Homemade Drunken Noodles

Skip the takeout and make this delicious Drunken Noodle Thai dish at home! A perfectly spicy one-skillet wonder.

I am a huge fan of Thai food and this dish does not disappoint. It is the perfect amount of spice and a fist bump of flavor. Check out 20 Minute Spicy Thai Noodle Bowls, Spiralized Veggie Pad Thai, or Homemade Pad Thai for additional Thai flavor fixes.

Drunken Noodles recipe

AKA Pad Kee Mao

Drunken noodles or Pad Kee Mao is a stir fried noodle dish.  It is normally made with broad rice noodles, soy, fish, and oyster sauce,  garlic, and basil. This gives rise to its distinctive spiciness.

Why do they call them drunken noodles? They are called drunken noodles because of the stories behind them. There is no alcohol in the recipe, but the story is that drunk people would try to “quench their thirst” with these noodles before finding out the spice level.

You can pair this dish with a variety of proteins such as chicken, shrimp, or tofu. It can also be made vegetarian by using zucchini, broccoli, carrots or bell peppers.

This spicy dish is hearty and delectable. It is sure to fill your take-out craving. 

How to Make Drunken noodles

How to Make Drunken Noodles

Sauce:

  • Whisk soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, chili paste, garlic, and basil in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Noodles:

  • Heat a large deep skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the oils and heat.
  • Add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and brown pieces on both sides.
  • Add the shallot, garlic, and green onion.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Make a well in the center of the pan by pushing the vegetables to the outside of the pan. Add egg and scramble.

Pour in the sauce increase heat to medium-high. Cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.

Add noodles and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the chicken and noodles are coated in the thickened sauce. Remove from the heat. Toss with remaining basil.

Serve immediately. 

Drunken noodles recipe

Recipe FAQ

What kind of noodles? Wide dried rice noodles or ideally fresh rice noodles

Are these vegan? A typical version of this is easily vegan because its made with noodles and vegetables, and not cheese or milk. If you further choose to forgo the shrimp then you have easily made a vegan noodle dish.

How to control spice level? A lot of recipes call for Thai chilies, also known as birds eye chilies. Two of these chilies won’t be too much, but anymore you risk getting a little too much spice.

What vegetables go well? Grape tomatoes, onions, and green bell peppers are the more common vegetables to add to this recipe.

Adding protein? Shrimp is a great and easy addition to this recipe.

Do you need fish, oyster and soy sauce? Oyster sauce is thick and has a sweet flavor whereas fish sauce is thinner with a salty and nutty flavor.  Soy sauce is very similar to fish sauce so if need be you can do just soy sauce and oyster sauce as opposed to all three.

Do you need a wok? A wok would be super helpful for a recipe like this, just because you are stir-frying, multiple things and want to keep adding all of the flavors on top of each other.

How to Store? Store like just about every other noodle recipe they need to be stored in the fridge.  If kept in an airtight container in the fridge, Drunken Noodles will stay good for 3-4 days. Rice noodles do not freeze well.

How to Reheat? When you are ready you can zap them in the microwave. If you are worried about that method not turning out great you can warm it on the stove top. 

Pad Kee Mao recipe

What to serve with it? You can serve this alongside just about any other Asian dish.

Drunken Noodles Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Author: Natalie
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Ingredients

For the sauce:
  • 1/3 c. soy sauce (or sweet soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade
For the noodles:
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into thin slices
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 green onions, cut on the bias into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 oz. thick rice noodles, prepared according to the package's directions
  • 10-12 Thai basil leaves, chiffonade

Instructions

For the sauce:
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sugar, chili paste, garlic, and basil. Set aside.
For the noodles:
  • Place a large deep skillet or wok over medium heat. Add the oils. When the oils are hot, add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and brown pieces on both sides.
  • Add the shallot, garlic, and green onion, cook for 2-3 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Make a well in the center of the pan by pushing the vegetables to the outside of the pan. Add the egg and scramble.
  • Pour in the sauce and bring the heat up to medium-high, cook until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Add the noodles and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until the chicken and noodles are coated in the thickened sauce.
  • Remove from the heat and toss with remaining basil. Serve immediately.