Learn how to make these drunken noodles in less than 30 minutes. Made with chewy rice noodles, tender tofu and flavorful sauce, it’s an incredibly easy and satisfying recipe!
What are drunken noodles?
Love Thai food? Drunken noodles, known as “Pad Kee Mao” in Thai, are a spicy and flavorful stir-fry dish made with wide rice noodles. They are called “drunken noodles” due to the dish’s reputation for being a popular late-night street food option. The heartiness and spiciness of the dish are thought to even help cure hangovers.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy to make. From start to finish, the recipe takes less than 30 minutes.
- Delicious. The sauce, chewy noodles and tofu are a treat for your taste buds. Trust me, you’ll never go back to regular noodles once you try them.
- Easy to customize. Add more or less spice, swap the protein, or use different vegetables. It’s easy to customize the recipe to your liking.
- A perfect comfort food. Whether you need a late-night snack or a satisfying meal, these noodles will hit the spot.
What I love the most about these drunken noodles is that whether you’re craving a quick and easy meal or something to impress friends, drunken noodles are always a hit. They’re the perfect dish for any occasion.
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You’ll need the following ingredients to make these vegan drunken noodles:
For the sauce
- Soy sauce or tamari. Provides saltiness and umami flavor.
- Vegan oyster sauce or hoisin sauce. Adds richness and depth of flavor.
- Rice vinegar. Adds acidity and brightness.
- Maple syrup or agave nectar. Acts as a sweetener.
- Sriracha sauce. Adds heat.
- Tomato paste. Adds thickness and richness.
For the noodles
- Rice noodles. Provide the base of the dish.
- Vegetable oil. Or any neutral flavored oil.
- Onion. Thinly sliced.
- Garlic. Minced.
- Red and green bell pepper. Julienned. Add color and sweetness.
- Broccoli. Fresh.
- Tofu. Or seitan, as our vegan protein substitute.
- Thai basil leaves or regular basil leaves. Add freshness and aroma.
- Green onions. Chopped
- Lime wedges. To serve.
How to make drunken noodles
Follow the instructions given below to prepare the best drunken noodles yourself:
Step 1 – Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, vegan oyster sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, Sriracha, and tomato paste. Whisk well and set aside.
Step 2 – Cook the noodles. Follow the package instructions to cook the rice noodles, then drain and rinse with cold water.
Step 3 – Stir-fry the vegetables and tofu. Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and stir fry for about 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and broccoli to the wok and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Move the vegetables to one side of the wok, and add tofu to the other side. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden and firm.
Step 4 – Mix the noodles and the sauce. Add the cooked noodles and the sauce to the wok, and toss everything together for 2-3 minutes, or until well coated. Remove from heat and add in basil and green onions.
Step 5 – Serve and enjoy. Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates. Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use wide rice noodles. These noodles will hold up better to the stir-frying and give the dish a nice chewy texture. They also hold the sauce’s flavor better then thinner noodles.
- Get the heat right. Drunken noodles should be spicy but not too spicy. Start with a small amount of Sriracha and adjust the amount to your taste.
- Don’t overcrowd the pan. When you’re stir-frying, it’s important not to overcrowd the pan. This will prevent the noodles from cooking evenly and will cause them to become gluggy.
- Add the basil at the end. Thai basil is a key ingredient in drunken noodles, but it should be added at the end of the cooking process so that it doesn’t wilt.
Add more flavor or alter the flavor of your drunken noodles with these flavor variations:
- Use different noodles. In addition to the traditional wide rice noodles, other types of noodles that can be used include egg or glass noodles.
- Add more heat. If you like spicy noodles, add chili peppers for a spicier dish.
- Use different sauces. Besides the traditional sauce, you can also use chili sauce, sweet and sour sauce, or teriyaki sauce.
To store. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag in the refrigerator for up to 3-5 days.
To freeze. Transfer to the zip-lock bag or airtight container to freeze for up to 2 months.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Small bowl. To combine the sauce ingredients.
- Wok or skillet. To stir-fry the vegetables and tofu.
- Spatula. To stir-fry the vegetables and tofu.
More delicious noodle recipes to try
Although both Thai dishes, drunken noodles are spicier and have more complex flavors. Pad Thai is sweeter and has a more delicate flavor. Drunken noodles also use wider rice noodles than pad thai.
The best type of noodles to use for drunken noodles is wide rice noodles. Among other things, these noodles are great at holding onto the dish’s sauce. Some commonly available brands include Three Ladies Brand, Thai Kitchen and Annie Chun’s.
Drunken noodles make an excellent stand alone dish. You can also serve them with a side of coconut rice and other proteins to complement the meal.
For the sauce
For the noodles
- 8 ounces wide rice noodles 230g
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red bell pepper julienned
- 1 green bell pepper julienned
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1 cup tofu or seitan, sliced
- 1 cup Thai basil leaves torn
- 1/2 cup green onions chopped, optional
- Whisk together tamari, vegan oyster sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, Sriracha, and tomato paste. Set aside.
- Cook rice noodles according to package instructions, then rinse with cold water.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Add onion and garlic, stir-fry for 2 minutes, add bell peppers, and broccoli. Stir-fry for 3-4 minutes or until soft.
- Cook tofu on one side of the wok, 2-3 minutes per side.
- Add cooked noodles to the wok, pour in the sauce, and toss for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in basil and green onions. Serve with a slice of lime.