Spicy Thai Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles, Pad Kee Mao

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Well…this summer I’m filling requests. This is another one that I have been waiting for just one ingredient for many months and just got now. The dish is called Guay Tiew Pad Kee Mao, or “Drunken Noodles” (Guay Tiew = noodles, Pad = stir-fry, Kee Mao = drunkard. This dish should have been called “Drunkard’s Noodles” for a more accurate translation), long, wide rice noodles stir-fried with meat, eggs, some vegetables, holy basil (what I’ve been waiting for) and chilies.

There is no alcohol in the ingredients, so why “drunken”?

Well, you have to understand the different drinking habits of the typical drunkard in Thailand. At least to be able to drink comfortably while you’re visiting the country, you know. The Thais do not drink before meals like Westerners. They drink as a meal…oops…too much information too soon. Let’s try again. They have a meal while they’re drinking, or at least a snack, and in general they don’t drink without food, unlike Americans and Europeans.

If you consider someone who drinks every day an alcoholic, then I had an alcoholic father. From what I remember, my entire time that I was living at home, my dad had stopped drinking for only a two-week period right after my graduation–that’s it. He was a happy drinker, very much the  opposite of the moody, sober boss that everyone knew at work. (He was a CFO of a huge organization, about 25,000 or more employees, in Bangkok.) His personality was that of a perfectionist. Extremely intelligent, very demanding, organized, straightforward and strict (someone said he rather break than bend) but quite melancholy.

This, together with his power in the company, made people generally intimidated by him. But he turned into a very funny, lovable, and relaxed person after the first sip of alcohol.

My dad would go out drinking with his friends on the weekends, or they would have a small party at our house or one of the uncles’ houses. If the party was at home, there was an array of dishes that came out from the kitchen, either prepared by our cook (my mother doesn’t cook) or brought in from the street vendors or restaurants.

They ate, drank and chatted, and all three acts had to go together all at once. You couldn’t miss one element. If the whiskey was gone, I (yes, me from 6 – 12 years of age, before my sister had gotten old enough to accept the baton from me) would run to the nearby convenience store and get more whiskey for them. If the food was gone (didn’t happen very often) then I had to get the cook to make more dishes. If they became too drunk and stopped talking, then they would disband and go home, but I never saw that happen.

Most likely, they would do it from mid-afternoon until midnight, and my mother had to cut if off at midnight because their wives or their kids were calling for them to go home, or they would be too loud, disturbing the neighbors. So when they reached that unreasonable hour my mother had to chase them back to their homes.

You know drunkards’ tastebuds are impaired due to the alcohol suppressing their brains, right? So the food that they would like to eat usually has much more intense taste, saltier and spicier. “Drunken noodles” is the ultimate example. It was their favorite noodle dish, even over Pad See Ew (that you already know how to make.) This was the “untouchable” dish for me back home due to the level of spice in it. It’s surely an “adult” noodle dish.

So, to wrap up after five paragraphs of personal background, this dish is called drunken noodles because it’s the drunkard favorite, what they usually eat while they drink. Yes, there is alcohol in the mix, you just have to drink it on the side. I would NOT recommend a glass of wine. This one goes with whiskey and soda!

You already know how to make PadThai and Pad See Ew. Drunken noodles is a closer relative to Pad See Ew than PadThai because of the big fat rice noodles–Sen Yai or Ho fun noodle–used in the recipe.

Ingredients  (for 2)

Big flat rice noodles (Sen Yai or Ho fun) separated, about 1 cup

Protein of your choice 1/2 – 1 cup (beef, pork, chicken, lamb, shrimp fish or tofu for the vegetarian or vegan all work)

Tapioca starch or Cornstarch 1/2 teaspoon (use to marinate the meat only)

Chopped garlic 1 tablespoon

Slice Jalapeño peppers, 2 pods (about 1/2 cup–you can use other kinds of chili peppers that might be spicier than Jalapeño, like Serrano or Thai bird eyes chili, too)

Onion, sliced 1/4 cup

Tomatoes, cut in wedges 1/2 -1 cup (source of your liquid in the stir-fry)

Holy basil, leaves only, not stems  1/2 – 1 cup (You can use Thai basil or even Italian basil)

Egg  1 – 2 eggs

Fish sauce 2 tablespoons (substitute it with light soy sauce for vegetarian or vegan)

Sweet soy sauce 2-4 tablespoons

Oyster sauce (optional)

Maggi sauce or seasoning soy sauce (optional)

White ground pepper (optional)

Sugar (optional)

Vegetable oil or lard 2 – 4 tablespoons


1) Marinate the meat. I used pork, so I sliced

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and marinated it in soy sauce or oyster sauce and, the secret to making the meat tender, added about half a teaspoon of tapioca starch or cornstarch per a cup of meat into the mix. Tapioca starch or cornstarch will seal the surface of the meat and won’t let the water escape. You can do this marinade just right before you start cooking.

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2) Separate the flat rice noodles, prep the vegetables: either sliced, cut, chopped or picked leaves, and get them all ready to go in the wok.

Authentic Thai Pad Kee Mao - spicy drunken noodles ingredients

3) Add 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok, set on high heat and wait for the oil to be really hot, smoking is allowed. The key is to get the wok really hot, and then you add the chopped garlic and toss it around a few times, then add onion,

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then chilies, and cook until the onion is translucent.

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4) Add the meat,

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tossing it around to cook it, making sure that every piece of meat is seared to seal in the juice. We will be cooking some more so you don’t have to thoroughly cook the meat, just the surface.

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5) Add the tomatoes to the wok, stir-fry until they release their juice.

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6) Add the noodles as soon as you see the tomatoes releasing juice.

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Also add the sauces.

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You might want to add only half at first and see if you need the rest of the sauces. Toss the contents around the wok.

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If you like some burn spots on the noodles, stop tossing for 5 – 10 seconds at a time to let the noodles burn, then toss them again, alternatively doing that for a few rounds, and you will get nice, fragrant burn spots on the noodles.

Don’t forget to taste it! Adjust the taste to your liking, don’t just follow my recipe. I didn’t even really measure mine (REALLY?…Yes, really. Who has the time? The wok was freaking HOT! I can’t burn my dinner for a blog, you know). I tell you the approximate amounts. Then you taste it and see if this is the amount you like, then you have your own recipe. 😉

The noodles shouldn’t be too dry. The tomatoes are the source of liquid in this stir-fry but if it isn’t enough then add water, a tablespoon at a time. We don’t want a wet drunk. It’s nasty.

7) Push the noodles to one side of the wok,

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add more oil, then crack the egg in the oil

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and break the yolk with the spatula.

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Flip the noodles back on top of the egg,

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then count to fifteen. (Normal speed, not the super-fast way. If you want to count super-fast, then count to fifty!)

The counting is the time the eggs need to set a little. If you crack the egg and start to stir-fry right away, the egg will just disappear and leave the fishy smell and fishy taste behind…yuckkkkk! This is how I get the eggs to look like I just scrambled them and added them to the wok.

I’ve seen a lot of recipes out there on the internet that attempt to cook Pad See Ew or Pad Kee Mao or even PadThai with “scrambled egg” listed in the ingredients…Nope…It isn’t done that way amateur, NEVER.

Once you’re done counting, starting to push the noodles around the wok again. Sample it for the final taste adjustment.

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8) TURN OFF THE HEAT and add the holy basil in the wok,

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tossing it to mix with the noodles. The heat left over from noodles is going to cook the delicate basil leaves. If you are using Italian basil, which has bigger, thicker leaves, you might end up with a slightly uncooked basil but it’s ok. It’s going to wilt down further anyway, but you can also continue the heat if you want to really cook the life out of the basil. Your choice.

You are not going to eat the noodles right out of the wok, are you? Even barbaric me doesn’t do that! Plate it and don’t forget to put ground white pepper on top and mix whiskey and soda for your drink. Let’s see if the noodles are drunk or you are 😉

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197 thoughts on “Spicy Thai Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles, Pad Kee Mao

  1. For a moment I thought you were talking about my dad! And my mom! Well, actually she does cook sometimes and has several specialty dishes. Really miss my dad, he was always the life of the party. Thanks for the recipe, I was just complaining I didn’t know what to do with my glut of Thai basil.

    • lol…really. I missed him too. When there is some struggle in life, I always miss him.

      Secretly, I started working on this post on his b-day (What does the birthday of the person who already passed away call?), 7/24, finished on the exact date, 7/26, of 12th anniversary of me living farther less, and post it just a day after.

      I’m glad, you get to use the Thai Basil somehow. Mine aren’t doing that well. I don’t know how to keep the bugs off. They came laid eggs and the warm came out to eat my basil! I sprayed them with chili water but that doesn’t seem to work 🙁

    • Chris, you are making me feeling guilty… well, a bit. LOL
      I have actually lost some weight. I have no idea how it happens. (I guess moving a lot in the kitchen does burn calories ha ha ha)
      Anyway, I am gonna try this recipe. We got lots of Thai rice noodles in the local supermarket. The other ingredients are also easy to find. I wonder what it will taste like if I actually add herbal wine tonic in it. I mean, it will suits the name of the dish, won’t it? 😀

        • Ha ha ha
          Well, I won’t be THAT drunk. Besides, wine tonic contains more herbs and less alcohol.
          (It is a GREAT excuse to drink, and guilt-free too, most of the times!)

      • lol…Did you add the wine? I used to add whisky to it when I don’t use tomatoes…stink! Then I used the brandy (an upgrade haha), nope still stink. I used the red wine and I was ok with it but the best is Guinness beer!

        • Guinness? I should try that!
          I once made a pork stew using Guinness. I did not like it but some of my family members really did. Well, I was grateful that they finished it for me (I don’t like wasting food). 😀
          I also tried stewing the chicken using Heineken beer. I liked it better. I served it with blanched peanuts and cilantro leaves. Yum!
          The wine tonic actually made the noodles taste “different”, but the good kind of different. The tonic itself is bittersweet, causing the noodles taste more herbal (as if it it was cooked by a traditional Chinese herbalist. LOL)

  2. Great story. And great technique – Who has time to measure? Ha! Also like the adivce about flipping the noodles over the eggs and counting. I’ll have to try that – sounds like it would produce a result much different than scrambled eggs. Thanks. Ken

    • Yes, it is. It’s more like scramble egg mixed with fried egg. When the egg has been scrambled before putting in, the texture is different, normally fluffier and absorb more sauce also smell “fishy” to me.

  3. Loved the background you provided, so lively and tongue numbing, lol… I love spicy food. Interesting about counting for eggs to be ready. The recent post i blogged on cockles and noodles, the vendor also counted but 42 times coz he cooks a whole wok (mass production). And husbanditor is so original 😀

    • lol…I so want to eat that cockles noodles. I missed Singapore! The Char Kuay Tiew, Chicken rice, Laksa, Roti and etc… Envy at you…plus you had so many location of Garrette’s popcorn too!

      Husbanditor is very unique and useful 🙂 I don’t recommend anyone to get one though.

    • lol…I have a lot of non-Thai friends and they know nearly nothing about Thai cooking and they said “Don’t do it like you are writing a cookbook because we tried and it didn’t work.” So I got it (aside from them showing up waiting to eat Thai dishes I made). I saw your picture while you took Thai cooking class in Bangkok too! How was it?

    • lol…don’t tease me…Pad Kee Mao is also the best cure for hang over! Oil, carb, protein and spice to eliminate the bad taste in your mouth from last night. I actually might eat it BEFORE I went to bed after the drunk night. By the time I was ready for bed it’s consider breakfast anyway! That way I don’t wake up with hang over too.

  4. Love your tip on keeping the eggs in big, browned pieces. Boo to vanished eggs with a fishy whiff. PKM is a family favourite, but even the Thai takeaway doesn’t guarantee consistency in taste. Yours has sensational colour and gloss, and I can almost smell the smokiness from the breath of your killer wok fire. Good work!

    • If your family like to eat stir-fry noodles, I recommend buying a cast iron wok. It’s not expensive at all. I like Lodge. The cast iron will keep the “flavor” with in the carbon that you “season” the wok with.

      I was using the regular wok for so long and missing the “wok flavor” until I switch. The only trick is do not wash your cast iron with soap, just use hot water and brush. Then you can shun on the Thai take out or Chinese take out, because you can make the noodles better than them without MSG too.

    • I used a few different brands. One is Golden Mountain (ภูเขาทอง Pu-Khao-Thong) another is Golden Label (ฉลากทอง Cha-Lak-Thong) and Maggi made in Germany not the one made in China (red tip not the yellow tip). All three sauce used in this dish are not going to make any different because you mix them with fish sauce (I used oyster brand) and oyster sauce (Lee Gum Kee or Three cooks สามแม่ครัว, Thai brand are fine).

      • hello sorry i meant the type of sauce from maggi … like i know maggi makes a few types of sauce like chilli garlic e.t.c which one did you use? thanks

        • Hmmm…you must be either Mexican or Filipino. I don’t know much about other country but I know that Mexican has such a variety of Maggi. I only had a chance to try, plain, chili and lime one from Mexico. They used the name Jugo but I don’t have any of them in my cupboard. I don’t like the thickness of them and the sour taste even the plain one is sour.

          My friend brought those sauce from Mexico to try and we end up distributed among the (at that time)”singles”. The Filipino version also has garlic flavor. My Filipino friend got it from Philippines and it was very good. I used it up in no time and can’t get them again. 🙁 If you know where to get it, please tell.

          I used the German Maggi sauce (red tip) plain no flavor. I actually like the French one better but Ranch 99 only carry the German made version these days. I guest the French one was so expensive, $6-8 for the small bottle. My friend teased me that I was the only customer. The German made is cheaper, $4-6 for small bottle and over $25 for large size that made my friend from Germany so proud that the seasoning sauce cost more than a bottle of CA wine and even some French wine.

    • I think the confusion is that Maggi is both a brand, and a name of the flagship sauce within the brand – “Maggi Seasoning”. Do a google search on the following terms together and read the cooksinfo.com article about Maggi sauce and its versions: maggi red yellow germany china. The article includes a picture of the bottle.

  5. Thank you for the background on what a “happy” past this dish has had in your family! Admittedly, I had ALWAYS thought there was alcohol in these “drunk” dishes but apparently not. Sounds yummy! (ps I see this is an older post but it somehow popped up…and I’m not happy I had missed this!)

    Happy New Year!

  6. Thank you so much! I have always loved spicy food and Thai is my favorite. I can’t go within a mile of a Thai restaurant without getting Pad Kee Mao.

    Yet I am a lifelong vegetarian (no fish or fish sauce either). Do you have any extra tips for still getting the same flavor and succulence without fish and oyster sauces?

    • Marinate tofu with soy sauce and Maggi but not the tapioca flour. I would add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of vegemite to the marinade and use the mushroom soy sauce. The main flavor comes from basil leave, onion, garlic and tomatoes so don’t worry that vegetarian version will be lesser flavor. Vegemite is adding umami taste to the dish. You won’t miss out a thing.

      The vegan is a little tricky because of the egg but wait in the near future Hampton food (Beyond Egg is the brand, the egg made from tree 😉 will come out with scramble egg formula.

    • You know it’s surprised me every time that people know about this dish! It’s spicy, salty, the holy basil isn’t that easy to find and so NOTHING like the PadThai.

      Did you made it? Did he like it?

  7. Do you have a suggested brand of soy sauce(sweet soy sauce) and fish sauce that is less salty? I have tried 2 different recipes so far and both turned out very salty. Yours by far was better than the first one. I am cooking this for a family of 5 instead of 2 so I tripled everything using the high numbers for most of the ingredients but the low numbers for the salty ones. It was edible this time but still very salty. The flavors were so very yummy though!

    • I used my familiar brand. The sweet soy sauce is brand dragon fly. (http://www.templeofthai.com/food/sauces/blacksweetsoy-5132222035.php) I’m not sure if you can find them in your area but you can order from the link. If not you can use light soy sauce (not the Japanese brand but the Chinese one) mix with molasses 1:1. This should help reduce the amount of salt consume.

      Fish sauce I use oyster brand (not oyster sauce). It’s rather confusing but it’s just the brand without MSG I can find.

      My recipe you can adjust it too. It won’t effect the out come. You just simply reduce the amount of fish sauce and soy sauce. Or just to be on the safe side, add only 2/3 of everything then serve the noodles with a set of seasoning. If you ever been to Thailand. We always has these set of seasoning, fish sauce, sugar, chilies in vinegar and dried chilies flake on the table so everyone can adjust the taste of their food.

  8. Looks so tasty…as does all of your creations! We had Vietnamese neighbors when I was a child and they would make the most delicious food for their parties. Lots of people would come over dressed up and if it was summer they would enjoy each other’s company outside and the smells would waft over. Often their Mom would bring us a plate of fresh spring rolls over and to this day I have not had a better one! 🙂

    • Envy…I love Vietnamese food too but I met the very first Vietnamese friend when I was 24! Funny she LOVED spicy Thai foods and I love non-spicy but vegetable filled Vietnamese foods. We would exchanged our lunch box at school (we were grad students back then) without even asking what’s in it and happily ate each other food for lunch.

  9. Just made this for dinner!! Yum! I only used soy sauce and “homemade sweet soy sauce” so I think it was a little bland. I would think using some of the other sauces would add that extra, richer flavor! I added bell pepper and steamed broccoli and it was a HUGE hit! Thank you so much!!

  10. I’m going to be cooking this tonight, but I wanted to know, what kind of meat did you use? I know we’d want to use a tender meat but not sure what cut.

    • Sorry for the late reply.

      Any cut would be ok. If I’m going to make the beef weld one I would get the tender but with a lot of fat content (personal choice) but if I made it for myself, I would use the filet and cook it medium rare (extremely high heat and cook very very fast near the end after the egg and noodles).

  11. Thank you for the recipe. This is the first recipe of yours that I have read and I LOVED it. Not only did I find the information I was looking for, I also learned a few new things and had an enjoyable read in the process. Thank you again.

    • I’m glad.

      BTW if you have any Thai dishes that you like and want to get recipe, you can also request the recipes too. (I’m having fun from doing so. I learn in the process what recipes become favorite among the non-Thai that way.)

  12. so did you cook the noodles before adding them to the wok? or did the juice from the tomatoes cook them? I can’t tell from instructions. Can’t wait to try these!

    • No, I DIDN’T cook the noodles before. (The noodle is already cooked before packing in the bag. If you cook so many steps, they will disintegrate!) The noodles will be cooked slightly more with the juice from tomatoes and the heat.

  13. Hello,
    I am wondering on a scale of 1 to 10 how hot this recipe is. I usually eat like a 7 spicy. If this is not as how do you just add more jalapeno?

    • Whose scale would be my question? To the Thai this is 0 or -1! To Asian in general scale is about 2. To American this is 5.

      You need to add more chili, jalapeño is not going to give you that heat, get Serrano chili or if you want to try Thai level of spicy, use bird eyes chili.

  14. Thank you so much for this recipe! I made it last night and it was amazing!!! I tried the bird eye Chili’s and used 4 without the seeds! And the crazy thing is is that it still didn’t taste spicy to me at all. My 11 month old baby ate it just fine and didn’t act like it was spicy at all. If I want to make it really spicy how many thia Chili’s would you recommend that I add next time I make this?

    Have you made Tom Kah soup on any of your Web pages? And if not I would love to request a authentic recipe from you…

    Thanks again!

    • Ashley

      I think you have to keep the seeds and the membrane of those chilies, if you want them spicy. Where did you get the bird eyes chilies? Are they grown locally? I allergic to them the most and remember that they’re so spicy and gave me diarrhea (part of allergic reaction). You don’t need to take all the seeds and membrane out and just slice them of even crush them of you want. (Thai people do)

      And you baby can eat chili already! I believe you are secretly a Thai!

      http://www.highheelgourmet.com/2012/02/16/tomkha-lobster/ This is the recipe for Tom Kha. If you want to make it with chicken go easy on lemongrass. You can use only one stalk or less. I used more with lobster to kill the fishy smell. You don’t need to do that with chicken. Also since you like spicy foods, you can fried the dried red chili and float it on top of the soup to add some spice.

  15. There seems to be some confusion in the naming of certain Thai herbs on the internet, specifically between Thai Basil, Holy Basil, Horapah (?) / Bai Hua Rapha, etc. Could you look up Google Image pictures of both “Ocimum tenuiflorum” and “ocimum basilicum” and let me know which should be used for this dish? There is an Asian woman selling fresh herbs at Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton (Sarasota, FL). Her partner or husband seems to be saying that they grow Thai herbs but don’t bring them to the stall because they assumed there would be no demand. I was also trying to explain Kaffir Lime leaves to the guy, and trying to draw them, but I don’t think he understood. I will bring my dying potted Kaffir Lime mini tree next week and show it to him.

      • Can I trust eHow? “Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum, formerly Ocimum sanctum)” …. : “In Thailand, where tulsi is known as Bai Gkaprow, this herb is added along with garlic, fish sauce and chili peppers to simple stir-fries. Bai Gkaprow also typifies the flavor of traditional pad kee mow (meaning “drunken stir fry”), which is a hot and spicy…….”

        • Only some type of tulsi gave the same smell as kaprao, not all. I grew some at home base on the recommendation of the greenhouse near by but I can’t use them for Thai cooking. The type that Thai people is using would have oval shape leaves and thin. Tulsi normally has pointed tip leaves and much thicker. I think you try to find kaprao at some Asian grocery first then try to remember the smell then you are good to get tulsi to substitute.

      • Ocimum tenuiflorum is the scientific names for kaprao, Ocimum Sanctum is the synonym. Tulsi is the common name for the type of plants used in ceremonies in India. They could be kaprao or may not. If the leaves have tiny little hair, they might not be the same kaprao.

        This is from my Indian friend. She called Thai kaprao “Tulasi” leaves. I don’t know for sure how different because wiki is not helping.

        Don’t worry so much about the leaves (believe it or not). Thai restaurants use Thai basil all the times because Kaprao is only available in summer. I used Italian basil in winter too. If you follow the step and not using the lemon basil, you would get the dish!

  16. We finally tried this (after finding Thai Basil at Cash and Carry). It came out awesome! We were fixing it for 16 people. We split the recipe between two woks so that we could have one pretty spicy batch and one mild batch (there were ten children-8 yrs old and under). Because of the large amounts of food it was a little wetter than we would have liked, but not too soupy. Everyone enjoyed it, Thank You.

    • You use the sauce from the marinade. Use all the sauce portion to marinate take the meat out and safe the sauce.

      You also need to taste it to see if you need more condiments too. This is just estimate but everyone is different.

      • Great, thanks! 😀

        I’m making this recipe on Sunday and I.CAN’T.WAIT!

        I was unable to find those specific noodles so I will have to use some dry ‘square rice noodles’… Hopefully it’ll work out :/

        • Well, you can try but it is going to be sticky. If you can’t find the fat rice noodles, use spaghetti or fettuccini would be much more pleasant than that square rice noodles. You can also make that noodles yourself too. But I recommend using

          Search my blog for “all about noodles” (sorry I’m out of town with very bad connection or else I would be able to provide you the link!) and read the comments for recipe of the flat rice noodles (I thought it is there). Also I wrote about the square rice noodles in there a little but too.

    • Regular soy sauce is ok but you have to add some sugar. Thai food always has 3 flavors salty, sweet and sour. One would be the lead, mostly salty, then follow with a hint of sweet and you can add chili in vinegar before eating.

  17. My absolute favorite Thai dish because it reminds me of my friend’s dad who introduced me to it years ago. We used to get down with food at their house. I introduced him to soul food, so it was a cultural exchange filled with laughter and love. He’s passed away but I can hear him saying that I was his favorite because I always brought the best whiskey for him every time I visited. (which I did. he was a happy drunk) Thank you for bringing me happy memories and another recipe to try. Yours is similar to mine, but I use a little less tomato and a little more (not much) sweet soy- couple drops. So.Damn.Good.

  18. Quick question:

    I can’t seem to find the wide rice noodles close by. I found wide egg noodles at almost all groceries here. Since this dish has eggs in it I’m thinking it wouldn’t taste that bad. Any thoughts as I have no idea how these different noodles would taste side by side.

    • You can try to make them by taking white rice and grinding it to a powder in a coffee grinder. Then just add water to make a semi-stiff dough. Roll it thin and cut with a pizza cutter.

      • Brian, I didn’t know where do you learn how to cook Asian food. I would love to see you “Roll the rice flour mixed with water” then use the pizza cutter to cut. Send me a video when you’re successfully done so.

        Rice flour do not have gluten, the most important property that make the wheat flour form “the dough”. To make rice noodles we can’t just put water in the rice flour and roll. I can dare you to try and you will NEVER get the dough to perform the same function as the wheat flour.

        To make the rice dough stiff and stick together, you have to use heat, partial heat too. You can’t just steam the whole ball of dough and expect the cooked dough to be rollable. To make the rice noodles fast, we don’t roll it at all, we mix the rice flour with a lot of water and pour it in the thin layer then steam.

  19. also, I can’t find sweet soy sauce. Can you please provide guidance about how much sugar (brown or white?) to add to regular kikkoman soy to make it sweet.

    • I’m not at home so I can’t do a precise test for you. My suggestion is to mix the sauce ahead of the time and do the taste test. Then you can adjusting the taste again LATER with fish sauce, sugar and dried chili flake. (Go read my Nam Jim post about “paung phrik”)

  20. Do you boil the noodles prior to adding them to the stir-fry? Also, my local thai restaurant uses thin thai noodles…would you happen to be able to suggest a type of thin thai noodle to use with this dish?


  21. Thank you so much for this recipe! I came across your blog doing Google search. This recipe is simple and amazing. The dish came out like what I normally get from Thai restaurants.

      • Hi!
        Love your recipie! Unfortunately I don’t have access to fresh rice noodles and only have the dried packaged kind. Can you please explain the difference between a warm and cold soak like you mentioned above? Other recipies say soak in warm or hot water.

        • Soak in warm or hot water, you cook the noodles especially the outside. So, when you fry them later, the already cooked noodles will stick together in clumps while the inside still don’t cooked.

          You soak them in cold water, you only hydrate the dried noodles without cooking them. Then you cook them properly when you fry them.

          Just try them both you will understand better.

          The other recipes that said to soak the noodles in warm or hot water are sure not written by any Thai people. We never soak them in warm or hot water.

      • I have rice noodles from the ‘a taste of thai’ brand. They r dry. Do I soak them in cold or warm or room temp water? For how long? Really confusing 🙁

      • I won’t do that and strongly advise against it. Those vegetables would get mushy but don’t add any quality to the noodles. That’s way I just said add the water if you don’t have or don’t like tomatoes. This dish doesn’t need vegetable unless it contribute some quality to the noodles, onion add sweetness and flavor, tomatoes add juice and umami taste.

        Thai people usually thoughtful in pairing vegetable with meat in the dish. This dish usually don’t need these two vegetables but once added, it make the dish more interesting, so they don’t objected to it. If you want to add carrot, some people would not eat this dish. I wouldn’t.

        The reason that they put eggplants or squash in the curries because it helps calm down the heat from the chili.

  22. I used this recipe just the other night for my roommate and I. Pad Kee Mao has always been one of my top favorites and what I consider the best comfort food. My roommate, on the other hand, doesn’t have much experience for Thai cuisine..and she fell in love with it!

    This recipe is top notch and thanks to your easy-to-follow instructions, dinner was a success! Thank you for posting this. 🙂 (Especially the part on waiting 15 seconds for the eggs to cook was excellent advice, it definitely made a difference!)

  23. This was delicious! I improvised with the amount of sauces as well – just adding in soy sauce etc to my taste. I also substituted the oyster sauce with hoisin sauce because I didn’t have time to go to the market. A few sprinkles of red chili flakes with 1 jalepeno pepper made me able to control the spice level better. This was great, thank you so much for sharing!

    • If you don’t have oyster sauce, you can omit it or substitute with fish sauce. Hoisin sauce isn’t the same. It’s sweeter and has different spice. It’s ok. You can add and adjust to how ever you like, just don’t cook it for Thai people 😉 I’m glad you like it.

  24. I tried your recipe and it’s amazing! (I’m not that great of a cook especially with Asian cuisine, but your recipe was very easy to follow!) I always thought this was something I’d have to go to the restaurant and spend $$ but now for the same price I can make it at home for multiple meals for both my friends and family. THANK YOU!

    • Yay! I’m glad.

      Your comment make me happy and encourage me to write more. I love it when people can cook at home and still have yummy restaurant style meal because it’s better. You know exactly what you put inside you 🙂

  25. Thank you so much for writing this recipe! A friend of my found your page and made it while living in South Africa. He was so happy with his result he posted it on facebook. I asked him for thr recipe and he shared your page. I am a terrible cook and have serious cooked pasta wrong! Your recipe is so easy to follow and like the first comment made I am a new stay stay st home mom of a 9 month old and i craved Drunken noodles but couldn’t afford $12 a dish. Now I can eat it all the time without any guilt. I’ve even brought friends over to show them my new skill. Thank you do much ♡♡♡

  26. Hello, I bought the fresh rice noodles for this dish but refrigerated them, is that ok? Will it change the soft elasticity of the noodle? Can I use them once they are at room temperature without ruining them?
    Thank You

    • You can put it in the fridge and when you bring it out, cut the portion that you want to use out. Then you can leave it to warm up to the room temperature or put it in the microwave (only half a minute at a time).

  27. Hello, I bought the fresh rice noodles for this dish but refrigerated them, is that ok? Will it change the soft elasticity of the noodle? Can I use them once they are at room temperature without ruining them?
    Thank You

  28. Hi would fried shallots sprinkled on top go good with this dish? I’m also wondering what type of pork and thin slices? 🙂 thank you

    • No, this dish will not do well with fried shallots. The cut of pork or beef or even chicken is your choice. If you like lean and tender pork then use the he filet. If you like more fat, use the rib or neck (or sometime called pork butt). You can flash freeze the meat until it gets a little icy and retain the shape before slicing, you can slice them thinner that way.

  29. Hi would fried shallots sprinkled on top go good with this dish? I’m also wondering what type of pork and thin slices? 🙂 thank you

  30. Great recipe. Made this for the first time tonight. My wife said it’s her new favorite thing that I make. So much better than the greasy noodles our local Thai restaurant serves! Thank you!!!

  31. In Thailand or other parts of Southeast Asia, would they really put tomatoes in? I simply can’t wrap my head around that. To me, tomatoes would instantly and irrevocably make the recipe Italian. Do they just put tomatoes in to please the White folks?

    • Thai people grow and eat tomatoes too. Have you ever eaten Som Tam or raw green papaya salad? Tomatoes is an important part of it. Also northern Thailand have a realist called Nam Phrik Ong that use tomatoes as a main ingredients too. It’s a part of roast duck curry, sweet and sour stir-fry. I don’t think that make the dish Italian at all. Thai people didn’t put tomatoes in Pad Kee Mao just to please the foreigner. Tomatoes release the juice that is needed to make the noodles tender and add umami taste. If you don’t like it you can add water instead.

      You are probably new to my blog, I only put up authentic recipes and all recipes here are cooked and eaten by the real Thais. I don’t care to please, foreigners. I don’t sell food here. I just maintain the Thai heritage that has been destroyed by foreigners actually.

      • Good to know and thanks! I’m Singaporean Chinese and I live in the US, so while I have eaten raw green papaya salad (mainly in Singapore), I’ve got no guarantee it’s absolutely authentic.

        • I love Singaporean food 🙂 very very much. I visited Singapore when I can since I can’t find any good Singaporean restaurant that serve the authentic food here in the U.S. Can you recommend any?

          I have recipe for raw green papaya salad here on my blog and there are some restaurant in Hollywood, CA that serve Som Tam the way the serve in Thailand.

  32. Hi there, this recipe is great. Whenever I make it however my noodles seem to lack the dark color and the taste im familiar with when eating drunken noodles. Could this just have to do with how much sauce is used?

  33. Hi there, this recipe is great. Whenever I make it however my noodles seem to lack the dark color and the taste im familiar with when eating drunken noodles. Could this just have to do with how much sauce is used?

  34. Hi, I really want to make this and the pad see ew but my daughter is allergic to eggs, can I
    simply leave it out? I don’t understand your comment about leaving a fishy taste. Thanks !

  35. When you make any of these Thai dishes, why do you not brown the meat first? Then, aromatics?

    Love your recipe!!!

    • In authentic Thai cuisine, we’re not using soup stock. Have you figured that out from my other posts? The tropic climate like Thailand, soup stock spoil in about half a day. So, we rely upon the juice releases from the meat we use to flavor the stir-fry sauce as we use the sauce to pour over the steamed rice to accompany in each bite or in this case to flavor the noodles.

      Also with the size of the meat I used, thin sliced or bite size, searing or not doesn’t make that much different in the taste of the meat even though it’s more critical to the larger cut.

    • They are a much loser form of noodles. The Sen-Yai has less water and has Tapioca starch in them too. But if I were you, I would try, why not. The worst is you are going to get a little wet and mushed stir-fried but if it is working then you know you can use them, right.

  36. I just discovered your blog! I love Thai food. My children love Pad See Ew and my husband and I love Pad Kee Mao. Made your Pad See Ew last night and will be making Pad Kee Mao tonight. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe. I love your writing style and your cooking attitude!! I plan (hopefully soon) to share your recipe on my own blog! Will let you know when I do.

  37. Delicious recipe. I make this vegan and grain free by frying tofu then shiritake noodles first and setting them aside then following the rest of the recipe leaving out the egg. The sauce I just use soy and fish sauces, arrowroot and stevia. I always add extra veggies too, whatever I have on hand like broccoli, pea pods, or eggplant. This is quick and easy to throw together last minute.

    • Why set the fried noodles and mushroom aside? The charisma of wok fry is the “order” into the pan. You shouldn’t need to set anything aside at all. Everything will finish all together at the same temperature at the end. In your case, you should fry hard to be cooked vegetables first, broccoli, pea pod, then noodles, tofu and mushroom. Everything should finish together.

      Why arrowroot? Is it flour? Or something else.

      BTW omit the fish sauce if you are vegan. Fish sauce is actually made from fish.

  38. Delicious recipe. I make this vegan and grain free by frying tofu then shiritake noodles first and setting them aside then following the rest of the recipe leaving out the egg. The sauce I just use soy and fish sauces, arrowroot and stevia. I always add extra veggies too, whatever I have on hand like broccoli, pea pods, or eggplant. This is quick and easy to throw together last minute.

  39. Oh my gosh I love your blog so much! I love reading your stories and experiences that go with the dishes–usually I skip past those sections on other blogs because it just talks about how “the hubby loves it” and other over-excited-ness I don’t have time for. 😛 However, yours is wholly interesting and worthwhile! I made your Pad Thai recipe a few months ago for the first time and again last week–both times SO GOOD but *much* better the second time when I had tamarind for the sauce (instead of substituting vinegar). I laugh every time you talk about not pre-scambling the egg… “YES I am yelling at you!” I’m incredibly excited to try this recipe soon, since Drunken Noodles are my boyfriend’s favorite dish.

    One question (which I should probably have asked on your Pad Thai recipe): how do you use tamarind that’s in a block (labeled “wet tamarind”) to make the Pad Thai sauce? I know your recipe calls for tamarind pulp, but I’m not sure how to turn “wet” tamarind into tamarind *pulp*. See, I cut off pieces of the tamarind block and tried to push it through a strainer with a little water to get what I think of as pulp, but that took a *very* long time and I’m not sure if that’s right at all. If it’s the right way to do it, I’m happy to struggle to get such a delicious recipe to work, but I’m a bit of a novice and I can sense you yelling at me from behind the screen for doing it wrong… 🙂

    • Haaaa…You know I hate to work with the “wet tamarind” so much. Here this is how the old fashion Thai cook would do. You pour hot water over them and let them soak for a long time like an hour or two. Then you use your hand (hopefully you have no cut in your hands or else you would be really sorry :), to smear the pulp in the water and pick the seeds and the casing out at the same time.

      Well I don’t do that anymore. I would soak the tamarind in a lot of hot or cold water over night then boil them the next day. I will boil them until the pulp fall off the seeds and casing of the seeds before I strain them. You will have a lot of liquid then this time you should boil them down to the consistency you would like. I normally like the paste very thick. The thicker it is the longer I can keep it without getting mold or funny stuff on. The longer you can keep it ensures that you don’t have to deal with this mess again for quite sometime, right 😉

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