Chiang Mai Fried Noodle

Thai name: Pat mee chao neua

Fried bamee noodles are less common in Thailand that they are in other parts of South-east Asia. The exception seems to be Chiang Mai, where pat mee is quite easy to find. For this dish, ham is used most of the time. Use thinly sliced ham, such as you can get pre-packaged for sandwiches in most supermarkets. Cut the ham into very narrow strips, making it a sort of “meat noodle”.

During the annual Chinese inspired vegetarian festival, observed sometime in October throughout Thailand, sliced shiitake mushrooms will take the place the ham. The vegetarian festival is also the one time of year when pat mee becomes more readily available all around Thailand.

Fried Noodles
Chiang Mai Fried Noodles

This particular recipe comes from a Thai cookbook aimed mostly at street stall vendors, and so it's focused on making a big batch that might serve a dozen people or more. You can cut it down for a smaller portion. If you can't find chives, you can use spring onions instead. Pickled Chinese cabbage may be hard to find, but I prefer the dish without it. Red soy sauce may be hard to find. Even in Bangkok, regular groceries don't carry it any more. Unfortunately there isn't a substitute so you'll just have to do without it if you can't find it.


Egg noodles300 g / ½ lb
Ham½ cSliced in thin strips
Chives½ cCut in 1 inch lenghts
Spring onions¼ cChopped
Coriander¼ c td>Chopped
Pickled cabbage1 cSliced (optional)
Bean sprouts2 c
Garlic2 TblChopped
Sugar¼ c
Fermented soy bean paste¼ c
Red soy sauce2 Tbl
Light soy sauce2 Tbl
Vegetable oil½ c

Preparation Method

  • If using fresh noodles, poach them briefly in simmering water, then rinse them with cold water to separate. If using dried instant noodles, soak them in hot water and set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry the garlic until crispy and fragrant. Add the fermented soy bean paste and sugar. Reduce heat to low.
  • Put the noodles, white soy sauce, red soy sauce and salt into the wok and stir to mix. Add the bean sprouts, chives and ham strips, and stir-fry to heat through.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle the chopped spring onions and coriander over the top. Serve with the pickled cabbage and lime wedges on the side.

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