Chicken Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

5 from 7 votes

Make these quick, easy Thai Chicken Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) in under 30 minutes for a delicious Asian dinner. Customize the recipe to make these vegetarian or with any other meat you choose.

I make noodles very often as everyone at home loves them. Here are some of my other favorites: Vegan Pad Thai Noodles, Veg Hakka Noodles, Chilli Garlic Noodles, and Pad Woon Sen Noodles.

Chicken drunken noodles served in a bowl.
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During our Malaysian stint, we visited Thailand multiple times. One of the major attractions, apart from shopping was the food.

Thai food, just like Indian food, is loaded with flavors. Each bite is a explosion in your mouth that awakens the senses.

Pad Kee Mao translates to “Eaten with Cold Beer.” These noodles are sold on the streets of Thailand, and if you have ever tried them, you know how spicy they are. These street-style noodles are so spicy that I’m sure you’ll be chugging down chilled beer after every bite, which explains the name.

On the other hand, some people say these are called drunken noodles because they are a cure for hangovers. Others say they are named so because they are the perfect noodles to enjoy after a night of drinking.

Whatever is in the name, I can vouch that Pad Kee Mao tastes incredibly delicious and is a breeze to make.

About Chicken Drunken Noodles

Thai Chicken Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) are my all-time favorite noodle dish for a comforting meal. They are a perfect combination of savory, spicy, and umami.

These are very popular in Thailand and Thai restaurants all over the world.

This stir-fried Thai noodle dish is fast, easy to make, and comes together in under 30 minutes.

One perk of making these at home is that you can control the heat. My recipe yields mildly spiced noodles, but if you want them even milder, feel free to reduce the amount of chilies you use.

When preparing these noodles at home, you can also make many modifications depending on what you have and your taste preferences. Use readily available ingredients, add veggies of your choice, and make a non-vegetarian version by adding meat of your liking.

Ingredients

Chicken – I used skinless, boneless chicken thighs, which are juicy and rich, but you can also use boneless chicken breasts.

You will need fish sauce, ground black pepper, salt, and minced garlic to marinate the chicken.

Sauce – To make drunken noodle sauce, you will need dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, honey, and ground black pepper. You can replace dark and light soy sauce with an all-purpose soy sauce.

Noodles – If you have had Drunken Noodles in Thailand, you know they are prepared with fresh wide rice noodles. In Thailand, you will find fresh rice noodles easily in the refrigerated section of grocery stores.

But if you cannot access fresh noodles, use dried extra-wide rice noodles. Opt for flat noodles; if you cannot find them, use any available rice noodles.

I used pad Thai noodles, as these were the closest available. Linguine pasta also works wonderfully in this recipe.

Thai Basil – There are two types of Thai basil: regular Thai basil and Thai holy basil. Use whichever is available. If you can’t find either, then use Italian basil. Italian basil lacks the aniseed flavor of Thai basil, but it is better than no basil!

Vegetables – I have used onions, baby corn, bell peppers, and green onions, but feel free to use other veggies such as broccoli, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, etc.

Oil – You can use any cooking oil to make these delicious noodles.

Others – Other basic ingredients required to make this yummy dish are garlic and Thai bird’s-eye chilies.

Thai bird’s-eye chilies add the right amount of heat and spiciness to the dish. If you can’t find them, use any spicy fresh red chilies.

Tip: Bird’ s-eye chilies are very hot. Wear gloves while chopping them, and wash your hands with soap afterward. If you cannot handle the heat, you can also reduce the amount used in the recipe.

You can top these spicy noodles with crushed roasted peanuts or fried garlic.

I made this dish with chicken, but you can add other proteins like shrimp, pork, etc. Tofu also goes great in this dish.

How to Make Chicken Drunken Noodles

Marinate The Chicken

Mix the following ingredients

  • 10 oz (300 g) skinless boneless chicken thighs (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

Set aside.

Chicken pieces and marination ingredients added to a bowl.
Marinated chicken.

Make Drunken Noodle Sauce

In a bowl or measuring cup, mix the following sauce ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Notes: You can use 4 teaspoon of all-purpose soy sauce instead of the dark and light soy sauce.

Drunken noodle sauce ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Cook The Noodles

Cook 8 oz of rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Rice noodles soaked in hot water.

Stir Fry The Noodles

Have all the ingredients ready before beginning to stir-fry this dish. Once you begin stir-frying, the cooking must be done quickly on high heat.

Heat 4 tablespoon oil in a wok over high heat.

Oil heating in a wok.

Once the oil is hot, add chicken pieces and fry until nicely browned.

Remove them on a plate.

Marinated chicken added to hot oil.
Cooked chicken.

To the same oil, add the following ingredients and saute for 2-3 minutes.

  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 2-3 finely chopped Thai bird’s eye chilies
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 4-5 baby corns (cut into quarters lengthwise)
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • ½ cup spring onion greens (cut into 2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup Thai holy basil (loosely packed)
Garlic, chilies, onions, baby corn, spinach, spring onion greens, and Thai basil added to the wok.

Add the sauce, cooked noodles, and cooked chicken, and mix everything well.

Sauce, cooked noodles and cooked chicken added to the wok.

You might see a little liquid at the bottom, but the noodles will absorb it in a few minutes and become darker.

Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl and top with crushed peanuts, sliced chilies, and Thai basil. Serve hot.

Ready chicken drunken noodles.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make vegan drunken noodles?

If you want a vegan alternative, skip the chicken, fish, and oyster sauce. Replace honey with brown sugar and keep the rest of the recipe the same.

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Make these quick, easy Thai Chicken Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) in under 30 minutes for a delicious Asian dinner. Customize the recipe to make these vegetarian or with any other meat you choose.
5 from 7 votes

Chicken Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao)

Make these quick, easy Thai Chicken Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) in under 30 minutes for a delicious Asian dinner. Customize the recipe to make these vegetarian or with any other meat of your choice.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Equipment

  • Wok

Ingredients 

To Marinate The Chicken

  • 10 ounces skinless boneless chicken thighs (300 g, cut into ¼ inch pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic

For The Drunken Noodle Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder

For The Noodles

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles (225 g, flat and wide noodles are preferred)

For The Stir Fry

  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2-3 Thai bird's eye chilies (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced onions
  • 4-5 baby corn (cut into quarters lengthwise)
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup chopped green onions (2-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup Thai holy basil (loosely packed)

For The Topping

  • 1 tablespoon crushed roasted peanuts
  • 1 bird's eye chili (sliced)
  • 2-3 Thai basil leaves
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Instructions 

Marinate The Chicken

  • Mix chicken, fish sauce, black pepper powder, salt, and garlic in a bowl.
  • Set aside.

Make Drunken Noodle Sauce

  • In a bowl or measuring cup, mix dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, honey, and ground black pepper.
  • Notes: You can use 4 teaspoon of all-purpose soy sauce instead of the dark and light soy sauce.

Cook The Noodles

  • Cook noodles according to package directions.
  • Drain and set aside.

Stir Fry The Noodles

  • Before beginning to stir fry this dish, have all the ingredients ready. Once you begin stir-frying, cooking must be done quickly, on high heat.
  • Heat oil in a wok over high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add chicken pieces and fry until nicely browned.
  • Remove them on a plate.
  • To the same oil, add garlic, chilies, onions, baby corn, baby spinach, spring onion greens, and Thai holy basil, and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the drunken noodle sauce, cooked noodles, and chicken, and mix everything well.
  • You might see a little liquid at the bottom, but the noodles will absorb it in a few minutes. The noodles will also get darker in color.
  • Transfer the noodles to a serving bowl and top with crushed peanuts, sliced chilies, and Thai basil. Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

My recipe will yield mildly spiced noodles, but if you want them even milder, feel free to reduce the chilies you use.

Nutrition

Calories: 360kcal, Carbohydrates: 58g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 1492mg, Potassium: 404mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 886IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 56mg, Iron: 2mg
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Recipe Rating




6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    What a wonderful recipe! It was uncomplicated and well-balanced. My family all agreed it was one of the best noodle dishes I have prepared. I used 10mm rice noodles for the recipes, it was a perfect width IMO. Thanks for such a great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    I made Drunken Noodles for the 1st time and they were delicious! I used about a lb. of Rib Eye and added carrots & zucchini cut in matchsticks. I was disappointed that I could only find medium flat rice noodles, but they were just fine. I’m going to make it again and add a little seasoning next time, maybe Montreal.