Vegetarian Drunken Noodles – Pad Kee Mao

Pad Kee Mao or Thai Drunken Noodles is one of the recipes that I’ve learned to make last year and I absolutely loved it! Since the airing of the first season of Potluck, I’ve been adding it to the household menu every once in a while. I love how flavorful the noodles are, and the yummy chewy texture of the rice noodles as well. It’s something that is really addicting–especially since I LOVE spicy food.

I’ve recently tried making a vegetarian version of this dish and it’s still absolutely lovely! I’ve added a vegetarian segment to the ingredients list. If you want to make this vegan, you can replace the oyster sauce with a mushroom-based sauce, or make your own vegan “oyster” sauce. You can also eliminate the fish sauce if you want to go fully vegan for this dish.

For the protein, instead of seafood, I used some beautiful tofu slices and added some straw mushrooms for that delicious bite that can be similar to certain types of seafood. These elements go well with the crunch from the baby corn and the fragrance from the basil.

Continue reading to learn how to make this lovely dish!

Vegetarian Drunken Noodles – Pad Kee Mao

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 5-6


  • 300 grams of flat rice noodles
  • 250 grams of tofu, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 200 grams of straw mushrooms, sliced into halves
  • 3-5 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)
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil

For the Sauce:

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


  1. Coat the pieces of tofu in cornstarch. Pat the excess cornstarch off.
  2. Then in a saucepan over high heat, shallow fry the tofu until they’re golden brown. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Crush the chilis and the garlic using a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
  5. Stir all the ingredients for the sauce in one bowl and set aside.
  6. Heat the wok until almost smoking, then add the cooking oil.
  7. Cook the chili, garlic and grated ginger until fragrant.
  8. Add the onions and cook for one minute before adding the scallion and cook for 30 seconds.
  9. Then add the baby corn and mushrooms, or any other vegetables that require 3-5 minutes of cooking time. Saute for3-5 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. Then add the tofu.
  10. Add the noodles and toss well, making sure that the noodles don’t stick.
  11. Add any other leafy vegetables and/or beansprouts, as well as the thai basil and cook for about an extra minute, then turn off the heat.
  12. Serve and enjoy!


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