the Pad See Ew calories further. Similar to the alternatives that we offer to cut down Pad Thai calories or Pad Kee Mao calories, you can cut down Pad See Ew calories too.

You can simply opt-out from adding any other optional seasonings like sugar or fish sauce. Meat and egg are a must for Pad See Ew. However, you can choose to replace pork with leaner chicken in order to reduce calorie count!

Is Pad See Ew healthy?

Consuming anything in moderation is still considered healthy. Similarly, if you consume Pad See Ew in moderation you will be fine. However, keep in mind that this dish tends to be sweeter. In addition to the carbs (noodles) used in this dish, the sugar in seasonings can pose a risk to those with blood sugar health problems. 

You can choose to reduce the sweet soya sauce and oil when making this dish if you are health conscious. Also, reduce the calories of the dish by following our recommendation for alternatives. 

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Pad Thai vs Lo Mein_difference

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: difference, origin, taste and more

Are you a fan of dry or stir-fried noodles like us? You can find many delicious stir-fried noodles all across Asia whether it is Pad Thai, Lo Mein, chow mein, yakisoba, japchae or even ram-den (from the famous parasite movie). Having lived in China, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, we will be drilling into the difference between Pad Thai vs Lo Mein. Previously we have other noodle posts as well: Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao and also Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: similarities and differences. So tag along and know more about your favourite noodles.

Difference between Pad Thai and Lo Mein origin

As the name suggest, Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish from Thailand (Pad means stir-fry in Thai). Pad Thai is a common dish you would find in Thai restaurant around the world. In Thailand, Pad Thai are commonly sold by street side vendors as an affordable staple food. However, at the same time, you may also find fancier Pad Thai in restaurants like those served with large river prawns or Pad Thai nicely wrapped in egg.

Lo Mein, on the other hand, is a dry noodle dish from the Chinese cuisine. The word Lo means toss or mix while mein (or mien) generally refers to noodles in Chinese. Interestingly, Lo Mein may or may not be stir-fried. For example, one way to make Lo Mein is to boil all the ingredients before tossing them together with sauces. You can also boil the noodles and stir-fry them with ingredients together with the sauces.

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: taste and texture

pad thai calories_sauces

The most striking difference between Pad Thai vs Lo Mein is the taste and texture.

Pad Thai is a stir fried dish with a complex taste made up of sweet and savoury tastes, a bit of creaminess/nutty-taste from egg and peanut. The dish has your usual stir-fried noodles texture. However, you will feel a lot of texture variations from other ingredients like peanuts and fresh/raw vegetables like beansprout, raw-green mangoes or even banana blossom.

Lo Mein, on the other hand, has a nice but simpler flavour mostly consisting of salty, savoury taste derived from soy sauce. There are many variations of Lo Mein. Some versions of Lo Mein also draw fragrance from sesame oil, while some other use scallions / scallion oil.

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: ingredients

Pad Thai vs Lo Mein_ingredients

Both Pad Thai and Lo Mein have a good degree of flexibility in recipes. So there are many variations of both dishes. However, key differences in common ingredients include:

  1. Noodle

Pad Thai make use of “chan” noodles, a special noodle originated from Chantaburi province in Thailand which is made from rice flour. Meanwhile, Lo Mein use wheat flour. Many noodles used to make Lo Mein also contain egg, hence they are slightly yellow in color.

2. Sauce/seasoning

Pad Thai makes use of palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and peanut to give that sweet and savoury flavour. On the other hand, Lo Mein primarily use soy sauce/dark soy sauce, while some variation also add in oyster sauce, sesame or scallion oil.

3. Protein

Most Pad Thai will have tofu and eggs as ingredients, and the most classic version will come with shrimp. There are Pad Thai with chicken or pork as well but they are a lot less common. Based on what we have seen, Lo Mein has a lot more flexibility when it comes to the protein source.

4. Raw vegetables

Pad Thai is usually served with raw vegetables on the side. Common vegetables include bean sprout, chives, raw mango and banana blossom. Lo Mein are usually not accompanied by raw vegetables.

Which noodle should you try?

If you have not try both, try all! They are quite different in taste and texture, so decide which one is your favorite after you eat both. Try Pad Thai when you are in Thailand, whereas Lo Mein is more or less the same in any Chinese restaurant in or outside Thailand.

Personally we prefer Lo Mein to Pad Thai because of the taste. Pad Thai tends to be a bit sweet, whereas Lo Mein is on the savory side. If you have sweet tooth and peanuts, most likely you will enjoy Pad Thai!

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pad thai calories_shrimp

Pad Thai Calories: how healthy is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle from Thailand that is known far and wide across the world. The dish itself probably needs no further introduction. However, do you know how many calories would a serving of Pad Thai noodles have? We are talking about those authentic ones with really rich taste. Previously we touched on the topic of Pad Kee Mao calories. Now, find out more about Pad Thai calories in this article.

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Calories breakdown

pad thai calories_sauces

A serving of Pad Thai with its full ingredients and seasoning can have as high as 600 to 700 calories! That is higher than a serving of Big Mac! This might make you wonder what makes Pad Thai such a high-calorie dish? The answer lies within Pad Thai’s ingredients and seasoning which give it such a rich taste.

Pad Thai typically uses a special type of noodles called Chan noodle which has high calories count of 350 calories per 100g. This is a lot higher than other types of noodles. However, at the same time, it has a very unique chewy texture that makes it the top choice for this dish. Other ingredients calorie count breakdown is below:

  • Protein: 128 calories
  • Vegetable: 164 calories
  • Seasoning/sauces: 300 calories
  • Cooking oil: 240 calories

Noodles and other ingredients total up to ~1360 calories for 2 people’s servings. So it will be around 600-700 calories per 1 person serving.

As you can see, apart from the noodles themselves, Pad Thai is cooked with a lot of oil (for the stir-frying process). Also, its seasoning and sauce also contain high calories count due to palm sugar.

Are you a fan of strong taste and fragrant dishes? check out our comparison between Pad Thai vs. Pad Kee Mao!

If you are not a fan of oil or calories then consider other soup noodles from Thailand such as Boat noodles or Tom Yum noodles!

Can you reduce calories in Pad Thai?

The answer is Yes. But you will need to give up some components that make Pad Thai unique. Shrimp variation of Pad Thai is the most common one throughout Thailand. However, you may sometimes find other variations like Pad Thai with grilled pork, chicken, or giant river prawn. Some of these variations may have higher calorie count than normal Shrimp Pad Thai.

Changing noodles from Chan noodles to vermicelli can change the calorie count from 350 calories to 160 calories per 100g of serving. Recently, we have also seen noodle-less pad thai which adds ingredients like finely sliced green/sour mango instead of noodles. Green/unripe mango should have less than 60 calories per 100g! Pad Thai is typically served with a slice of lime for its sour taste – so green mangoes would be a good choice here.

Peanuts contribute to about 10% of Pad Thai’s total calorie count. Cutting peanuts removes some interesting taste and texture from the dish, but Pad Thai is still enjoyable without (also helpful to those who are allergic to peanuts). 

Another obvious way to reduce calories in your Pad Thai is to cut on oil and sugar. Keep in mind though, that this will impact the taste of the food directly.

In this scenario, if we swap out noodles for raw mango and cut out peanuts, a serving of Pad Thai may have as low as 300 to 400 calories without giving up on any other ingredients and seasoning!

Should you try Pad Thai given its calorie count?

Pad Thai is a world-famous dish but you will need to watch out for how much you eat it as there is a wide range of ingredients that make up for that rich and complex taste, and they do have calorie count.

If you are health conscious then consider other Thai stir-fried noodles or soup versions.

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Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao

Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao: calories + similarities/differences

Pad Thai is a world-renowned dish, but we are more of a big fan of the spicy & fragrance Pad Kee Mao. Between Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao, what are the similarities and differences? Learn more with us and decide which one should be your favorite Thai stir fried noodles!

We have also talked about Pad Kee Mao calories in a separate article before. We have also touched on the topic of Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew

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Both dishes names start with “Pad” which means stir-fried in Thai. As the names imply, both dishes are stir-fried Thai noodle dishes. Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao also both contain a certain degree of flexibility when it comes to what protein can be used in the dish. However, the most common/famous one tends to be its seafood variation. The same flexibility also applies to noodle types. However, Pad Thai is dominated by “Chan” noodles while Pad Kee Mao commonly uses big noodles or Thai instant noodles. That is really about it when it comes to similarities.


Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao

The two dishes have a lot of differences. While common noodles and main protein options are covered above, there are still many differences. 

Vegetables: Pad Kee Mao tends to involve more cooked vegetables than Pad Thai. A bowl of Pad Kee Mao may have many vegetables ranging from mushrooms, carrots, baby corn, or even kale. However, Pad Thai has limited vegetables and is often limited to chives. However, Pad Thai is usually served with raw vegetables like bean sprouts, raw mango, and banana blossom.

Other protein: Pad Thai tend to have other sources of protein outside of its main protein like dried shrimp and tofu.

Herbs: Pad Thai is not known for herbs, but Pad Kee Mao is full of them. While there is no standard formula, Pad Kee Mao tends to have basil leaves, peppercorn, chili, kaffir limes and finger roots.

Seasoning and sauce: Pad Kee Mao mostly makes use of oyster sauce and light soy sauce whereas Pad Thai uses palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind sauce (+ adding lime before eating for sour taste).

Taste: Based on the above, you can already guess that the tastes of the two dishes are different in taste. Pad Kee Mao is spicy and offers an herbal fragrance whereas Pad Thai has a rich, sweet taste with a tangy, sourness provided by fresh lime at the end.

Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao calories

Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao Calories

We are using recipes from Phol Food Mania as a reference. Pad Thai has between 600 to 700 Calories while Pad Kee Mao has 460 to 700 Calories per serving by our estimate. The calories tend to vary depending on ingredients and serving size.

Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao calories sources also differ:

  1. “Chan” noodle contains higher calories count than other types of noodle
  2. Seasoning and ingredients used in Pad Thai contain more high calorie components like sugar and peanut
  3. Pad Kee Mao tends to be more protein heavy, for example Pad Kee Mao with fattier pork could contain higher calories than shrimp Pad Thai!

Fried noodle dishes like Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao contain considerable calories. Soup noodles like Boat noodle or Tom Yum noodle might be better for lower calorie options!

Read more on Pad Thai calories! or Pad Thai vs Lo Mein: difference, origin, taste and more

Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao: who's the winner?

So Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao? Pad Kee Mao a.k.a drunken noodle is the winner for us because of its rich herbal taste and fragrance. We are also a big fan of big rice noodles, which has a very special noodle texture that we love. Many of our friends however love Pad Thai for its richness in taste and its unique texture especially when it incorporates raw vegetables (bean sprouts, raw mango, banana blossoms) that are crunchy. Peanuts that are added as a topping will also add to the texture of the food.

All in all, you should try both of these dishes if you haven’t! 

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pad kee mao calories_featured

Pad Kee Mao Calories & Nutrition

In our previous article, we have introduced Pad Kee Mao or Thai drunken noodles as a stir-fried dish with rich flavor and fragrance. As we might have expressed our love for this dish before, Pad Kee Mao is absolutely delicious. However, the question now is do we need to watch out for its calories? If you are interested in learning more about Pad Kee Mao calories and Pad Kee Mao nutrition, this article is for you!

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Pad Kee Mao calories: the breakdown

A serving of Pad Kee Mao can have 460 to 700 calories. This might make you wonder: why is it such a wide range? That is because there many ways in making Pad Kee Mao, ranging from the type of noodles, protein options and herbs to add in. For our estimation in this article, we will be referencing to a recipe from Phol Food Mafia, this recipe is for a classic, big noodles pork Pad Kee Mao.

Thai stir fried noodles have multiple components including the noodles, protein, vegetables seasoning/sauces and other ingredients. You can check out Pad Kee Mao recipe here. We will be following this structure in our estimation as well:

  • Noodles: 704 calories
  • Protein: 430 calories
  • Vegetable: 61 calories
  • Seasoning/sauces: 150 calories
  • Oil used for stir-frying: 80 calories

The sum of the above is ~1400 calories for 2-3 servings. In conclusion, a serving of Pad Kee Mao can give as low as 460 calories but also as high as 700 calories, depending on the ingredients you choose and how much you add them.

Note that this calories calculation does not include other add-on like Thai fried egg, which also goes well with Pad Kee Mao!

Can you reduce calories in Pad Kee Mao?

Calories in pad kee mao_glass noodle

Fortunately, there are easy ways in which you can reduce calories count in Pad Kee Mao without sacrificing much or any of its taste.

The lowest hanging fruit here would be to swap the Thai big noodles with vermicelli. According to Knorr, big rice noodles have 220 calories per 100g whereas vermicelli has 150 calories per 100g. This switch will reduce the amount of calories per serving by between 75 to 100 calories.

Additionally, you can choose to switch pork to a leaner white meat like chicken breast (which also goes well with Pad Kee Mao). Pork typically has about 240 calories per 100g whereas chicken breast has 165 calories per 100g. This switch can reduce the calories count by another 40 to 60 calories per serving.

These two switches can reduce the calories count per Pad Kee Mao to as low as ~300 – 350 calories per serving without giving up the taste or fragrance of Pad Kee Mao. You might still be giving up on the soft and chewy big noodles though.

Now that you understand the power of ingredients in making Pad Kee Mao of lower calories, you will also need to watch out for the opposite. That is, a combination with high calories count. For example, Pad Kee Mao made with instant noodles!

Pad Kee Mao nutrition

Pad Kee Mao’s base ingredient is the noodle, be it big noodle, vermicelli or instant noodle. Hence, you get your carbohydrate source from that. Depending on your choice of protein source, you can have seafood, pork or chicken to go along with your noodle. Pad Kee Mao is also known to have a lot of vegetables inside the food. So you will get your fiber and some vitamins fix from the vegetables. Herbs that give Pad Kee Mao its fragrance are also full of health benefits. Basil is a prominent herb in the Pad Kee Mao dish. To understand more about basil and other Thai herbs health benefits, you can refer to another dedicated article by us on this topic.

Should you be wary of this dish calorie count?

Pad Kee Mao is a delicious stir-fried dish commonly found throughout Thailand. However, you may need to watch out for its calorie count once you have fallen in love with this dish. Luckily, as we mentioned in this article, there are some “hacks” to reduce the calorie count of this dish.

If you are health conscious then try the low calories version or opt for Thai soup noodle dishes instead. There are many other delicious Thai food that you can try!

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Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_comparison

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: similarities and differences

If you are a fan of Thai food, you would probably have tried Pad Thai. “Pad” means “stir fry” in the Thai language, so as you can guess there is a lot of other delicious stir-fried food apart from Pad Thai.  For stir-fried noodles alone, Thailand has many other delicious dishes like Pad Kee Mao (which translates to drunken noodles) and Pad See Ew. However, you may not know which one you will like more or which one would be to your liking. Learn more about the similarities and differences between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew with us in this post!

Table of Contents

Similarities between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew

Let’s start with the similarities between the two, and there are only a few of them. Like Pad Thai, both Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew are stir-fried noodles where the dish typically consists of noodles, vegetables, and some protein.

Both recipes of Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew contain a good degree of flexibility when it comes to noodle type, vegetables, and protein sources. For example, you can find both dishes with large noodles, rice noodles, vermicelli noodles, Mama instant noodles or even spaghetti. 

You can also freely choose the source of protein like pork, chicken or seafood. Seafood Pad Kee Mao however is quite common and you should give it try!

Differences between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew

There are a few similarities between Pad Kee Mao and Pad See Ew. On the other hand, there are many differences that set the two stir-fried noodles apart.

Visual differences

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_drunken noodles

The first is on the visual aspect. If you put the two dishes side by side you will notice that Pad Kee Mao contains a variety of ingredients and herbs. In contrast to that, Pad See Ew appears simpler and it has a striking feature of dark-colored noodle.

The sauce

The next question might be, why Pad See Ew look darker? The answers lie with this dish’s name. In Thai, “see ew” means soy sauce. So the second difference is the sauce. And there is your answer, Pad See Ew makes use of both dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce which turn the color of stir-fried noodles dark brown. Pad Kee Mao on the other hand does not make use of any soy sauce, instead, it uses oyster sauce. 

Key ingredients

The third difference is the key ingredients and herbs. It is established that many types of noodles and protein sources can be used in these dishes. However, there are ingredients and herbs that simply are irreplaceable. Pad Kee Mao has garlic, kaffir lime leaves, fingerroots, fresh peppercorn, fresh chili, and Thai basil leaves as the key herbs. After being exposed to hot oil, these herbs give out a strong aroma, making Pad Kee Mao a truly fragrant dish. While Pad See Ew key ingredients might be pale in comparison to Pad Kee Mao, it also makes use of garlic and another unique ingredient which is an egg.

The taste

Last but not least, the taste. Based on what you have seen so far, you can already guess that Pad Kee Mao has a stronger taste and is more fragrant. Pad See Ew on the other hand has milder taste but it can still be seasoned with chili flakes and vinegars to enhance the flavour. Otherwise Pad See Ew prominent taste is only sweet. 

Is Pad Kee Mao spicy?

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew_is pad kee mao spicy

Yes, Pad Kee Mao tends to be spicy, especially if you order it in Thailand. Pad Kee Mao mostly draws its spiciness from fresh chili. However, if you ever chew on other herbs like kaffir lime leaves, fingerroots, or fresh peppercorn – you will also realize that these herbs are “spicy”. They are spicy in a slightly different way than fresh chili. If you are not a fan of spice, avoid chewing on these. You can also reduce spiciness level by reducing the amount chili or opt to swab fresh chili out for dried ones to reduce “hotness” of the dish.

Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew: which one should you try?

We personally prefer dishes with a stronger taste with lots of herbs and spices. Pad Kee Mao is right up our alley because of this. However, if you haven’t tried both, we will always recommend trying both. Keep in mind though, that if you really aren’t into spices, you may find Pad Kee Mao spicy so Pad See Ew might be better for you. 

One other thing to note – when you are in Thailand, the Pad Kee Mao will taste much better than what you find outside Thailand. The reason is, that Thailand is a land of spices and herbs therefore vendors can go all out when they make the dish. If you want to try your first Pad Kee Mao, do it when you visit Thailand!

Now that you know the difference between Pad Kee Mao vs Pad See Ew – take a step further and learn more about Pad Thai vs Pad Kee Mao! or Pad Thai vs Lo Mein!

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