Pad kee mao / drunken noodles / spicy Thai stir-fried noodles

Have you heard about pad kee mao before ? No ? Me either , well , until a week ago . Saw the recipe on my newsfeed and had to ask Mr Google about it . Pad kee mao according to Wiki is a Chinese-influenced ( as most noodle dish known to mankind ) Thai noodle dish , nearly similar to pad see ew , a Thai stir-fried soy sauce noodles with meat and vegetables ( gon chow ngau ho or beef ho fun is a cousin living in Hongkong ) except for its spiciness . Pad or phat means noodles and kee mao means drunkard thus drunken noodles . There are several versions on where this dish got its name but I'll agree with one theory that the dish is so spicy that one needs to drink a beer to temper its spiciness. I don't drink beer so I just guzzled up an iced milky coffee while eating this dish .

Okay , my bowlful of noodles wasn't that spicy , I just used 2 pieces of red chillies and was perfect enough to make my taste buds tingle . The original recipe calls for 5 bird's eye chilies , that amount is not a problem if you eat chillies for breakfast !

Another tweak was reducing the amount of ground pork , 1 pound is just too much for my taste . Actually , while checking out the recipe for the first time , I thought , I bet each strand of noodles in this dish will be perfectly-covered with pork lol 

Not all Thai fish sauce are the same , some brands are more saltier than others , so keep that in mind when using it . Kecap manis is an Indonesian dark sweet soy sauce , if you can't find it , use dark soy sauce and just add enough brown sugar or granulated sugar . If fresh rice noodles is not available , use the dried one .

Simple to make and with delicious umami taste , this spicy stir-fried noodle is a must try ! 

Please check original recipe @ cooking.nytimes

Serves 2 or 3 

2 1/2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
2 tablespoons kecap manis / Indonesian sweet soy sauce 
2 teaspoons lime juice
4 cloves garlic , coarsely chopped 
2 red chillies , coarsely chopped 
1 small onion , sliced 
150 grams ground pork
1 cup red bell pepper , sliced 
350 grams fresh wide rice noodles
2 handful of Thai basil leaves 

lime slices , to serve 

* In a small bowl , mix together fish sauce , kecap manis and lime juice , set aside . 

* In a non-stick pan , heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat , add in the garlic , chillies and onion , cook , stirring constantly until  garlic is light brown and fragrant ,  about 30 seconds . Add in pork and 1 teaspoon of the sauce , cook , stir to break up the meat , for about 4 minutes or until pork is cooked through . 

* Add in the bell pepper and noodles , turn heat to high , add all the sauce , cook , tossing and stirring the noodles constantly , until noodles are coated by the sauce and take on slightly-charred look , about 3 minutes , adjust taste . Toss in the basil leaves , give it a good stir , dish up and serve immediately . 


  1. Hi Anne, my first time come across this very interesting noodles. But it look good and yours look so inviting. I love the basil leaves too. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    God Blessed, have a nice weekend.

  2. Drunken fancy and delicious! I miss fresh rice noodles.

  3. Looks exatly the type of food i love to eat:)

  4. I haven't heard of it! But I am glad you brought it to my attention. Your pictures are gorgeous.

  5. Hi Anne, I don't care what the name is, I just want to grab your bowl of delicious looking noodles now! Great colour and very appetising indeed.

  6. I LOVE the name of this recipe!!! What fantastic flavors you’ve got going one! Beautiful photos as well!

  7. As much as I would love to have this dish in front of me right now,'s the explanation of all the different terms that I'm appreciating right at the moment. I've gotten a much needed education and a delicious meal to boot!!! Glad you happened upon it and delighted you shared:)

  8. Hi Anne,
    I like the name of these noodles, and I know I will like it even better when I eat it! Looks delicious, and I love, love, spicy noodles! Yum, yum! I would not skip the 5 birds' eye chillies if I am cooking this for myself! If only I could grab that plate over!

  9. Your drunken noodles look fantastic! I think my family would like this as you described---not too spicy but enough to make your taste buds tingle :)

  10. Hi Anne,

    Your Pad kee mao looks very professional cooked... I guess you didn't have to drink beer because yours didn't have over powering amount of chilli :p



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