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Dark soy sauce for pad see ew

I am trying to cook some Thai dishes and it seems like the dark soy sauce I use in pad see ew and a few other dishes completely overwhelms the dish. Does anybody have a recommendation for a dark soy sauce to use? I wonder if mine is not quite right for this dish. Alternatively, maybe I am just used to an Americanized bastard version of pad see ew. I realize this is a distinct possibility.

The brand I have is HoHo Brand and the label says "dark soy, superior sauce."

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  1. Meg, I have not prepared pad see ew...but I do have a dark soy sauce very much recommended on this board by the name of Pearl River Dark Soy Sauce but it is from China. I use it for Fuschia Dunlop's Tso's Chicken (a Chinese dish and oh!my!God! it is so delish!) so I don't know for sure how it would translate to a Thai dish; others more experienced in Thai cooking will hopefully chime in!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Val

      I just got some Pearl River mushroom soy sauce which I believe is a variety of their dark (?) and it is more mellow than the tamari-type soy sauces I usually use, tasty but not as inky-intense.

      1. re: Val

        Val, that's funny you bring up Dunlop. I am thinking of buying her Szechuan book. Is that what you are cooking out of? I saw the COTM threads and it looks like it is pretty good.

        1. re: megmosa

          Meg, actually the first time I saw that recipe was at the NY Times website a few years ago (2007?), then the cookbook was featured in the COTM here. I did not buy the cookbook because I'm trying not to buy cookbooks now. Hope you try some of the recipes...her version of General Tso's is totally unlike the American-real-sweet version.

      2. megmosa, you need *sweet* dark soy sauce, like this: http://importfood.com/sakh2102.html

        the link has a recipe for pad see ew, as well. http://importfood.com/recipes/tfrywid...

        that dish and pad kee mao are my very favorites. i could eat them every day (but only with the *fresh* rice noodles).

        2 Replies
        1. re: alkapal

          Alkapal, that is a sweet recipe & website...love how the ingredients have a *link* to SHOW you what the ingredient looks like, and with the video to show you how to prepare the dish. Do you use that website for other Thai recipes?

          1. re: Val

            val, i have, and they seem pretty good and true to my expectations for flavor profiles. i wish i could do stir fries at really high heat, but my smoke alarm (linked to the fire station via my security company) is a real pain.

        2. Thanks to you all. I'll pick up the Healthy Boy Sweet Dark Soy.

          Maybe I'll try to make it again using the recipe from the Real Thai (McDermott) and then try again with the recipe on the website you linked too.

          Alkapal, I agree that I could eat pad see ew and pad kee mao (which I have been called basil chili noodles because I didn't know the name until just now, thanks).

          I have a question about the fresh noodles too- how long do they last in the fridge?

          3 Replies
          1. re: megmosa

            the fresh noodles are only good one day -- max. then they get hard and brittle, and are not worth anything.

            meg, i'm curious as to how the two recipes differ.....

            1. re: alkapal

              The main way they differ is that the meat is marinaded in the online recipe. Other than that, they are pretty similar.

              1. re: alkapal

                I saw a tv show where a guy made the noodles in a sheet pan--seemed very simple. They "set up" something like jello rather than getting pressed and formed. I must try this some day. Around here they're known as "ho fun" noodles. Love them. (I think they can also be called he fen, hefen, ho hefen, etc.)

            2. For dark soy, I like what's labeled "Mushroom Soy". It's flavourful and good. No clue as to the brand--I grew up with it so simply pick it up.

              If it's the sweet, thick version you're looking for, that would be in a jar, and not the bottle. Found in any Asian shop, or in the Middle Eastern shops in Mannheim, Germany.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Caralien

                I mentioned above that I was able to find Pearl River mushroom soy - at Vons. It has a sort of meaty (that's the mushroom talking) appeal... it will be very good in/on some things but I'm still going to want my other soy sauce (I use a tamari type) too.

                1. re: Caralien

                  caralien, the link i posted upthread *is* sweet dark soy -- in a *bottle* -- just like *my* sweet dark soy is in a bottle. (not that it is a big deal, but for accuracy's sake....) and...mannheim, germany? is that megmosa's location, now? (maybe i'm not fully awake and i'm missing something).

                  1. re: alkapal

                    I don't know where the reference to Mannheim came in. I'm in Philly.

                2. Thank you everybody. I have an update. I bought Healthy Boy Black Soy Sauce. It was not labeled "sweet" but it has a ton of sugar in it, so I think it is the same thing as sweet dark soy sauce but it just isn't labeled that in English. I made pad see ew with it and it tasted soooo much better! It didn't have the weird strong flavor from before.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: megmosa

                    megmosa, good for you! did you find it online at the link i provided, or at a local asian grocery? i notice the actual label of the online "healthy boy" is not in english.

                    1. re: alkapal

                      I studied it online and found it at a local asian grocery. =)

                  2. Hi there everyone. This is my first CHOW post. I currently live in Thailand.

                    According to my sources, the sauce you want to use for phad see ew is a dark sweet soy. Unfortunately, there is also a dark soy available that is not sweet. This is used for dishes like phad kaphrao.

                    To make these things more complicated there are also different flavoured dark soy sauces. For both dishes (phad see ew and phad kaphrao) I tend towards the sauces with a slight tar or molasses flavour. This imparts an amazing dimension to the dishes and sets them apart from most restaurant fare.

                    The sauce I prefer with this tar flavour is made by Jungsaeng company. The webpage for their soy sauces is at:

                    Unfortunately, the English has been copy/pasted for the top two sauces. Reading the Thai language page gives you the juicy details.

                    Lorry brand for phad see ew
                    Steamboat brand for phad kaphrao

                    These sauces might be tricky to get outside of Thailand but you can simply go by sweet or not and tar flavoured or not.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sammyspets

                      Thank you for posting. Could dark, sweet soy be heated to char it a bit?

                      1. re: Joebob

                        Not to my knowledge. However, I saw something on Bizarre Foods about tar flavoured spray being available in Finland. Perhaps you can get a liquid tar flavouring like that?