Food & Drink

Pad Kee Mao

One of my favorite Thai dishes is a popular one called “Drunken” Noodles (pad kee mao). However, there is nothing drunk about them; no alcohol is used in this recipe.


I’ve been told that they are called drunken noodles because it’s a good idea to have some ice cold beer on hand to help tame the spiciness of the dish and also that it’s good hangover food.


8 oz. dried rice noodles such as those used for pad Thai

2 Tbsp oil (peanut, vegetable or canola)

3 large garlic cloves, peeled & minced

8-10 fresh Thai chillies, stemmed and minced (use more or less for the spice level you like)

1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

8 oz. boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces

2 tsp. fish sauce (nam pla)

2 green onions, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 cup fresh Thai Basil or Thai Holy Basil leaves

3 Tbsp oyster sauce

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp. sugar

1 Tbsp water


  1. Prepare noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar and water. 
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or large heavy skillet over high heat.
  4. Add the garlic and chili and cook for 10 seconds.
  5. Add the onion, cook for 1 minute. 
  6. Add the chicken and fish sauce and fry, tossing until cooked, 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add the green onion, noodles and oyster-soy sauce and cook, stirring for 1 minute until the sauce reduces and coats the noodles.
  8. Remove from the heat and immediately add the basil, tossing until just wilted, then serve immediately.
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