My favorite recipe for Thai drunken noodles (pad kee mao), made with your choice of protein and veggies and the most irresistible Thai basil sauce.
- 8 ounces uncooked rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts*, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 scallions, chopped with white and dark green parts divided
- 2 cups broccoli florets (or other veggies*)
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups tightly-packed fresh Thai basil leaves
- optional toppings: fresh lime wedges, sliced Thai bird chiles, chopped peanuts, and/or fried garlic
- Prep the sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or measuring cup until combined.
- Prep the noodles: Cook the noodles according to package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and rinse with cool water until the noodles are no longer hot, and set aside until ready to use. (I would also recommend tossing the noodles with a drizzle of oil if it will be a few minutes until you add them to the stir-fry, to prevent them from sticking together.)
- Sauté the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Then add the chicken to the oil and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring only occasionally, until it is cooked through. Transfer the cooked chicken to a separate (clean) plate, and return the pan to the heat.
- Cook the veggies. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan. Add the white parts of the green onions and the bell pepper to the pan and sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli and garlic and sauté for 2 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies reach your desired level of tenderness.
- Combine everything. Immediately add the cooked noodles, sauce, chicken, Thai basil, and the green parts of the scallions to the pan. Give everything a good toss for 1-2 minutes until all ingredients are evenly coated with the sauce.
- Serve warm. Remove pan from the heat and serve immediately, garnished with any of your desired toppings.
Protein alternatives: Feel free to substitute a pound of beef, pork, shrimp or tofu in place of the chicken if you would like, or you can just omit the added protein from this recipe entirely.
Veggie options: Feel free to substitute whatever stir-fry-friendly veggies you prefer in place of the broccoli and bell pepper, if you would like. Chinese broccoli is often traditionally used in this recipe, which should have its stems chopped and sautéed first and then the leafy green parts tossed in near the end.
Dark soy sauce alternative: If you can’t find dark soy sauce, you can sub in a teaspoon of soy sauce plus a teaspoon or two of sweetener (molasses is closest in flavor, but honey, maple syrup or sugar would work) in its place.