Kid-friendly Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Recipe: Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

Recipe: Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Supapun Narknimitrung/
prep time
10 minutes
cook time
10 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

Savor the irresistible allure of chewy, wide rice noodles drenched in a thick, umami-rich sauce and enhanced with the goodness of nutritious broccoli and the bold flavors of garlic and black pepper. Think of it as a "stretch dish," beckoning you to step out of your culinary comfort zones and discover a new comfort food favorite. Pair it with Five-Minute Marinated Tofu Marvel and Green Tea Thai Ice Milk for a complete meal!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • boil :

    to cook a food in liquid heated to the point of gas bubbles and steam forming (boiling point is 212 F at sea level).

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • pour :

    to cause liquid, granules, or powder to stream from one container into another.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

Equipment Checklist

  • Large pot
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Tongs
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Wooden spoon


Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

  • 2 C vegetable broth OR 1 vegetable bouillon cube + 2 C water **(check label for possible allergens, like gluten, soy, or nightshade—more info below)**
  • 1 8-oz (or 1/2 16-oz) pkg wide rice noodles (any type of rice noodle will work)
  • 2 T soy sauce **(for GLUTEN/SOY ALLERGY sub coconut aminos)**
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 T cornstarch + 1 tsp (with 2 tsp water) if needed to thicken gravy
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 C fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 2 garlic cloves (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/4 C water + 2 tsp (with 1 tsp cornstarch) if needed to thicken gravy
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil **

Food Allergen Substitutions

Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles

  • Gluten/Wheat: Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce.
  • Soy: Substitute coconut aminos for soy sauce. Substitute canola oil or other nut-free oil for vegetable oil.
  • Gluten/Soy/Nightshade: Check vegetable broth or bouillon label for possible allergens, like gluten, soy, or nightshade, and use water only if necessary. 


Colorful Thai "Rad Na" Noodles


"Sawasdee" (sah-wah-DEE) or "Hello" in the Thai language! "Rad na" (Raad nah) is a very simple Thai noodle dish usually consisting of marinated pork combined with a flavorful soy sauce gravy. This rendition will follow the traditional recipe but replace the pork with tofu and vegetables. After trying this recipe, experiment with the wide world of flavors that people in Thailand use. We will skip the spicy chili powder and oil garnishes today, but they can add an amazing and unique flavor. I hope you enjoy this tasty and simple one-pot meal.

boil + pour

Bring 2 cups vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot. Once boiling, pour in 8 ounces of wide rice noodles. Cook for 5 minutes. Then, remove the noodles from the pot and put in a large bowl to reserve for later, keeping the broth on a low heat.

chop + measure

Roughly chop 2 garlic cloves and 2 cups broccoli. Large pieces are fine. Place the chopped garlic and broccoli in the bowl with the noodles. Measure and add 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon vegetable oil to the bowl. Stir to combine.

stir + simmer

Pour the noodles, cornstarch mixture, and vegetables into the pot. Stir gently to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil for 5 minutes over medium heat. The broth should thicken into a gravy that nicely coats the noodles. If the sauce is too thick, add water. If the sauce is too thin, add 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons of water.

scrumptious science

In the above step, you will use the gelling power of cornstarch. Cornstarch is a powder derived from the cellulose present in all plant cells. In its natural form, cellulose is like microscopic gelatin. It protects plant cells by cushioning them and filling in all the empty spaces in a cell. In this recipe, we use a powder version with all the liquid removed. When we add this dry cornstarch to a wet mixture, the cornstarch will absorb the liquid, and the cellulose will start to thicken the sauce into a gravy.


Once the sauce is nice and thick, serve the “rad na”! This tasty dish will be sure to warm your guest’s bellies. Enjoy! Try saying "Xr̀xy māk" (ah-roy maa) or "Very delicious" in Thai!

Surprise Ingredient: Rice Noodles!

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Photo by KlingSup/

Hi! We're Rice Noodles!

"Like our name sounds, we're made from rice! Rice flour and water, to be exact. We originally came from China over 2,000 years ago! One shorter variety of Chinese rice noodles has some fun names: "silver needle noodles" are also called "rat noodles," "mouse-tail noodles," or "runny nose vermicelli." 

  • During the Qin Dynasty, Northern Chinese people grew wheat and millet where it was colder, and they ate noodles made with those grains. When invaders from the North invaded Southern China, they began to make their noodles out of rice, which was grown in the hotter southern region of the country. 
  • Eventually, rice noodles were shared with other parts of the world and have become very popular in Southeast Asian cuisine. 
  • In Chinese culture, the noodle is a symbol of long life. For that reason, noodles are traditionally served on birthdays and Chinese New Year as an emblem of longevity.
  • Some varieties of rice noodles include tapioca starch or cornstarch, which can make the noodles more transparent and chewy.  
  • Rice noodles may be thick or thin, round or flat, long or short, but they can be found in many Asian dishes you might know, like "pad Thai" (stir-fry noodle dish from Thailand) and "phở" (Vietnamese noodle soup).
  • Rice noodles are gluten-free, so they are a good substitute for wheat noodles for those with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy. 
  • The amount of calories in a serving of rice noodles is similar to a serving of white rice, and both are low in fiber. In addition, they are naturally low in salt, but putting too much soy sauce on them can add extra, unhealthy amounts of sodium.

What is "Rad Na"?

Photo by ShutterStockStudio/
  • "Rad na" (Raad nah) is a Thai-Chinese noodle dish. It uses wide, flat rice noodles stir-fried with marinated tofu or meat, garlic, and Chinese broccoli (gai lan). The dish is covered in a thick gravy made of meat or vegetable stock, cornstarch or tapioca starch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fermented bean or soybean paste, sugar, and black or white pepper. 
  • "Rad na" originated in China and was eventually brought to Thailand, where it is a popular street food. It has also spread to other parts of Asia. The Thai people like to garnish their "rad na" with spicy chili powder or flakes or chili vinegar.

Let's Learn About Thailand!

Photo by anek.soowannaphoom/ (traditional floating market)
  • Thailand is a country in Southeast Asia and is officially called the Kingdom of Thailand. 
  • The country's previous name was Siam. In 1949 it was changed to Thailand, which means "Land of the Free."  
  • Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with a king, prime minister, and national assembly, its legislative body.
  • Thailand's population is more than 69 million people.
  • Thailand has over 1400 islands and is at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula.
  • Bangkok is the capital and the largest city in Thailand. According to different websites, it's either the first most-visited or second most-visited city in the world, right up there with London and Paris. 
  • Thailand is home to the world's most enormous gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the biggest restaurant, the tallest hotel, and the longest single-span suspension bridge!
  • Thailand is known for its fantastically delicious street food. You can eat pad thai (noodles, vegetables, and meat stir-fried together), green papaya salad, meat skewers, and even grilled scorpions at street carts everywhere in Thailand! 
  • A hundred years ago, there were more than 100,000 elephants in Thailand, and about 20,000 of them were wild. Today, there are about 5,000 elephants, less than half of them untamed. 
  • Thailand is known for its orchids. In fact, over 1,500 different orchid species grow in the wild in Thailand.
  • Kitti's hog-nosed bat—thought to be the world's smallest mammal—is found in Thailand. It weighs just two grams! This is the same weight as a small pebble or a pile of feathers.
  • One of the country's most unique festivals is the annual Monkey Buffet, held in front of the Phra Prang Sam Yot temple in Lopburi province. Thousands of local macaques dine on a buffet of over two tons of grilled sausage, fresh fruit, ice cream, and other treats. Local people view the festival as a thank you to the monkeys, which live in the village and bring in thousands of tourists each year.
  • The Mekong River, along part of the eastern border of Thailand, contains over 1,300 fish species. Giant freshwater fish, including a 10-foot-long, 660-pound catfish, can be found in the river.
  • The mudskipper is one of Thailand's strangest creatures. This fish-out-of-the-water walks on land using its fins, and it can even climb trees. It absorbs oxygen through its skin and mouth. It's a fish that likes to spend most of its time out of the water, eating the algae in tidal pools.
  • The world's longest snake, the reticulated python, makes its home in Thailand. The largest one ever found measured over 33 feet from end to end.
  • Siamese cats are native to Thailand. In Thai, their name is "wichien maat," meaning "moon diamond" or "diamond gold." A 14th-century book of Thai poems describes 23 types of Siamese cats; today, there are only six breeds. The Si Sawat or Korat cat is another breed of Thai cat, similar to the Siamese, and initially thought to be a blue Siamese cat. They are given to newlyweds to bring good luck to the marriage.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Thailand?

  • The school year goes from May to March, and both public and private schools require students to wear uniforms.
  • Families and children are important in Thailand. Parents expect their kids to help with household chores and farm chores if they live in a rural area.
  • Soccer, tennis, swimming, and badminton are popular sports for kids. "Muay Thai," or Thai boxing, is the national sport of Thailand, and some kids may start learning it as early as five years old. It is a type of martial art accompanied by traditional music called "Sarama."
  • Rice, especially Jasmine rice, is a staple in Thailand, and it's usually served at every meal. For breakfast, Thai kids may eat "Jok" (rice porridge) or "Khao tom" (sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves), "Kai jiew" (an omelet served with rice), or grilled meat or fish, and fruit. For lunch, they may have soup and a rice or noodle dish with meat and vegetables. Family dinners may include "Khao pad" (Thai fried rice), "Pad Thai" (stir-fried rice noodle dish), and various soups. Typical sweets that kids like are mango sticky rice, coconut ice cream, Thai jelly, and "luk chup," which are candies made from mung beans, coconut milk, and sugar.

The Yolk's On You

How did the broccoli feel about being served for dinner?

It was steamed.

THYME for a Laugh

What did one soup lover say to another?

"I'm crazy pho noodle soup!"

That's Berry Funny

What is worse than finding a worm in the apple that you are eating? 

A half of a worm in your noodle soup!

That's Berry Funny

What is the difference between broccoli and boogers?

Not every kid will eat broccoli.

THYME for a Laugh

My cell phone got wet, so I put it in rice, but I don't think it's working.

The soy sauce just made things worse!

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