Pad Kee Mao

For a fresh take on some Thai, Ktams and I decided to make Pad Kee Mao (also known as Drunken Noodles) a little while back–we were pleasantly surprised at how this recipe turned out. The hardest ingredients to acquire were the Thai chilis and fresh rice noodles, both of which were found at one of the larger Asian grocery stores on 82nd. Here’s the breakdown–

Recipe adapted from Alosha’s Kitchen


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 12 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 4-8 Thai chiles, diced (don’t kid yourself, these pack a wallop–start on the lower end your first time if you’re not used to them)
  • 1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or flank steak, sliced into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/4c fish sauce
  • 1/4c black soy sauce
  • 1/4c Golden Mountain sauce 
  • 1 T palm sugar (coconut sugar also works well)
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 c fresh bean sprouts, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons (if you can find Thai–even better!)
  • 28 oz fresh wide rice noodles, prepared and rinsed in cold water


On medium-high heat, melt your coconut oil in a wok or (in our case) dutch oven. Just before the oil begins to smoke, add onion, garlic, and Thai chiles. Stir fry until very fragrant, approximately one minute.

Add chicken/beef, fish sauce, black soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce and palm sugar (note: it will seem very saucy; don’t worry, the noodles will soak it all up later). Stir fry for two minutes, then add the bell peppers. Remain actively stirring for two to three more minutes until chicken/beef is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. 
Turn off the heat, add sprouts and basil, and stir until wilted. Add the rice noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. You’re done! This meal serves 4 safely–My biggest suggestion for this recipe is if you know you’re going to have leftovers, it might be worth only adding the noodles you need to your serving and reserving the rest. We found that as we reheated this dish, the noodles broke down more.
Don’t be afraid of Thai! You’ll note that we don’t even have a wok to fry in, and we still enjoy cooking it. As long as you have access to some fresh ingredients, courtesy of the Asian grocery stores, you will be in fantastic shape! And if you haven’t already done it–get out to those stores and peruse the aisles anyhow. You never know what you might stumble across–perhaps even something inspiring:)

Do you own a wok?

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