Drunken Noodles is the perfect dish to make when you want a quick and easy Asian inspired meal at home. This flavor packed recipe is the perfect way to bring restaurant style cuisine home without the added cost of going out. Your friends and family will love when when you serve up this popular Thai dish!
Reasons You’ll Love This Dish
- Drunken Noodles, also known as Pad Kee Mao, is a stir fry packed full of exotic flavor thanks to a mixture of soy, fish and oyster sauce.
- If you like a little heat, you’ll love this recipe! It has a spicy kick thanks to Thai bird’s eye chili.
- These drunken noodles are packed with veggies and protein making them a healthy option for any night of the week.
- Gourmet food has never been easier to make. You can whip this recipe up like a master chef.
How Do You Make Drunken Noodles?
If you love thai food as much as I do, you are going to love this easy Drunken Noodles recipe. The thai flavors in this recipe are packed full of spices, tasty vegetables, and steaming piles of rice noodles. Combine that with some chicken and you’ve got a whole protein packed meal.
Drunken Noodles Recipe
Making Thai food goes fast, so it’s important to have everything you need ready to go before you begin. This recipe is quick, easy, and one that is definitely meant to impress.
Let’s discuss how to make this delicious Drunken Noodles recipe, as well as the ingredients that are needed for it. Please take note that below you will find discussion, expert tips, and answers to frequently asked questions about this recipe to help you recreate it in your kitchen.
If you *just* want the recipe itself, scroll down. The full printable recipe itself, with exact measurements and instructions, is found at the bottom of this page
While there are quite a few ingredients, don’t let that scare you off of this recipe. They come together very quickly and easily, I promise!
- Rice Noodles: Make sure you are grabbing Thai rice noodles. I prefer the thicker ones to the thinner ones. You can find these in the Asian food aisle at most grocery stores.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil is great for your heart, but it is also just what you need tossed on your noodles so they don’t stick as you cook them. It also adds a great Asian inspired flavor to your noodles.
- Soy sauce: Sweet and salty is just what you need added to this dish. You can use a low- sodium soy sauce if you are watching your sodium intake.
- Oyster sauce: Oyster sauce is a mixture of caramelized oyster juices. It is super flavorful and packs a punch.
- Fish sauce: Sweet, salty, and fishy, fish sauce is combined with other sauces to create your drunken noodle sauce.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar combines perfectly with the thai basil, pepper, and thai chili powder to make this dish sweet and spicy.
- Pepper: This dish is traditionally spicy, so along with the other spicy ingredients, you’ll need a little pepper.
- Ginger: Ground ginger adds a little spice and a little sweetness to your dish. Plus, it’s packed with antioxidants.
- Chicken: You will need boneless skinless chicken breasts for this homemade drunken noodles recipe. You can substitute boneless skinless chicken thighs as well.
- Vegetable oil: You’ll need a little oil to saute the chicken. If you don’t have vegetable oil, you can use olive oil, butter, or any other oil you prefer.
- Garlic: Garlic combines the spicy flavors for a delicious flavor. Make sure to use garlic cloves and not garlic powder or salt.
- Thai bird’s eye chili: This is a thai chili powder that gives your drunken noodles a real kick.
- Thai holy basil: Thai basil is not your typical basil. It has a spicy, peppery, clove-like taste.
- Vegetables: For this recipe, you’ll need to add a few Thai veggies which include snow peas, green onions, whole baby corn, and bell peppers.
Reminder, the full, printable recipe is found at the bottom of the page. Here, let’s walk through the process.
Expert tip: Before you begin this recipe, make sure you have everything you need out in front of you. Trust me, this recipe goes quickly from step to step and you don’t want to be looking for ingredients in the process.
Make The Sauce
After you have all your ingredients and supplies ready to go, you will want to make the sauce for your drunken noodles. To do this, mix soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, pepper, and ginger in a bowl and set to the side.
Next, cut up the chicken and place it into a medium bowl. Then, pour one third of the sauce over the chicken. Make sure the sauce coats the chicken evenly. Then, place the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
While the chicken is marinating, you can cook the noodles. Boil a large pot of water. Cover the noodles with boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse your noodles with cold water, toss them with a teaspoon of sesame oil, and set them to the side.
By now, your chicken should be done marinating, so you will want to get out your wok or large nonstick skillet. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium heat.
Take out your chicken and begin cooking it in the wok or skillet. You will want to make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the wok or skillet and set it aside.
Then, turn up that heat to medium high. After your wok or skillet is really hot, add the garlic, chillies, baby corn, bell pepper, and snow peas. You’ll fry these for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Next, you’ll add in your onions and basil. Continue to fry for another minute, stirring constantly so you don’t burn anything.
After you have cooked the veggies, it’s time to add the chicken back into the wok or skillet. Then, pour in the sauce and noodles.
Once everything is in the skillet, you will cook it until the noodles are the texture you prefer which is generally about 5 minutes. Make sure to turn the noodles over as they cook to help them absorb all the delicious sauce.
And, boom, it’s done! Remove everything from the wok or skillet and serve immediately.
Along the way, I have found a few tips that have helped me when making Drunken Noodles. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Substitutions: If you don’t have oyster or fish sauce, you can substitute; however, it will change the flavor. To substitute, use 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce.
Cut up your chicken into small strips: I find that smaller strips cook faster and complement the noodles better.
Storing leftovers: Keep any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can store drunken noodles for up to 5 days. Just add a little water and reheat in the microwave.
Chopping the chili: Be careful when you chop up the chili. It’s the hottest ingredient, and you definitely don’t want to touch your eyes. Wash your hands as soon as you finish.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are they called drunken noodles, do they contain alcohol? No alcohol here! There are a few theories on the name, one being that this is a great meal to consume after a night of drinking.
Do I have to use chicken? Nope! In fact, this recipe works with shrimp, beef, and pork. Make sure to fry any raw meat first before adding the veggies.
Can I Use Other Veggies? Absolutely! Other veggies that go well in this dish include sliced onions, chinese broccoli, celery, broccoli, or spinach.
Are Drunken Noodles spicy? Yes, they sure are! If you don’t like spicy food, though, you can leave the Thai bird’s eye chili out as it’s really hot. But, if you like it spicier, you can add more.
Can I use fresh rice noodles? Sure, you can. In fact, it will only make this dish even better.
If you enjoy this recipe, make sure to try my Bang Bang Shrimp recipe as well!
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- Wok or large non-stick skillet.
- 8 oz flat wide dried rice noodles 1/4" or more if possible
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 2 chicken breasts butterflied, then sliced thin
- 4 tbsp oil, divided canola or vegetable work well
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 Thai bird's eye chili, chopped wear gloves, take care not to touch your eyes, and wash your hands after handling
- 1 15oz can whole baby corn cut in half and quartered
- 1 bell pepper, sliced
- 10 snow peas
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup Thai holy basil torn into small pieces
- optional chopped green onions and basil for garnish
- Mix sauce ingredients – soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, pepper, and ginger, in a mixing bowl. Set this aside.
- Place cut chicken into a medium bowl. Pour one third of the sauce over the chicken, cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating, boil a large pot of water. Then cover noodles with the boiling water and let them sit for 10 minutes, stirring a few times. Drain and rinse with cold water. Toss the noodles with the teaspoon of sesame oil. Cover and set aside.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in the skillet over medium heat, then place the marinated chicken in and cook through. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside. Turn up the heat to medium-high. When the skillet is hot, add garlic, chilies, baby corn, bell pepper, and snow peas. Stir fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Add the green onions and basil. Continue to cook and stir for another minute.
- Return the cooked chicken to the skillet and stir to combine. Add remaining sauce and prepared noodles to the pan. Stir to combine and cook noodles to the desired texture, approximately 5 more minutes. Make sure to turn the noodles over as they cook to help them absorb the sauce. Remove from the wok and serve immediately.