Authentic Drunken Noodles Recipe

Pad Kee Mao

Don’t worry there is no alcohol in this dish, but you might be able to speak some Thai after eating it! Spice up your taste buds and indulge in the fiery delight of our drunken noodles recipe. A tantalizing Thai dish that’ll leave you craving for more!

The Myth of the Drunken Noodles

There are a few version of the stories of the Drunken Noodles. The Thai name of this dish is called, “Pad Kee Mao”. Meaning the “Drunk Man Stir Fry”. One of the stories says, the creator of the dish was a man who came home drunk and hungry. With what he found in the pantry, he began to cook some noodles. It is said that these spicy noodles were so flavorful and delicious that they could make someone feel intoxicated, as if they had consumed alcohol. However, despite the name, the dish doesn’t actually contain any alcohol. It’s simply a playful and intriguing name that adds to the allure of this beloved Thai dish.

Drunken Noodles
Drunken Noodles

Noodles that Works for this Dish

  1. Traditionally, we use fat or wide rice noodles. The Chinese name of the noodle is called “Ho Fun” noodle. This can be found in the Asian grocery stores in the refrigerate items section. Or It can simply be made at home which I will have to share that recipe in the near future.
  2. Pasta noodles such as Fettuccine, Bucatini, Linguine, and Spaghetti. My favorites pasta for this noodles Fettuccine and Bucatini but really any of this pasta noodles will make a great fusion Drunken noodles! You will need to cook it until about a minute less than what you would normally do for other pasta as you will continue to stir fry it after cooking the noodles.
  3. Pad Thai noodles or thin rice noodles can also work. If you buy the dried version from the store, make sure to rehydrate the dried rice noodles with hot water for about 15 minutes before then rinse with cold water before stir frying this noodles.
Fat or Wide Rice Noodle
Fat or Wide Rice Noodle

Vegetables that Work for this Dish

The most important vegetable or herb that makes this dish so savory and addicting is the basil. Traditionally, we use the Holy or the Tulsi basil. However, we have found that using the Thai basil or even the Italian basil will work as well. The Thai basil is however is that have been used the most as the substitute to the Holy basil.

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Holy or Tulsi Basil
Holy or Tulsi Basil

Other Vegetables

You are about to find out that this is one of the most flexible Thai dishes and still get authentic flavor! There are numerous vegetables that actually work for this dish. However, in the video I chose to present the most traditional one which is Gailan or the Chinese broccoli. And that is your next hint, anything with similar taste and texture will work great in this dish such as broccoli and kale. Moreover, almost any vegetables that you can be stir fried such as bell peppers, carrots, snow peas, cauliflowers and bok choy also work well as long as you DO NOT forget the basil :D.

Sauces for the Dish

Again, I am presenting the traditional approach which is to combine oyster sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar together. The dark soy sauce is what gives the beautiful rich color and a hint of sweetness to the dish. However, again this is one of the most flexible Thai dish of all time so I will admit that sometimes, I don’t use the dark or black soy sauce when I don’t have it or when I use pasta noodles to cook it. Sometimes, I just use 3-4 table spoons of the Hoisin sauce, 1 table spoon of fish sauce, and 1-2 teaspoon of sugar as a substitute. I don’t leave the fish sauce and sugar behind as I believe they make the dish both sweet and savory. I hope you find this information helpful.

Let’s get to the recipe, shall we?

Drunken Noodles

Authentic Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) recipe

Mary Thatcher
Authentic Drunken Noodles recipe along with tips and tricks on how to substitute each ingredients.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course dinner, lunch, Main Course, noodle
Cuisine asian, thai
Servings 3
Calories 765 kcal



For the Stir Fry
  • 1 lb flat rice noodle Often called "Fat and wide" rice noodle
  • 1 oz shrimps
  • 1 bell pepper
  • ½ onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 chilies
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ cup snow peas
  • 1 cup Gailan or broccoli
  • 1 cup basil Thai or Holy basil. You can use Italian basil if that is all you can find.
For the Sauce


Make the Sauce
  • Make the sauce by combining the ingredients listed above (oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, dark soy sauce, and fish sauce)
Prepare the Flat or Fat Rice Noodles
  • Fresh wide rice noodles can be purchased from some Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section. If the noodles are hard and cold, microwave it for 2 minutes. Cut it into 1 inch wide and separate them.
Prepare Vegetables and Aromatics
  • Pound or crush garlic and chilies into a rough paste and set it aside.
  • Chop bell peppers, onions, Gailan or the Chinese broccoli, and get the Thai or the holy basil ready. We’re about to get cooking!
Assemble the Stir Fry
  • In a hot wok, heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil. Cook the shrimps for 3 minutes and set it aside.
  • Add more oil to the wok, then stir fry garlic and chilies for 30 seconds. Add onion and bell pepper. Push them to the side of the wok.
  • Add rice noodles and the sauce. Mix together then let the noodles charred for a minute.
  • Add snow peas, Gailan, and the cooked shrimps. Stir fry for another minute. Add basil and turn the heat off. Enjoy!


Serving: 1.5cupCalories: 765kcalCarbohydrates: 143gProtein: 13gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 2419mgPotassium: 513mgFiber: 6gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 2311IUVitamin C: 134mgCalcium: 99mgIron: 3mg
Keyword Drunken Noodles, Pad Kee Mao
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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