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Drunken noodles (dinner)

Posted in : Dinner on by : admin

Drunken noodles was made popular in Thailand by Chinese immigrants. In Thailand, it is known as phat khi mao. Khi mao means drunkard, but why the dish is considered ”drunken” is shrouded in mystery. Khao phat khi mao is a similar dish, where fried rice is used instead of noodles. So if you want some variation, you can try out drunken rice as well.

According to one theory, the idea of the noodles being “drunken” stems from the fact thet rice wine is used to prepare the dish. There are a lot of examples of chicken dishes from around the world that are named drunken chicken because of the alcohol that’s used in their preparation.

An other theory claims that it isn’t the noodles that are drunken and that the name phat khi mao is more accurately translated into drunkard’s noodles. According to this train of thought, phat khi mao is a dish that is easy to make from what you can find in your cupboards when you come home drunk after a party.

There are many different recipes for making phat khi mao, but they all tend to follow the formula noodles + protein + vegetables + rice wine + several different seasonings, including chili, basil, fish sauce, oyster sauce and soysauce.

Below, you will find a recipe for drunken noodles with chicken, but the recipe works with a lot of other protein sources as well, such a tofu, duck or pork.


Chicken & Marinade

  • 12 ounces chicken thighs and/or chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

Rest of the dish

  • 8 ounces wide dried rice noodles
  • Water for preparing the noodles
  • 1 ½ teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
  • 1 pinch of ground white pepper
  • 4 tablespoons of oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced

    ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

  • 2 shallots, sliced (roughly 1/3 cup)
  • 1 scallion, cut into pieces that are roughly 3 in long
  • 4 Thai red chili peppers, deseeded and cut lenghtwise
  • 1 cup holy basil (or Thai basil)
  • 5 ears of baby corn, split in half
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine


  1. Work two tablespoons of water into the sliced chicken using your hands. The idea is to make the chicken absorb the water.
  2. Mix together cornstarch, soy sauce and oil to make a marinade. Coat the chicken in the marinade and set aside for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package. This will involve soaking them or boiling them. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together 1 ½ teaspoon of brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of hot water. Then add 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, 3 teaspoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of oyster sauce, and 1 pinch of white pepper. Mix and set aside.
  5. Heat up a wok (or large frying pan) until it is close to smoking. Spread 3 tablespoons of oil around the perimeter.
  6. Place the marinated chicken in the wok and sear for 1 minute before turning the chicken over and searing it for 1 more minute. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  7. If there is leftovers sticking to the wok, clean it.
  8. Make sure that the wok is very hot before adding 1 tablespoon of oil.
  9. Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for just a few seconds, before adding the shallots. Stir fry for 20 seconds and then add scallions, chili pepper, basil, baby corn and rice wine.
  10. Stir fry for 20 seconds before adding the rice noodles. Gently stir / scoop everything for another minute over high heat to ensure that the noodles get warm.
  11. Add the brown sugar-mixture and stir fry over high heat until the noodles have uniform color. (This will usually take about one minute.) You may need to scrape the bottom of the wok to prevent sticking.
  12. Add the chicken and fry over high heat for another 1-2 minutes while stirring.
  13. Serve right away – this dish tastes best when eaten really hot.