Thai Drunken Noodles, aka pad kee mao is a spicy rice noodle dish.
This flavorful Asian noodle recipe is prepared with chicken and basil in one pot.
What are drunken noodles?
Drunken noodles is a spicy Thai rice noodle dish.
Contrary to its name, it is not prepared with liquor.
We came across this amazing stir-fried noodle dish on our trip to Bangkok.
A Thai lady explained that it was called drunken noodles because the heat and freshness from the basil leaves would sober up a drunk person.
Broader flat Thai rice noodles are traditionally used to make this dish but I always found it difficult to get those, so I have been making this recipe with regular pad thai rice noodles (tastes equally great).
Thai basil or holy basil (aka tulsi) are added as well. This is an important ingredient!
To make it spicy you will need chilis. I used Thai bird eye chilis (those are hot).
How to make it?
Preparing these spicy Thai noodles is surprisingly easy!
Keep all the fresh ingredients ready and follow the steps.
The complete recipe with detailed ingredients can be found at the bottom of this post.
Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions
Mix together the ingredients for the stir fry sauce.
Prepare chili pepper and all other ingredients and keep aside.
Heat up a pan with oil and stir cook onion, ginger, garlic and chili pepper.
Add vegetables and chicken and stir cook shortly.
Season and add fresh basil leaves too.
Place noodles into a hot shallow pan and cover with stir fry sauce.
Stir cook over high heat until you are satisfied with the result.
Serve up hot.
I like my pad kee mao with chicken, bell pepper and small corn cobs but you are free to add or use other ingredients along/instead such as:
- bok choy
- Chinese cabbage (napa cabbage)
You can use Thai Basil too instead of Holy Basil.
Place leftovers into a fridge friendly container and close with a lid.
I don't recommend freezing because the dish will turn out mushy after thawing and heating up again.
You can heat up your noodles in the microwave or in a shallow pan.
More noodle dishes
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Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe
For the Stir Fry Sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Sugar
- 2½ Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
- 2-4 piece Chili Pepper *see Notes
- 2 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Onion sliced
- 1 inch Ginger fresh, chopped
- 2-3 cloves Garlic fresh, chopped
- 8 piece Baby Corn optional
- ½ Bell Pepper red preferably, sliced
- 5 ounces boneless Chicken cut into strips
- ½ Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 24 leaves Holy Basil or Thai Basil
- 8.8 ounces Rice Noodles *see Notes
- Prepare stir fry sauce. Mix together sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce. Keep aside.
- Prepare chili pepper by taking off stem and slice. Use gloves for hot chilis or take care when cutting so that you don't burn your skin or eyes.
- Prepare noodles as per package instructions and keep other ingredients ready stand by.
- Heat up a shallow pan or wok with the oil. It should get super hot but it shouldn't smoke.
- Add onion slices to the pan and the chopped ginger and garlic. Stir cook for a minute over high heat.
- Add baby corn and bell pepper slices to the pan and stir cook for a minute over high heat.
- Place chicken into the hot pan and cook on all sides over high heat for 2 minutes or so.
- Season with black pepper and add the fresh holy basil or Thai basil to the pan.
- Place noodles into the hot pan and pour stir fry sauce over the noodles.
- Stir cook noodles over high heat for a minute or so or until the drunken noodles look ready.
- Serve hot and enjoy.
- I use Thai Bird Eye Chili. Pick a spicy hot chili variety.
- Use flat rice noodles. I simply used pad thai noodles, which are not that broad but if you can find broader flat rice noodles, use those instead.