Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)


2 tablespoons Organic Canola oil
1 ¼ cup (½ lb) fresh wide rice noodles [or, ¼ lb. + ¼ lb. Yam-cake, or Shirataki noodles]
½ cup zucchini (1 medium), sliced
½ cup Japanese eggplant, sliced
½ cup broccoli florets
1 carrot, sliced
½ cup firm tofu, patted dry and cut into bit-sized pieces (or ½ cup seafood such as squid & shrimp, or chicken)
2 tablespoons fresh peppercorns
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (2 cloves)
1 tablespoon smashed small Thai chilies
1 sliced orange chili (about 1 tablespoon)
1 ½ tablespoons 0yster sauce
1 teaspoon Braggs Amino Acids
1 ½ teaspoon Tamari
1 tablespoon fish sauce or white soy sauce (or more to taste)
¼ teaspoon Stevia
about 4 tablespoons water
½ cup packed holy basil leaves & flowers
¼ teaspoon vinegar


Separate the noodles by peeling them apart one at a time. If also using Yam-cake noodles, rinse well. Set aside.
Prepare your ingredients: Slice the vegetables. Crush the garlic and chilies, and set aside. Pick off the leaves & flowers of the basil, and set aside. Chop the large chili into rings.
Combine the oyster sauce, Braggs, fish sauce, and Stevia in a small bowl and set aside.
If using tofu, pre-“fry” in a dry, non-stick skillet until browned. Set aside.
Add the oil to a Wok (this pan is preferred but not a necessity), and heat on medium until it’s dancing around. (Heating oil on too high of heat will cause it to turn into Trans-fat which is not a good thing.) Then add the garlic, chilies and green peppercorns. Keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.
When the garlic turns light brown, add the veggies & meat/seafood if adding. Keep stirring and cook until finished, about 3-5 minutes depending on the ingredients used.
Add the tofu (if adding), then the noodles. You may need to add a bit more water if the pan gets too dry. Don’t add a lot, or the noodles will get mushy.
After frying for a minute or two, add the sauce mixture. Stir well to combine.
Add the basil & vinegar. Stir to mix. When the basil is wilted it’s done.


Laura @MotherWouldKnow's picture

Bragg's amino acids? What is it and is it really essential to the recipe? I love drunken noodles, so I'm very taken with this recipe.

Jessica Boscarini's picture

Hi Laura. Here is a link: http://bragg.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=5

Bragg's Amino Acids are a healthy substitute for Soy Sauce. They taste very similar, but are not fermented or heated. You can still use Soy Sauce if you prefer, but these Amino Acids add a nice, healthy twist.

Laura @MotherWouldKnow's picture

Many thanks. I just checked the Bragg's website and found something surprising - it has a bit more sodium than the Trader Joe's Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce that I have in my refrigerator. Bragg's has 160 mg of sodium per 1/2 teaspoon or 320 mg for the 1 teaspoon specified in the recipe. By contrast the reduced sodium soy sauce has about 154 mg of sodium per teaspoon. Not a big difference. Neither has MSG. Bragg's offers free samples, so I may try it. Do you have other health reasons (besides the sodium) for preferring Bragg's? BTW - both Bragg's and the reduced sodium soy have much less sodium than traditional soy sauce, which is typically around 400 - 410 mg of sodium per teaspoon.

Jessica Boscarini's picture

Yes, unlike soy sauce, Bragg's is Gluten-free. Traditional soy sauces are made with wheat. Bragg's, on the other hand, only contains vegetable protein from soybeans and purified water. Do try a free-sample and let me know your thoughts :)


I am a big fan of Ethnic cuisines, and I especially love those with an Asian descent. But I’ve got to say, out of all of them, Thai food is probably my favorite (or at least it’s pretty close). I love the mix of sweet and spicy (I will often order a 9 out of 10 on the spicy scale), the plethora of vegetables, and the feeling of content you get after eating it – not stuffed, but pleasantly full.

I don’t often make “authentic” Thai dishes at home, due to the lack of specific ingredients they entail, but I will make Thai-fusion dishes that taste pretty similar to the real thing.

Thai basil, fresh rice noodles, lemongrass, etc. are not ingredients that most people just have lying around, and really can only be purchased if you go to a specialty market. Well, I decided to take that trip yesterday and I was not disappointed. Thank you 99 Ranch Market for turning my Thai cravings into a reality!

The Dish: I love Thai Drunken Noodles*. Until yesterday, I had never been able to have them unless I went to a restaurant. Not to say that I didn’t make similar dishes, but truly authentic Pad Kee Mao (as it is known in Thailand), has several ingredients that only certain stores carry, and therefore, I have not.

Essentially you can make anything ‘kee mao’ by including a lot of chilies, fresh peppercorns & Holy Basil (also known as Thai Basil). Depending on where you go, there are different vegetables, meats, etc. in the dish. Since I aspire to make everything as healthy as possible, (without foregoing the taste of course), I added a ton of vegetables to my version. I also used some Braggs Amino Acids instead of “dark soy sauce” and Stevia instead of sugar. Trust me, these minor subtleties will not make a difference in the taste, but will make the dish just a little better for you. Consider it my treat to you.

* Fun Fact: In Thai, ‘pad’ means to stir-fry, and ‘kee mao’ means someone who likes to drink too much. ‘Kee’ literally means ‘shit’, and adding ‘kee’ in front of any verb means it’s a bad habit. ‘Mao’ means drunk. So, a ‘Kee Mao’ (shit drunk) is someone who has a bad habit of drinking! I’m not quite sure what this dish has to do with drinking too much though? Either, it is due to the fact that people eat this spicy dish to help sober them up, or they drink a ton while eating it to combat the heat.

But don’t let this scare you, for those of you who aren’t a big fan of spicy foods, you can go easy on the chilies and it will still taste delicious.


This recipe makes approx. 2 servings.


Friday, January 20, 2012 - 11:03am

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