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drunken noodles on a plate with cucumber slices on the side.

Easy Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao)

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5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


This easy Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe (Pad Kee Mao) is a spicy stir fry noodles dish with savory and umami flavors. The wide rice noodles are seasoned with the perfect amount of sauce made from fish sauce, soy sauce, and oyster sauce and then finished with a generous amount of fresh Thai holy basil. It comes together in less than 40 minutes!



The sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, palm brown or white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper. Add more if you want the heat.

The main ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon garlic
  • 1-10 fresh chilies, chopped into small pieces. Adjust the spiciness level by using fewer chilis.
  • 2 tablespoon oil. Use neutral oil like avocado, vegetable, or canola.
  • 3 ounces shallot, sliced long and thin
  • 8 ounces chicken, thinly sliced into 1 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 5 ounces dried wide rice noodles or 10 ounces softened noodles. Cook to package directions.
  • 1/2 cup packed holy basil. Substitute Thai basil.


  1. Make the drunken noodle sauce in a small bowl by mixing the sauces, ground white pepper, and sugar. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the dried noodles according to the package instructions. If using fresh rice noodles, still follow w the package directions for the best results and consistency of the noodles.
  3. Heat a wok or large skillet at medium-high heat. Allow the pan to warm up, then add oil. Wait a few seconds, then swirl the oil to cover the wok's surface as much as possible.  Add garlic and chili peppers, stir and cook for 10-15 seconds or until lightly browned.
  4. Add the chicken and cook for 4-5 minutes or until the meat is lightly browned in parts. Stirring often.
  5. Add the shallots and cook for 1-2 minutes until the shallots are lightly softened.
  6. Add the noodles and the sauce, stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Taste the stir fry and adjust with a dash more sugar, fish sauce, or soy sauce until you get the right balance. The noodles should be chewy and soft. If not, allow it to cook for 1-2 more minutes.
  7. Add the holy basil here and cook for 1 more min. Turn off the heat and serve hot.

Garnish each plate with a lime wedge, thinly sliced fresh basil, ground chili flakes, and slices of cucumbers to help cool off the heat.


  • This recipe can double up very easily for a larger family or crowd. It also serves well as leftovers for the next day or two.
  • For added fresh veggies, use snow peas, Chinese broccoli, baby corn, green onion, sweet bell peppers, and broccolini florets.
  • To tame the infamous heat of this spicy noodles dish, use less or omit the Thai chile. Adjust the heat accordingly.
  • Add extra ground white pepper, red chili flakes, and red chili sauce like Sriracha or garlic oil for spicy food lovers.
  • Add the holy basil last, right after you turn off the heat, as the basil will wilt very quickly, and you don't want to overcook it.

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  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Noodles, stir fries, chicken recipes
  • Method: Stir-fried
  • Cuisine: Thai