Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

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Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

Guys, we have breaking news here on the blog today:



Oh, sorry for shouting.  But I must say, this was a major triumph in my little kitchen.  I’ve been obsessed with ordering drunken noodles (a.k.a. pad kee mao) ever since I was introduced to their brilliance at my favorite Thai restaurant way back in the day.  And quite simply, I just think they’re the best.

But strangely, up until this year, I never even really considered the idea of trying to make them at home.  I figured that they fell in the cheaper-to-buy-and-way-too-complicated-to-authentically-make category that I tend to assume with lots of ethnic food.  But once I did a little research and realized that I already had most of the sauce ingredients already in my fridge, I spontaneously decided to give them a try this past month.  So I popped over to our neighborhood Asian grocery where I picked up some noodles and Chinese broccoli (my favorite, although you could sub in bok choy or omit it) and a big ol’ bouquet of Thai basil (the rockstar ingredient of this one).  Then my cute sous chef and I set out to work with high hopes.  And the result?!

Total. Thai. Success.

Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

Oh my goodness, I really am not exaggerating.  These were totally — as in 100%, completely, awesomely, authentically, can’t-believe-we-actually-made-these-ourselves, dare-we-say-better-than-the-restaurant, went-back-for-seconds-then-thirds — GOOD.

Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

And the fun of making them at home was that I got to include all of my favorite pad kee mao ingredients.

The protein — of course — is totally up to you.  Chicken, beef, pork, and tofu are all favorites, but I went pescetarian with some tasty jumbo shrimp.

Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

And the noodles and veggies are also totally up to you.

Just about any rice noodles will work in this dish, but I went with the wider rice stick noodles.

And then for veggies, I used red bell pepper, green onions, and lots and lots of Chinese broccoli (pictured above).  I can only find it in our Asian grocery stores, but in my opinion, it’s absolutely worth the trip (especially if you’re also picking up some other ingredients).  You can eat both the leafy greens as well as the stems, which you just saute a little bit longer to soften then along with the red pepper while cooking.  That said, if you can’t find Chinese broccoli, you’re welcome to nix it entirely, or sub in bok choy or another leafy green.Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

The one ingredient I just highly (highly) recommend tracking down is a big bunch of Thai basil.  If you can’t find it, you’re welcome to substitute traditional Italian basil.  But the Thai basil with that extra anise-ish kick is the ingredient that will make this dish taste extra-authentic.  It’s usually carried at most Asian grocery stores.  And be sure to get a lot of it, because I’m convinced that the more Thai basil the merrier with this one.

Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

When it comes to actually cooking up the pad kee mao, the biggest tip I can offer with this dish (or any Asian stir-fry dishes, really) is to take the time to actually prep and organize all of your ingredients before cooking.  The stir-fry process goes really quickly, and you want to be sure that your sauce and noodles are all ready to go before beginning.  So get everything prepped…saute it up…and within minutes…
Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

this homemade deliciousness will be yours to enjoy!

Just get ready, because once you conquer this one, I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to make it again…and again…and…  Well, let’s just say I’ve already made it three times in one month, and already can’t wait to try it again with crispy tofu once I return from New Zealand.  So quick.  So easy.  And SO GOOD.



Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 -6 servings 1x


Learn how to make delicious and authentic Thai Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) with this easy recipe at home!



Stir-Fry Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (dry) rice stick noodles
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound raw jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (*or you can sub in your desired protein or tofu)
  • 4 cups (packed) Chinese broccoli, chopped into bite-sized pieces with the stems and leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 1/2 cups packed fresh Thai basil leaves
  • stir-fry sauce (see below)
  • (optional: lime wedges, for serving)

Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 23 Tablespooons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Thai garlic chili sauce, or more/less to taste


To Make The Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao):

  1. Prepare noodles al dente according to package instructions.  (Or if there are no instructions, I recommend placing the noodles in a large mixing bowl and pouring boiling water on top of them until they are submerged.  Wait 3-5 minutes until they are soft and al dente, then drain the water and set the noodles aside until ready to use.)
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat.  Stir in the shrimp and cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping and stirring occasionally, until they are just cooked through.  (They should be pink and no longer translucent.)  Transfer the shrimp to a separate plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the saute pan or wok.  Add the Chinese broccoli stems and red bell pepper, and saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and green onions and continue sauteing for an additional 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Push the vegetables up along the side(s) of the saute pan, leaving a hole in the center.  Add the eggs, and quickly scramble them, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked.  (Alternately, you can also scramble the eggs beforehand and set aside until ready to use, or cook them simultaneously in another saute pan, if your current pan isn’t big enough.)
  5. Add in the cooked noodles, shrimp, fresh Thai basil, broccoli leaves and stir-fry sauce, and give the mixture a good toss until everything is combined.  Continue cooking for 2 more minutes, tossing frequently.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with lime wedges if desired.

To Make The Stir-Fry Sauce:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.  Taste, and add more garlic chili sauce (or any of the other sauces) if you would like.


*Chicken, beef, pork, and crispy tofu would all be delicious substitutions for shrimp.  Or you can make this recipe without any extra protein too.

Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) -- this classic Thai dish is surprisingly quick and easy to make homemade! | gimmesomeoven.com

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64 comments on “Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)”

  1. YUM I cannot wait to try this. I love making Asian food at home especially because I can control the grease factor haha.

  2. Yum, this looks just like a dish that my mom used to love at a Pho Restaurant in Boston.  Thanks!  Maybe I can recreate it for her!

  3. You had me at the mention of Thai food! :)

  4. This looks amazing – can’t wait to try it. Love all those bright colors from the fresh veggies.  Yum!

  5. Okay….that just looks and sounds like the perfect dinner waiting to happen! I will be pinning this one for later, but I wish I had a bowl right now.


  6. This looks absolutely delicious. I can’t wait to try making it myself. Pinned and ready to go :)

  7. OMG. You just possibly made my LIFE. Drunken noodles are my favorite Thai dish. And- please don’t hate me for saying this- it’s really hard to find a good pad ki mao in Thailand! I LIVE in Bangkok, and the best pad ki mao I’ve had here was at the embassy chow hall. I’ve yet to find a recipe that looked like it could live up to my nose-in-the-air standards. I’ll let you know how it goes once I’ve tried it!

    P.S. If you get a hankering for tom ka gai, I’ve got a superb recipe and knock your socks off insider tips for the preparation.

    • Thank you Bethany! We hope you’ll get a chance to try this soon, and that you like it! And I bet Ali would be interested in your tom ka gai, if you want to share. :)

  8. I tried making this dish before, and it didn’t work out. But I love drunken noodles and would be willing to give it a second try! Thanks for sharing.

  9. YUM! Love me some Pad Thai, but I almost always order Pad Kee Mao when I’m at my favorite Thai restaurant in Louisville. Definitely gotta try this one at home. 

    Josh | The Kentucky Gent

  10. Looks great! If you’re ever in LA, make sure to stop by my parent’s restaurant, Siam Sunset, and order a plate!

  11. Hi Ali – 

    Long time follower, first time poster.  :)  
    I am completely and totally obsessed with Lulu’s and we probably eat it way more than is appropriate to mention.  
    Curious to know what Asian market you go to in KC to find these special ingredients.  It’s so rare that I read a blog and they are in my city so I thought I would reach out and see if you would spill a local secret.  
    Thanks so much … literally going on the grocery list for Sunday night dinner.  
    Now if I could only learn how to make their spring rolls and that fantastic peanut sauce … then I’d be all set! 

    Many thanks in advance! 

  12. Why are they called “Drunken” when there is no alcohol? Just curious. And since we are on the subject of Asian dishes, would love to know if anyone has a good recipe for Tom Yum soup!

    • Hi Amy! We’ve heard they’re called “drunken noodles” because the dish is supposed to be so spicy that it makes you feel like you’re drunk. (We don’t find this version too crazy spice-wise.) Another reason is that it’s a favorite late night food from Thailand’s food stalls — popular with folks who’ve been out drinking. ;) We hope you enjoy!

  13. Pad Kee Mow is my absolutely FAVORITE Thai dish.  I need to try this recipe!

  14. First time I cook Asian recipe with alcohol. It already smells delicious!

  15. I’m so glad you shared this recipe with us, it looks amazing and will be making this soon!  thank you 

  16. I am so tired of same food day after day. I live alone
    and need something new I have never tried. 
    This is my choice.
    Thank you. 

  17. I just made this for lunch and it was so yummy! Thank you for another great recipe :) 

  18. Just made this, and it was quite tasty the day of and the day after! Definitely squirt some lime juice on at the end for an extra punch of flavor.

  19. As soon as I saw these noodles a knew they were a remake of LuLu’s. We just moved away from KC and I have been craving that place like crazy so needless to say I will be making these this weekend! Yuuuuummmm

  20. Delicious! This got hubby’s tick of approval too. He said “make more recipes from her blog”. I’ll definite do that. Thanks for posting this!! 

  21. This looks spectacular – thanks for sharing! I, too, love drunken noodles and can’t wait to recreate them at home.

  22. I know spiciness is a key to drunken noodles. Is there a way to take this recipe and mod it into a similar Thai dish without spiciness, such as Pad See-Ew which has a sweet sauce? I’d love to make this for my family but my toddler starts screaming intensely when confronted with this much heat.

    • Hi Katie! You can just leave out the Thai garlic chili sauce (that’s the only ingredient packing any heat in this). We hope you and your little one enjoy! :)

  23. Drunken Noodles are my absolute favorite and I cannot wait to try this recipe!  I am also in KC…which Asian market did you to go? And also where did you find the organic slaw mix for your Moo Shu pork?  Thanks!!

    • Hi Kelli, that’s awesome you’re from KC! Ali loves Chinatown in the River Market, and she thinks she found the slaw at Whole Foods. :)

  24. I was so excited to see this recipe because I love drunken noodles and love making Asian food. This was amazing!! I bet the leftovers will be even better. I also got the opportunity to discover an awesome Thai Market in my neighborhood to pick up some of the ingredients. I think I’ll be  making Thai food regularly now. Thanks! :) 

  25. This was SO good and easy! I used tofu instead of shrimp – baked for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees – and it was so delicious. I didn’t use the Chinese broccoli this time, but I will definitely try it next time if I can find it; if not, I may use snow peas. The only change I would make next time is to *triple* the sauce – I wound up making a second batch of it after I added the Thai basil and thought that it still could’ve used a bit more to flavor the noodles. But all in all, this was a WINNER!! 

  26. OMG, you are so my hero! This is my absolute FAVORITE Thai dish and I have been dying to try and make it at home! I’ve had a couple OK attempts but I love the salty-sweetness of the sauce at my local place and haven’t quite gotten that down yet. Maybe mine is missing the sweet dark soy sauce–is there a certain brand you use?

    • Thank you Genie — we hope you enjoy this recipe! As for the soy sauce, Kikkoman is fine, but we also like picking some up at the Asian market!

  27. This was the most amazing recipe! We have tried so many Thai recipes at home that have just been a flop, but no this one. It was quick and delicious! Thank you. We will be making this over and over again.

    • Thank you so much for sharing, Kat! We’re happy to hear you’re a fan of this recipe! :)

  28. I have read this several times and do not see where the broccoli leaves are added. I assume when you add the shrimp and bas?  The recipes says to separate the stems and leaves and step 3 says to add the stems, but I don’t see when to add the leaves. I’m probably missing it but would please let me know?  Would love to make this soon. Thank you!

    • Eek, sorry somehow that was left out in the instructions! Just added it back in. My apologies about that! Hope you enjoy the recipe! :)

  29. Soo delicious!! Love this recipe, thanks!! We agree this is one our family will want again and again!! Yum

  30. This is my favorite recipe! Thank you so much. My whole family loves this meal. 

  31. Wow. Just WOW.

    Amazing dish. Relatively easy prep and so fresh, healthy, and delicious!!! A true keeper.

  32. Could you make the stir fry without the noodles and freeze? Then cook the noodles and warm up when ready to eat?

  33. Is CHINESE broccoli the same as broccoli rabe?

  34. this is eyegasmic! I can have it off the screen!!! Wonderful photos and a wonderful recipe

  35. Looks absolutely fabulous. I am going to have to try this! I am slightly love, love, love Thai food.

  36. Delicious! I didn’t have Chinese broccoli or Thai basil, so I used kale, beet greens, and sweet basil. I’m sure it’s even better with your original ingredients.

  37. Amazing. I doubled up the recipe- 1# shrimp and 1# chicken. For veg, I used broccoli, carrots, red bell, onion, and snow peas, in addition to the green onion and garlic.
    Flavors are spot on! My recs would be to make extra sauce so you don’t fall short, and good for reheating, and don’t overcrowd the pan.

    Reheating- I use a covered double boiler system on the stove (shallow pan, a 1/2” water, and a bowl restating atop a mason jar ring) — reheated without drying things out or the mushy opposite.

  38. Yum! I used baby bok choy instead of Chinese broccoli. Added a jalapeño, some button mushrooms, and A little ginger and lemongrass to the sauce. We also did chicken instead of shrimp. It was AMAZING! I can’t wait for lunch tomorrow!