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+ servings
A plate of drunken noodles with shrimp on red placemat

Pad Kee Mao - Drunken Noodles

Popular Thai street food made with stir fried fresh rice noodles and holy basil. Be sure the watch the video of me cooking this dish in REAL TIME to see how fast it goes!
Servings 2 servings
Calories 439 kcal


  • 1 lb fresh wide rice noodles, (see note 1)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1-3 Thai chilies, or to taste
  • 1 spur chili, or ⅛ red bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 oz protein of your choice, (see note 2)
  • 2 oz carrots , cut in thin sticks
  • 2.8 oz Chinese broccoli, (see note 3)
  • 2 Tbsp julienned grachai , (optional)
  • 2 stems young peppercorns, cut in small chunks (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp pad kee mao sauce, recipe below
  • 2 ½ tsp sugar
  • A dash black or dark soy sauce, (optional, see note 4)
  • 2 cups holy basil leaves , (see note 5)

Pad Kee Mao Sauce - For 2 Servings (see note 6)

  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp Golden Mountain Sauce, or substitute more soy sauce
  • ½ Tbsp fish sauce


1. Fresh wide rice noodles can be purchased from some Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section. Dry wide rice noodles can be used, though the results are not as good. You will need 6oz of dry noodles; and they need to be soaked, boiled and rinsed in cold water before using.
2. If using chicken, pork or beef, thinly slice and marinate in 2 tsp soy sauce, ¼ tsp sugar and 1 Tbsp water for at least 15 minutes.
3. Slice the stems thinly on a bias and roughly chop the leaves. Keep the leaves and stems separated.
4. Thai black soy sauce or Chinese dark soy sauce can be added to darken the colour if you prefer, though I don't think it needs it and have decided to simplify for this new version. If using Chinese dark soy sauce, reduce the amount of sauce slightly as it's quite salty, but Thai black soy sauce is not very salty. 
5. Regular Italian basil is a fine substitute for holy basil.
6. In the video I made enough sauce for 4 servings so amounts in the video are different from in the written recipe.


  • *I highly recommend cooking 1 portion at a time for best results, so divide up your prep before you start cooking.
  • Mix the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Separate the rice noodles from each other (see video for technique). If they are cold, hard and stuck together, you need to heat them up until soft or they will break when you try to separate them. Carefully divide the noodles into 3-4 smaller bundles and spread them out onto a large plate. Microwave at 70% power, stopping every minute to move the noodles around for more even heating. Once they are soft, pull the noodles apart and divide them into portions.
  • Add Thai chilies into a mortar and pestle and pound until fine. Add garlic and spur chilies and pound into a rough paste.
  • Before you cook, organize your prep: 1) separate the ingredients into batches; 2) combine all non-leafy vegetables, grachai and young peppercorns together; 3) put the basil and leafy greens together; 4) put a tablespoon measure into the sauce and a teaspoon into your sugar crock.; 5) have a bowl ready to put your cooked protein into.
  • In a well-seasoned or non-stick wok, heat about 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over high heat. Once very hot, add your protein to the pan and spread it out into a single layer. Sear on one side until browned or halfway cooked, then flip or toss and cook the other side until done. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Put the pan back on the stove with the heat still off, add the chili/garlic paste and a little more oil if needed. Turn heat on to medium and stir just until the small pieces of garlic start to turn golden brown.
  • Add your bowl of non-leafy vegetables, turn the heat on high and stir for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the noodles, drizzle the sauce (2 Tbsp per serving) and sprinkle the sugar (1¼ tsp per portion; you can eyeball the ¼ tsp) and toss until all the noodles are evenly coated and the sauce has been absorbed. If you want a darker colour, you can add a dash of black or dark soy sauce at this time, a little at a time.
  • Once the noodles are well coated, add the protein back in and toss to mix. Then let the noodles sit in the pan without stirring for 15-20 seconds or until the noodles are charred in some spots. Flip the noodles and repeat 1-2 more times.
  • Add the basil and any leafy greens and turn off the heat. Toss for just a few seconds until they wilt. Plate and repeat with your other batches. Enjoy!
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