Thai Drunken Noodles with Tofu (Pad Kee Mao)

Almost every Thai restaurant has drunken noodles on their menu, and for good reason! The spice of the hot Thai chili is balanced out by sweet basil and the sauce, making it a favorite amongst many people.

overheard photo of drunken noodles

What are drunken noodles?

Drunken noodles are a stir-fried noodle dish that is known for its use of wide rice noodles and its sweet and spicy components. It’s perfect after a night out from the bars, or breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

drunken noodles in a bowl

There can be tons of variation between drunken noodle recipes. I’ve seen drunken noodles made with a variety of vegetables, including tomatoes, carrots, Chinese broccoli, regular broccoli, and peppers to name a few. Feel free to substitute two or three vegetables that you prefer or have on hand, just make sure that they are thinly sliced so they are able to cook completely through.

I’ve had the most success with sauces bought from Asian markets. If you go to the normal supermarket, the sauce might not taste authentic or how a restaurant meal tastes. In this recipe, I use Pearl River Bridge dark soy sauce and Lee Kum Kee oyster sauce.

How to make drunken noodles

Combine oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and palm sugar or brown sugar in a bowl and set aside. If the palm sugar you have is hard, heat it in the microwave for 10 seconds in a bowl first, then add the rest of the ingredients listed above for the sauce.

tofu coated in cornstartch

Cut your pressed tofu into bite-sized cubes and put them into a bowl. Mix in the cornstarch, salt, and pepper until all pieces are coated. Heat a tablespoon of oil and minced garlic in a pan over medium heat for one minute, then add the tofu. Shake the pan every few minutes until the tofu is lightly browned and crispy, removing from heat when finished.

onion, garlic, and tofu stir frying
how to make drunken noodles

Heat a wok over high heat. Add cooking oil, garlic, and onion and fry for one minute. Then add mushrooms and peapods, and cook for 3 more minutes. Then add in the fresh noodles and sauce. Continue to mix until all the noodles are coated in the sauce and are light brown in color. Finally, turn off the heat, and add in the tofu and basil.

pad kee mao with chopsticks

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Thai Drunken Noodles with Tofu (Pad Kee Mao)

Almost every Thai restaurant has drunken noodles on their menu, and for good reason! The spice of the hot Thai chili is balanced out by sweet basil and the sauce, making it a favorite amongst many people.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: drunken noodles
Author: Globally Flavored

Ingredients

  • Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon oyster sauce*
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce**
  • 2 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar
  • Thai chili or red pepper flakes to taste
  • Protein
  • 1 block of extra-firm tofu pressed
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Stir Fry
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • ¼ medium onion sliced into strips
  • 1 to 2 cups of peapods
  • 1 to 2 cups of mushrooms
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 package of fresh rice noodle sheets cut into large pieces and separated
  • Handful basil leaves approximately 2 cups

Instructions

  • Combine sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. If palm sugar is hard, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds in a bowl, then add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce.
  • With your pressed tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes and put them into a bowl. Add in the cornstarch, salt, and pepper, until all pieces are coated. Heat a pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of oil and garlic for one minute, then add tofu. Shake the pan every few minutes until the tofu is lightly browned and crispy. Remove from heat.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. Add cooking oil, garlic, and onion and fry for one minute. Then add mushrooms and peapods for 3 more minutes. Then add in the separated fresh noodles and sauce. Continue to mix until all the noodles are coated in the sauce and are light brown in color. Turn off the heat, add in the tofu and basil.

Notes

*I use the Lee Kum Kee brand of oyster sauce
**I also use Pearl River Bridge dark soy sauce

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