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Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา


Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา

It hit me about a week ago that I’m pregnant. Last week I was 35 out of hopefully 40 weeks of pregnancy—took me awhile to catch on.

Last Monday I pulled my hip running my usual run. It now hurts to walk, so I officially waddle like a hardcore pregnant woman. And I have a chest cold, so whenever I laugh it sounds like I’m a smoker with rattley lungs.

Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา

Then as I waddled and coughed, it struck me that I’m going to be a mom in about a month. I have no clue how to be a mom?! Yup, my hormones decided to take over and cast a grey cloud of fear and doubt over my usual sunny disposition.

It wasn’t one of my best weeks.

But then Dom requested Pad Kee Mao, which is Stir-Fried Thai Drunken Noodles. Thais like to eat it when they are drunk or hung over or something. We don’t really know how the name started. All I know is Pad Kee Mao and I have a special relationship.

Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา

After a hard day teaching in Bangkok or just wishing someone understood my Thai, Pad Kee Mao always restored joy to my soul with every spicy, comforting bite of wide, slick rice noodles, thai chili peppers, chicken, baby corn, and my favorite part, Thai basil.

Alas, we didn’t have all those ingredients this week, but we did have the essentials: the basil, the noodles, the sauces and the thai chili peppers. For the rest, I made do with what I could find in the fridge: ground turkey, red pepper and broccoli.

As we sat to eat the steaming plate of beauty before us, my woes and worries still sat right on top of me.

Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles-Thai Foodie

But that didn’t stop me from digging in. I took my first bite. Wow. It was one of those bites that makes you sigh and close your eyes right after you swallow because you feel so satisfied and content. And each bite after that made the sun pierce my clouds and shine—brighter and brighter.

Of course Pad Kee Mao didn’t make my hip better or lift the cloud forever.

But I did make a lot of it. And after eating Thai Drunken Noodles each night, it makes my tears dry up a little faster, along with a dose of reassurance, love and prayers from my awesome Thai hubby the sun does shine longer. I hope it does the same for you. Let me know.

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Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา

Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken Recipe | Pad Kee Mao | ผัดขี้เมา

  • Total Time: 45 minutes


Having a cloudy day? Making Stir-Fried Drunken Noodles will make your sun shine again!


  • 23 servings of wide rice noodles, or any noodles you have on hand
  • 1.5 pounds of sliced chicken breast (or ground turkey or beef or pork or tofu)
  • 6 smashed garlic cloves
  • 7 smashed Thai chili peppers (more or less depending on your heat tolerance)
  • 3 tbsp. of green peppercorns, if you have them, if not it’s ok
  • 1 can of baby corn, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 red pepper thinly sliced into bite-sized pieces (optional)
  • 1 head of broccoli crowns or chinese broccoli (optional)
  • 2 1/23 tbsp. of oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp. of fish sauce or Thai white soy sauce
  • 1.52 tsp. of black soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. of sugar
  • 2 cups of holy basil leaves and flowers (or sweet basil)


  1. If using rice noodles, soak them for about 30 minutes in warm water before use. If using other noodles, cook them with provided directions.
  2. Warm cooking oil in your wok or pan. Add peppercorns, smashed chilies and garlic. Stir until fragrant and garlic starts to brown.
  3. Add meat or tofu to the pan and cook until done.
  4. Drain noodles if they were soaking. Add to pan or wok.
  5. If there isn’t already some liquid in your wok, add 2-3 tbsp. of water at a time to cook the noodles. Be careful! If you add too much water it will get mushy.
  6. Once noodles are soft, try to always keep them spread out as much as possible in the pan so they don’t clump together. Adding some cooking oil can help.
  7. After noodles are cooked, add veggies and all the sauces. Adjust flavor to make your favorite balance of spicy, sweet and savory.
  8. Toss in the holy basil, and turn off the pan. Stir until it’s wilted and enjoy!


You can use whatever veggies you have on hand—I think mushrooms, cabbage or carrots also work well.

Be careful with the rice noodles. If you are making more than two servings, I recommend making only two servings at a time in your wok to prevent the noodles from clumping up together.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes


  • Serving Size: 2-3



  • bob

    Why is it drunken?

  • Jim

    Awesome recipe!! Thank you.

    • Sherri Phengchard

      Our pleasure! Glad you enjoyed it Jim!

  • Ramonna

    Hey, Sherri! I made this tonight and it was delicious! Can’t wait to try more recipes. Hope you’re doing well.

    • Sherri Phengchard

      So glad you enjoyed it Ramonna! So good to hear from you! Let me know what else you try, and I hope you are doing wonderful too! 🙂

  • Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel

    Found your blog while looking on Google for a Kee Mao recipe…. I read through all your stories and love your love story! So fun and exciting! I love Thai food, so I’ll definitely be following for future recipes 🙂

    • Sherri Pengjad

      Thanks so much Jess for your sweet comment! I feel so blessed to have discovered amazing Dominic and amazing Thai food!

  • Bony

    Just made it tonight, the sauce ratio of the sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce was spot on! I didn’t have the green peppercorns, but used ground black pepper in the sauce. I don’t have Thai basil, but cilantro works great as an fresh herb topping as well! Thank you SO much especially for the technique about cooking the noodle properly. Will definitely return to your website for more Thai dishes.

    • Sherri Pengjad

      That’s awesome Bony! I’m so glad that you were creative and used substitutions for ingredients you didn’t have that worked well! I’ll have to try it with cilantro some time! Thanks for your kind comment! 🙂

  • samantha

    Great recipe. I used Korean glass noodles, Wild Coho Salmon, and only had red bell peppers on hand. Had to adjust and increase the sauces a tad bit, but it turned out delicious. The holy basil really makes a difference in the flavor! Thanks again

    • Sherri Pengjad

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Samantha! I would love to try it with salmon! Great idea! 🙂

  • Jessie

    This is one of my boyfriend and I FAVORITE receipe!! We make it at least once a month! Addicted…. It’s soooo good! 🙂 Thank you for sharing.

    • Sherri Pengjad

      I’m so glad you and your boyfriend love it so much! I have to make it at least once a month too or I go through pad kee mao withdrawal! 🙂