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Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Drunken Noodles are spicy Thai street food that pairs perfectly with an icy cocktail or beer. The fresh veggies, lean chicken, and gluten-free rice noodles are tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce for a meal that’s better than takeout and healthier too.

White plate withDrunken Noodles with chicken, red pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a spicy, sweet sauce.

Did you know that today is National Eat Your Noodles Day?  I’m using it as an excuse to finally add one of my favorite weeknight dinners…not that I need any excuse to eat noodles…or pasta.

Drunken Noodles

This is one of those recipes that you can use whatever protein and vegetables you have on hand, is ready in about 40 minutes, feels healthy, and yet is so satisfying.

The name, as rumored, originated because these noodles can cure a hangover.  I don’t know how true THAT statement is, but I can say that these noodles go amazingly well with a cold glass of Pinot Grigio.

I like to serve the noodles with a Cool Lychee Martini, a big Crunchy Asian Slaw, and Creamy Matcha Lychee Ice Cream for dessert.

Close up of a white plate withDrunken Noodles with chicken, red pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a spicy, sweet sauce.

Ingredients Needed

  • Soy sauce – I used regular soy sauce, but dark soy sauce or tamari also works.
  • Oyster sauce – despite its name, this dark, thick, rich sauce is not fishy tasting at all.  Instead, it lends a caramelized color and hint of sweet umami to your dish.
  • Brown sugar
  • Lime juice – use fresh limes and not the bottled stuff.
  • Rice vinegar
  • Rice noodles – use a wider noodle to soak up all of the luscious sauce.
  • Vegetable oil
  • Dark sesame oil – also called toasted sesame oil.  This adds a ton of flavor.
  • Protein – this could be chicken, shrimp, scallops, pork, beef, or even tofu.
  • Garlic and fresh ginger – I like using the paste that is sold in tubes in the produce section.
  • Scallions
  • Thai chile – for heat.  This is optional.  If you like heat, use one or two and leave the seeds in.  Not a fan of spice?  Omit it or remove the seeds and veins before chopping them up and tossing them in.
  • Vegetables of your choice – you can use bell peppers, carrots, mushrooms, baby corn, broccoli, tomatoes, or whatever you have in your fridge.
  • Egg – this is scrambled and stirred right into the vegetables and meat.
  • Basil – ideally, the recipe uses Thai basil, but I can’t find it locally here in Florida, so I’ve used regular Italian basil and it’s delicious.

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Prepare the rice noodles per the package instructions.  Drain and set aside.
  2. Stir all of the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Heat both oils in a skillet or wok. 
  4. Stirfry the chicken until no longer pink, and then toss in the ginger, garlic, and chilies.
  5. Next, add the vegetables and stirfry until they’re tender-crisp.
  6. Push the veggies to the edges of the pan.  Crack the egg into the center of the pan and scramble.  Stir the egg into the meat and veggies.
  7. Pour in the sauce.
  8. Add the noodles and cook, tossing to combine until the noodles absorb most of the sauce.
  9. Stir in the basil.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy.

White plate withDrunken Noodles with chicken, red pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a spicy, sweet sauce.

If you liked this recipe, here are a few more suggestions to try:

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White plate withDrunken Noodles with chicken, red pepper, scallions, garlic, and ginger in a spicy, sweet sauce.

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)


Description

Drunken Noodles are spicy Thai streetfood that pairs perfectly with an icy cocktail or beer. The fresh veggies, lean chicken, and gluten-free rice noodles are tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce for a meal that’s better than takeout and healthier too.


Ingredients

Scale

For the sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar

For the noodles:

  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste or grated fresh ginger
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 Thai chili, very finely minced
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • ½ red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large handful basil leaves (use Thai basil if possible)

Instructions

Cook the noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 2-3 minutes or until al dente.  They should be a little hard in the center and not cooked completely.  Drain and set them aside.

Make the sauce.

In a measuring cup, stir together all of the sauce ingredients.  Set aside.

In a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, add the vegetable oil and sesame oil.  When the oil is shimmering, toss in the chicken slices and stir-fry until no longer pink.

Add the ginger, garlic, and thai chiles.  Toss and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Next, toss in the scallions, red pepper slices, and chopped tomato.

Stir-fry the chicken and vegetables for 1-2 minutes.  Move the chicken and vegetables to the edges of the wok or pan.

Crack the egg into the middle of the pan and mix to scramble the egg.

Add the noodles to the pan.  Gently toss the noodles into the chicken and vegetables.

Reduce the heat to medium. Pour in the sauce and toss to coat all of the noodles, chicken, and vegetables with the sauce.

Add the basil leaves and stir to incorporate them into the mixture.

Serve immediately.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stirfry
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: Drunken noodles, Thai noodles, Thai street food, Pad Kee Mao, Better Than Takeout, Asian food, Asian recipes

Yum
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