A restaurant style Thai drunken noodles recipe you can easily make at home in under 25 minutes to save money instead of ordering takeout!Jump to Recipe
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The weather is getting colder, and we’re starting to crave more comforting, spicy, savory dishes that you can curl up on the couch with and eat while watching a movie. The best kind of couch dinners are the ones that are super easy to make and eat out of a single bowl, preferably with chopsticks – almost like eating takeout straight from the container, but homemade. To satisfy our cravings and avoid spending money on takeout dinners, we cooked up our very own restaurant style Thai drunken noodles recipe!
Drunken noodles, or pad kee mao, are a stir-fried Thai dish typically made with spicy chili peppers, some kind of protein, flat rice noodles, and a savory sauce. Despite the name, there isn’t any alcohol in drunken noodles! While there are a few different stories behind how the dish got its name, we know one thing for certain: drunken noodles do taste better with a cold beer or glass of wine to wash them down 🙂
Our takeout style drunken noodle recipe gets its authentic flavor from a savory sauce made with traditional ingredients: sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and fish sauce. Where our recipe isn’t 100% authentic is in the remaining ingredients. Since Thai chili peppers and Thai basil can be difficult to find, we swapped them with ingredients that can be easily found at most grocery stores so that anyone can make restaurant quality drunken noodles at home! It’s a great way to save money when you’re craving takeout – and almost just as easy as placing an order online.
Thai Drunken Noodles Ingredients
There are 4 main components to our Thai drunken noodles recipe – Thai rice noodles, stir fried chicken, vegetables, and sauce. Here’s a full list of ingredients for making drunken noodles at home:
- Flat Thai rice noodles
- Frozen chicken breast, partially thawed
- Vegetable oil, minced garlic, soy sauce, and sriracha (for seasoning the chicken)
- Fresno chiles, or other spicy peppers of your choice
- Red bell pepper
- Mung bean sprouts
- Fresh basil leaves
- Brown sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha, and fish sauce (for the drunken noodles sauce)
It can be difficult to find the kind of super wide, flat rice noodles Thai restaurants use for drunken noodles, but most grocery stores carry something like these Thai rice noodles that work just fine for this recipe.
The key to making great restaurant style drunken noodles at home is to use partially thawed chicken breast so you can slice it super thin. Take the chicken out of the freezer and let it rest at room temperature for about 15 minutes, or give it about 30 seconds on the “defrost” setting in the microwave before slicing. You’ll want it to be frozen still, but thawed just enough to slice through it.
Tip: A well-sharpened chef’s knife makes cutting through partially thawed meat and poultry a breeze! We have both this traditional chef’s knife and this Chinese chef’s knife for easily slicing through frozen meats and tough vegetables.
How To Make Drunken Noodles At Home
As long as you have a well-seasoned wok, it’s ridiculously easy to make delicious drunken noodles at home. And if you don’t own a wok but want to cook more homemade Asian food, we highly recommend investing in a quality wok like this one. It’ll last a lifetime if you take care of it properly.
Here’s how to make Thai drunken noodles at home in less than 25 minutes:
- Prepare your ingredients. Slice the chicken and veggies, mix together the sauce, and boil the noodles.
- Cook the chicken. Stir-fry it in a wok over medium-high heat with vegetable oil and a few seasonings, then transfer it to a bowl and set aside.
- Cook the veggies. Stir-fry the veggies in the wok until tender, then add the noodles and sauce and toss to combine.
- Finish and serve. Add the chicken back to the wok and toss to combine with noodles and veggies. Lastly, stir in fresh basil leaves and remove from heat.
Stir-frying the chicken in the wok and then cooking the vegetables right after means any extra seasonings and juices from the chicken are incorporated into the final dish. This brings so much savory, juicy flavor to these drunken noodles! Plus, it means the only pots and pans you’ll have to clean up are the pot you used to boil the noodles and the wok. A tasty restaurant quality dinner on a budget, and easy cleanup? That’s a win-win.
Storing & Reheating Homemade Drunken Noodles
Refrigerate leftover drunken noodles in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, warm in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat or microwave for a few minutes until warmed through.
These restaurant style Thai drunken noodles are quick, easy, comforting, and super savory – just like your favorite takeout dish. They make the best easy weeknight dinner and can even become delicious leftovers for lunch the next day, if you can resist eating them all!
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Love this recipe? You may enjoy these recipes, too:
- Garlic Noodles
- Spicy Udon Vegetable Stir Fry
- General Tso’s Chicken
- Pork Dumplings
- Spicy Szechuan Dumpling Soup
Restaurant Style Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe
- 8 oz flat Thai rice noodles
- ½ lb frozen chicken breast partially thawed
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 large Fresno chile pepper thinly sliced
- 1 small red bell pepper roughly chopped
- ½ medium yellow onion sliced
- 4.5 oz mung bean sprouts
- 1.5 oz fresh basil leaves washed and dried
Drunken Noodle Sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar tightly packed
- 5 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 4 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- First, boil the noodles in a large pot of salted water according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water, then set aside.
- Prepare the drunken noodle sauce. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sriracha, and fish sauce to a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Next, slice the frozen chicken breast into thin, wide pieces with a sharp chef's knife. In the meantime, heat vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken to the wok and stir fry for about 1 minute, then add minced garlic, 2 tbsp soy sauce, and 1 tsp sriracha. Stir fry until cooked through, about 4 to 6 minutes, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Add the Fresno chile pepper, bell pepper, onion, and mung bean sprouts to the wok. Stir fry until softened, about 1 to 3 minutes, then add the cooked noodles and drunken noodle sauce. Toss to combine and stir fry for another minute or so.
- Finally, add the cooked chicken back into the wok along with fresh basil leaves. Toss gently to combine, then remove from heat. Serve immediately.