Asian Inspired, Dinner Ideas, Noodle Dish

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Drunken Noodles have both spicy and sweet Asian notes and are OH SO DELICIOUS 😋!!!

There are many different stories of how these noodles became known as Drunken Noodles since there is no alcohol in the recipe.  One theory (and one I can get behind 😉) is that the noodles are so spicy, those partaking get drunk in the process of trying to quench their thirst 🍺!  Other stories include the chili kick knocking you out of the funk brought on by having a few too many adult beverages and after New Year’s 🎉, we might all need that 😉!

Drunken Noodles are a popular stir fry Thai noodle dish (known as Pad Kee Mao) normally made with wide rice noodles, soy sauce, fish sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, meat, seafood, holy basil, chili and fresh black pepper pods, which adds distinctive spiciness.  For my version, I used rice noodles, dark and light soy sauce, oyster sauce, garlic, pork, red pepper, green onion, carrot, cilantro, basil and Thai chili peppers and boy was it delicious 😋!

This dish could be labeled better-than-takeout Drunken Noodles because of the brightness the cilantro adds and the crunch I left on the red pepper and carrot.  Two, it was made in 20 minutes and from scratch!!!

I hope you enjoy my version (which could be labeled as mild-medium) and cheers 🍻!

Some Notes

  • Rice Noodles to Use – I went with Banh Pho Noodles because I had them on hand. Any rice noodle could work for this dish, however, if you don’t have rice noodle, vermicelli would make a great substitute.
  • Protein to Use – I went with Pork, but meat and seafood is more traditional. I will say you could use just about any protein, but treat it right through the cooking process and cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Veggies to Use – I went with red pepper, carrot and green onions.  Red pepper was used because I like the added color and sweetness, carrot because I love the texture and green onion because I always have them on hand.  Use the veggies you love; green beans, baby corn, mushrooms, etc.; and treat your veggies right and cook to your desired consistency.
  • Basil to Use – Unfortunately, I didn’t have Thai/Holy basil on hand, but if you can get our hands on that, I would suggest it!  Otherwise regular basil works well.
  • Heat Level – I used two small Thai Chili peppers and while delicious, I think it could get away with another small pepper or two especially if you love heat like me.  If you’re not a fan of spicy dishes, maybe omit the Thai Chili or just include one.  Coconut oil and oyster sauce are included in this recipe and both add sweetness to a dish, which is why it can take some spicy peppers.

Drunken Noodles

Better-than-takeout, delicious spicy noodles with a bit of sweetness!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Asian, Asian Inspired
Servings 4 people


  • 8 oz rice noodles, prepare according to package
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 12 oz pork cutlet, cut into thin slices
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 2 Thai chili pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, julienne
  • 3 green onions, chop the white ends into 1/2inch stripes and slice the green tops
  • 1 handful Thai basil, torn
  • 1 handful cilantro, chopped, reserve some for garnishing

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 3 TBSP oyster sauce
  • TBSP dark soy sauce
  • 1⅓ TBSP light soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP water
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Prepare the ingredients, including preparing the noodles as directed on the package and mixing the stir fry sauce.
  • Begin cooking by adding ½TBSP of coconut oil to a wok or nonstick pan and warm on medium. Once the oil is warmed, add your pork stripes and cook until done, 5ish minutes.
  • Remove the pork from the pan and set aside. Add the garlic and chili pepper and cook on medium low, being careful not to burn to burn the garlic.
  • Once the garlic is aromatic, add the red pepper, carrot and the green onion whites and cook for 5ish minutes.
  • Add the prepared noodles and the stir fry sauce and toss together. Cook together for another few minutes.
  • Once the noodles are coated with the stir fry sauce, add the pork back to the pan, the green onion tops, basil and cilantro (reserving some for garnishing). Toss together quickly (slightly wilted) and turn off the heat.
  • Serve warm in a bowl and enjoy, cheers 🥂!
Keyword 20 Minute Noodles, 20 Minute Spicy Noodles, Drucken Noodles, Pad Kee Mao


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