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Thai Drunken Noodles With Chicken

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Comfort food when drinking or afterwards! Thai drunken noodles are amazing!

You might wonder why this popular noodle dish is called Thai drunken noodles. I did before I looked it up. I’ll save you the time of doing that.

There are several theories as to how Thai drunken noodles or pad kee mau as they are often called on restaurant menus got its name.

Pad means fried and kee mao in Thai means drunkard.

Thai drunken noodles

You can make these Thai drunken noodles in minutes!

So why Thai drunken noodles? 

One explanation is that the recipe was originally prepared by a man you came home drunk and hungry one evening. He decided to use up what he found in his fridge and this was it.

He was drunk and wanted something tasty and simple which this recipe is.

Another theory goes that home cooks began making it as a delicious dish to consume while drinking. Again, it was easy and though drinking was what they had in mind, they new they would start feeling a bit peckish as the evening progressed.

Whatever the true story behind this popular Thai noodle dish is, you can rest assured that when you make it, you will like it.

I make Thai drunken noodles with a hangover as it’s easy and tasty.


This is comfort food at its best! You can literally make it in less than fifteen minutes including all the required preparation.

Is chicken a must in Thai drunken noodles?

I should mention that although I have made this recipe with chicken, you could use the main ingredient of your choice. Thai drunken noodles are often prepared with tofu for vegetarians and pork is another popular substitute for the chicken.

You could even make this simply with noodles and the sauce.

Step by Step Cooking photos…

Frying veggies in wok.

Fry the shallots in hot oil for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped garlic and chillies and fry for another minute.

Adding chicken to wok

Stir in the chicken and cook until about 50% cooked through. This should only take a couple minutes.

Cooked chicken with sauce.

Once chicken is browned, add the sauce ingredients.

Adding noodles to pan

Stir in the noodles, Spring onions and basil.

Finished drunken noodles

Give it all a good stir so it is well combined and adjust seasoning to taste.

Love Thai food? Try some of these delicious recipes!

Thai Green Curry
Thai Red Curry
Beef Massaman Curry
Chicken Satay and peanut sauce
Steamed Sea Bass with Garlic and Lime Sauce
Tom Yum Gai
Tom Kha Gai
Hot and Sour Prawn Soup
Pad Thai

drunken noodles

So good.

Thai drunken noodles

Dig in!

Yield: 4

Thai Drunken Noodles With Chicken

drunken noodles
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 200g wide Thai dried rice noodles.
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 banana shallot - thinly sliced
  • 12 cloves garlic - roughly chopped
  • 2 - 3 green bird's eye chillies - sliced thinly
  • 225g ( ½ lb) diced chicken breast or thigh
  • 5 green onions (scallions) cut into 5cm (2 inch) pieces
  • 1 large handful Thai sweet basil


  1. Prepare the sauce ingredient by mixing the oyster sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sugar together. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with bath hot water and submerge the dry rice noodles in it. The noodles only need to soak for about 5 - 7 minutes so do this right before you start cooking.
  3. Heat a wok over high heat and add the oil. When it begins to shimmer, add the sliced shallot and fry for about two minutes.
  4. Add the chopped garlic and chillies and fry for a further minutes stirring regularly. Now add the chicken and fry for about two minutes. Stir in the chicken and fry for about a minute or two until it is about 50% cooked through.
  5. Pour in the sauce ingredients, the green onions (scallions) and noodles. Don't worry about drying them off. Just pick them out of the water. Any water that drips off them will help cook them.
  6. Submerge the noodle in the sauce and stir continuously. They will cook quickly but test them before serving. They really need to be covered in the sauce to cook until soft. There isn't a lot of sauce so keep pressing them down until cooked.
  7. Top with some of the basil and stir it in. Then add the remaining basil for a garnish.
  8. Serve immediately.

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I hope you enjoy this Thai drunken noodles recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.


Friday 10th of July 2020

Hey Dan, can you use red bird's eye chillies for this recipe? Only red ones are available at our shops. I know the green ones eventually turn red. Is their much taste difference between them?

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 21st of July 2020

Hi Matt You can really use any sort of chillies you choose. Just put fewer in if they are hotter chillies. Thanks Dan


Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Looks like a good recipe. Just double checking it is 12 cloves of garlic? Seems quite a lot so thought I would double check.

Dan Toombs

Thursday 23rd of January 2020

Hi Jon

Thank you. Yep. I often use more too. This is a really garlicky recipe.

Thanks, Dan

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