Thai Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Watching the episodes on Potluck made me want to try some of the dishes in it (The soufflé would have to wait though haha). Jaycee Sahagun’s entry was Drunken Noodles—and because I want to support my episode-mate (there is no such word I know HAHA), I decided to try making them. Besides, you all know how much I LOVE noodles.

Kee Mao means drunkard. At first when I heard the dish, I thought there would be a good amount of alcohol in it. But many theories mention that this origin of this dish is that it’s something that you have for dinner late at night from whatever is in your pantry or fridge, and that it’s so spicy that you would need to drink a lot of beer with it, and thus making you drunk.

Well, whether you’re drinking alcohol on a Friday and thinking of a new dish to serve, or whether you just love spicy food in general, this dish is a new addition to my noodle favorites. I love that the dish has a strong kick, and how the rice noodles absorb the flavors of the sauce well. The addition of thai basil makes it a winner because of how it elevates the taste of the entire dish.

To make these, you need some flat rice noodles, your preferred seafood or meat, and some ingredients to make the sauce. I re-watched the potluck episode and watched Jaycee make the dish, but also looked at different recipes online for reference.

Watch Jaycee make this delicious dish:

And I’m sharing with you my experience and the ingredients below.

Thai Drunken/Drunkard Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 5-6


  • 300 grams of flat rice noodles
  • 500 grams of meat of choice (I used mixed seafood and chicken, while Jaycee used a mix of beef and seafood)
    • Marinade for the chicken/beef/pork: 2 tablespoons of water, 350 grams of sliced chicken thigh fillet or breast, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of oil and 2 teaspoons of cornstartch
  • 5-7 bird’s eye chili
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated ginger
  • 1 scallion/green onion stalk, julienned into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 medium sized onion, sliced
  • 1 cup of thai sweet basil (if you can’t find Thai sweet basil, you can use regular basil)
  • 1 cup of your choice of mixed vegetable (At this point I only added 1 cup of bean sprouts, but you can add baby corn, carrots, or snowpeas)
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

For the Sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce
  • ½ teaspoon of Dark/Sweet Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of white cane sugar, or sweetener of choice (Jaycee used honey)
  • ¼ cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine
  • A pinch of pepper


  1. Mix the chicken with the ingredients of the marinade, making sure it’s well coated. Marinate for 20 minutes.
  2. Follow the rice noodle package directions to prepare the noodles. Usually, it involves soaking the noodles in room temperature water for about 15-20 minutes, or in hot water for 5-7 minutes, depending on the brand. Drain when ready to be cooked to avoid clumping.
  3. Crush the chilis and the garlic using a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
  4. Stir all the ingredients for the sauce in one bowl and set aside.
  5. Heat the wok until almost smoking, then add the cooking oil.
  6. Cook the chili, garlic and grated ginger until fragrant.
  7. Add the onions and cook for one minute before adding the scallion and cook for 30 seconds.
  8. If you’re using carrots, baby corn or mushrooms, add this now.
  9. Add the chicken and let it cook and sear for about 3 minutes a side and set aside.
  10. Then add the seafood until almost cooked before adding the rice noodles.
  11. Immediately add the sauce and stir to make sure that the noodles don’t stick and that they absorb the sauce.
  12. Add the beansprouts and the thai basil and cook for about an extra minute, then turn off the heat.
  13. Serve and enjoy!

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