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Vegan Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe – Rice Noodles with vegetables and the most delicious sauce! A healthy, protein-rich, and quick Thai main dish!

thai drunken noodles with chopsticks

Thai Drunken Noodles, also known as Pad Kee Mao (original Thai name of this dish), is a spicy stir-fry noodles dish with rice noodles, vegetables, protein, and a delicious sauce. It’s an authentic Thai dish with the most delicious flavors and leaves you feeling satisfied and happy. 

Table of Contents

It’s not as popular as Pad Thai Noodles, but this doesn’t mean it’s not equally delicious. Both have a unique taste but use a similar cooking method, and rice noodles as the main ingredient.

pad kee mao noodles in a skillet

Despite the name of the dish, alcohol is not part of the recipe. There are many theories as to the origin of its name, but the most accepted explanation is that Thai drunken noodles are best served with late-night drinking and/or as an excellent hangover food after drinking! 

However, you do not have to consume alcohol to enjoy this dish. It’s delicious just how it is and makes an outstanding dinner.

The rice noodles are soaked with a salty sauce made with soy sauce and mushroom sauce (this is the vegetarian version, the original recipe uses fish and oyster sauce). It comes along with some vegetables, Thai basil, and if wished, protein. 

I am a huge fan of this Thai noodle dish as it comes so easily together!  

vegan thai drunken noodles in a bowl with chopsticks

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Thai Drunken Noodles Ingredients 2
  • Rice Noodles → Use wide rice noodles or Pad Thai Rice Noodles! Must be soaked in cold water before use. Check the package instructions. If I am in a hurry, I soak mine for 15 minutes in cold water, then quickly in hot water, then rinse under cold water and drain. Do not soak until entirely soft. They will soften when tossed with the sauce. Otherwise, they can turn a little mushy. If you can get a hand on fresh rice noodles, pick those or even make your own!
  • Optional: Vegan Protein → I love to cook this rice noodle dish with vegan chicken, so delicious! You can also use extra-firm tofu or skip the protein altogether. Vegan Pad Kee Mao is also very delicious only with vegetables!
  • Vegetables → Bok Choy, Bell Pepper, Ginger, Garlic, Scallion, Chili Pepper!
  • Thai Basil → Use sweet Thai Basil (Holy Thai Basil), available at the Asian market. The recipe works too with spicy Thai Basil, although this will give the whole dish a spicy touch! Can be substituted with Italian Basil. 
Thai Drunken Noodles Ingredients 1
  • Regular Soy Sauce
  • Dark Soy Sauce → Often used for adding color and flavor to Chinese dishes such as this Vegetable Lo Mein! It’s made of soy sauce, caramel color, and sugar. It’s a tad thicker, darker, and slightly sweeter than regular soy sauce. Available at the Asian market! Can be substituted with soy sauce, although this won’t give your Thai drunken noodles such an intense color.
  • Vegetarian Mushroom Stir-Fry Sauce → Mushroom Sauce is the vegetarian alternative to the oyster sauce and is very popular for seasoning any Asian meal. It consists mainly of soy sauce and mushroom extract, which makes for an exquisite flavor. You can buy it in every Asian grocery store. 😉

Hint: Serve it along with this Thai cucumber salad.

Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner! 

  • Soak rice noodles according to the package instructions. → This can take up to 60 minutes. To speed up the process, I usually soak them for 15 minutes in cold water, drain, and quickly soak in hot water until almost soft.
  • Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
  • If you make the recipe with protein: Toss 1-2 tbsp of the sauce with your protein (vegan chicken or tofu). If using tofu, cover in a paper towel and press to remove excess liquid, then cut into cubes.
Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe Step-1-2
  • Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil, fry protein for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add more oil along with the minced garlic, ginger, and chili pepper, stir fry for 1 minute.
  • Add bell pepper and bok choy, stir fry for 3 minutes.
  • Add noodles and sauce. Toss well.
Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe Step-3-6
  • Add protein, green onions, and Thai basil leaves. Toss well and serve! 
pad kee mao in a skillet

Storage

Store noodles in an airtight container in the fridge. Good for 3 days. Reheat in a wok or microwave.

I don’t recommend freezing the noodles!

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📖 Recipe

thai drunken noodles with chopsticks

Thai Drunken Noodles – Pad Kee Mao

Vegan Thai Drunken Noodles Recipe – Rice Noodles with vegetables and the most delicious sauce! A healthy, protein-rich, and quick Thai main dish!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 4 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Total Time :25 minutes
Servings : 2
Calories : 748kcal

Ingredients
 

Thai Noodles

  • 7 oz (200 g) wide rice noodles
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch picece ginger minced
  • 1 chili pepper sliced or minced, seed first for less spicy
  • 7 oz (200 g) vegan chicken or extra firm tofu optional, recipe is delicious without protein & only veggies – (Note 1)
  • 1 bell pepper cut into srips
  • 2 bok choy roughly chopped
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • 2 cups Thai basil (Note 2)

Sauce

Instructions
 

  • Prepare rice noodles according to the package instructions.  
  • Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
  • If you make the recipe with protein: Toss 1-2 tbsp of the sauce with your protein (vegan chicken or tofu). If using tofu, cover in a paper towel and press to remove excess liquid, then cut into cubes.
  • Heat a large skillet with 1 tbsp oil, fry protein for 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add more oil along with the minced garlic, ginger, and chili pepper, fry for 1 minute.
  • Add bell pepper and bok choy, stir fry for 3 minutes.
  • Add noodles and sauce. Toss well.
  • Add protein, green onions, and Thai basil. Toss well and serve!

Notes

  1. Protein: Thai Drunken Noodles is delicious with or without protein. I love to make it with vegan chicken, but it’s totally delicious only with veggies! My favorite vegan chicken is Like Chick’n Pieces from Like Meat, it should be available in Sprouts. But I am sure there are lots of delicious vegan chicken alternatives available in the US.
  2. Thai Basil: Available at the Asian market. Can be substituted with Italian basil.
  3. Mushroom sauce is the vegetarian pendant to oyster sauce and can be bought in any Asian grocery store (often called “Mushroom Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce, Vegetarian Stir-Fry Sauce, or Mushroom Soy Sauce“) Substitute with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of sweet soy sauce. Or use 2 tbsp vegetable broth or 1 tbsp soy sauce instead.
  4. Dark Soy Sauce is made of soy sauce, caramel color, and sugar. It’s thicker, darker, and slightly sweeter than regular or light soy sauce and is often used for adding color and flavor to dishes. You can buy it at the Asian market. Substitute with sweet soy sauce or vegetable mushroom stir-fry sauce, although this won’t give your Thai drunken noodles such an intense color.
  5. Vegetables: This recipe is highly adaptable. Use your favorite veggies such as zucchini, mushrooms, baby corn, cabbage, broccoli, carrots.
  6. Leftovers can be stored for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 748kcal | Carbohydrates: 121g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3345mg | Potassium: 2758mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 41054IU | Vitamin C: 495mg | Calcium: 1014mg | Iron: 11mg

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Recipe Rating




5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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5 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is better then anything that I can get from a Asian restaurant. I did make more of the sauce and I used red pepper flakes instead of a hot peppers. Will make again and it’s so easy and quick to make.

    1. Aww, thank you so much for your kind comment, Lauren! So happy to hear that! 😍

  2. 5 stars
    I love that you use Bok Choy in this. I just made my own version for my blog and have a bunch of bok choy sitting in my fridge with nothing to do so I wish I had known this would be a good addition earlier I would have added it to my own recipe. But yours looks super good, you picture of it in the pan is so awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  3. 5 stars
    These look so delicious my friend! I hope you had a happy holiday and New Years!
    ~Rosemary