Thai Drunken Noodle (Pad Kee Mao)

Savory and spicy noodle dish made with wide Thai rice noodles. My Thai sister-in-law taught me this one and it's a favorite.


  • 200 g / 7oz  chicken thighs , cut into bite size pieces (breast ok too)
  • 3 large cloves of garlic , minced
  • 1/2  Onion , sliced
  • 1 1/2  tbsp  Light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Dark Soy
  • 2 tsp fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 2 Green onions , cut into 3cm/2" pieces
  • Chilis (one chili is enough for the weak - you can eliminate chilis altogether if heat is not your thing. It's still delicious.
  • 7 oz /200g Wide dried rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp oil (peanut, vegetable or canola)
  • 2 birds eye chilli or Thai chillies , deseeded, very finely chopped
  • 1 cup Thai or Thai Holy Basil leaves (sub regular basil, Note 3)SAUCE
  • 3 tbsp Oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp Water


  • Prepare noodles per packet directions.
  • Mix Sauce in a small bowl.
  • Heat oil in wok or large heavy based skillet over high heat.
  • Add garlic and chilli and cook for 10 seconds. Don't inhale - the chilli will make you cough!
  • Add onion, cook for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken and fish sauce, and fry until cooked, around 2 minutes.
  • Add green onion, noodles and sauce and cook for 1 minute until the sauce reduces and coats the noodles.
  • Remove from heat and immediately add basil, toss until just wilted, then serve immediately.


1. Wide rice noodles - use wide ones and prepare per packet. I use ones labelled as "Pad Thai" rice noodles (see in post, here it is at Woolworths). Fine to use thinner ones if you can't find wide ones.
2. Chilli - 2 birds eye or Thai chillies gives this a nice buzz of spice but won't blow your head off! Feel free to adjust to your taste. Can also use a dollop of chilli paste instead - add it with the chicken.
3. Thai Basil - tastes like regular basil with slight aniseed flavour. Traditionally made with Thai Holy Basil which tastes like regular basil but most restaurants outside Thailand use regular Thai Basil (easier to find, sold at Harris Farms and some Woolies, Coles in Australia).
Substitute with regular basil (it tastes like Drunken Noodles in Thailand!)
4. Soy Sauce - both light and dark soy sauce can be substituted with all purpose soy sauce (ie soy sauce that is just labelled "soy sauce" without "dark" or "light" or "sweet" in front of it).
Can also sub the dark soy with more light soy.
DO NOT use all dark soy sauce - will be far too strong.