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Thai Drunken Noodles are not only the perfect hangover cure, but these saucy stir-fried rice noodles are a fast, easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner! Full of umami flavor, make it with chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu!

Thai Drunken Noodles are not only the perfect hangover cure, but these saucy stir-fried rice noodles are a fast, easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner! Full of umami flavor, make it with chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu!

What Are Drunken NoodleS?

Drunken Noodles hail from the streets of Thailand and are a spicy, savory stir-fried noodle dish made with wide rice noodles, chicken or shrimp, vegetables, and signature Thai basil in a saucy, flavorful stir-fry sauce. Contrary to popular belief, Drunken Noodles contain no alcohol!

Our version of this popular dish remains authentic while including the option of adding more veggies and crispy tofu for vegetarians.

Ingredients in Drunken Noodles

Listed below are helpful kitchen notes on a few key ingredients for the chicken satay below. The complete ingredient list is in the recipe card at the end of the post.

Fresh chilis. The traditional taste of drunken noodles is spicy, savory, salty, and subtly sweet. For extra heat, add more fresh jalapeños, serranos, or Thai chilis. 

Oyster sauce. Oyster sauce adds a deep umami flavor found in Drunken Noodles. Don’t skip it if you can help it. Feel free to purchase a vegetarian or vegan oyster sauce.

Fish sauce. Not all fish sauces are made equal in quality and saltiness. Use it sparingly as you can always add more at the end. You can also make our vegan fish sauce!

Soy sauce. Soy sauce is a must for this recipe. Any brand is fine, as well as GF liquid aminos.

Sweet dark soy sauce. Sweet dark soy sauce adds sweetness and a distinct smokiness. It also gives the rice noodles their dark golden brown color. Use soy sauce and honey as a substitute.

Sugar. Honey, agave syrup, brown sugar, or any sweetener of choice is great. 

Rice Vinegar or lime juice. A touch of it will give the noodles a nice balance of tanginess. 

Protein: Thinly sliced Chicken breast, shrimp or crispy tofu work well here.

Wide Rice Noodles. Dried, wide rice noodles are traditional. Cook in hot water until soft. Check package instructions for cooking

Vegetable Options. Onions, bell peppers, baby corn, snow peas, asparagus, mushrooms, green beans, bok choy or roma tomatoes.

Basil. Thai basil or holy basil. Or in a pinch use regular fresh basil. Be extra generous with the basil, which sets this dish to a whole level of deliciousness.

How to make Drunken Noodles (STEP-By-Step)

Step one

Make the Drunken Noodle Sauce and prepare the rice noodles. Boil noodles or soak in hot water until soft, 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your noodles. (Check package instructions for how to prepare the particular noodles.)

rice noodles soaked in hot water

Step two

Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Turn your hood on! Add oil and garlic and chili and cook until brown, 20-30 seconds.

fried garlic and chilis in a wok

Step three

Add the thinly sliced chicken (or shrimp), season with salt and pepper, and cook until lightly browned 3-4 minutes. See notes for tofu.

friend chicken and chilis in a wok

Step four

Add onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until tender-crisp.

chicken and shallot fried in a wok

Step five

Add any quick-cooking vegetables and stir fry, and cook for 2 minutes, until tender-crisp.

chicken, peppers and tomotoes stir fried in a wok

Step six

Add the rice noodles, stir in well and stir fry for 1 minute.

stir fried rice noodles in a wok

Step seven

Add the drunken noodle sauce, stir and let cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and stir briefly.

pouring sauce over rice noodles in a wok

Step eight

Turn the heat off, add the Thai basil, stir well one final time, and serve hot.

Sprinkle with fresh lime juice, fish sauce or chili flames for extra bold and spicy flavors. 

basil over rice noodles in a wok

Divide among 2-3 bowls!

Thai Drunken Noodles are not only the perfect hangover cure, but these saucy stir-fried rice noodles are a fast, easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner! Full of umami flavor, make it with chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu!

What To serve with Drunken Noodles

Recipe Faqs

What do Drunken Noodles taste like?

Thai drunken noodles taste savory and deep with lots of umami flavor and are traditionally spicy (we make it milder here) with a hint of sweetness and tanginess from the lime juice.

Can Drunken Noodles Be made Vegan?

Yes, use crispy tofu instead of chicken, leave out the fish sauce (or make our vegan fish sauce) and leave out the Oyster sauce (or purchase vegan Oyster sauce). Adjust the flavors with more soy sauce and sweet soy sauce to taste.

What is the difference between Pad Thai and Drunken noodles?

Pad Thai is sweeter and tangier, and less saucy, while Drunken Noodles are more savory, salty and spicy, and saucy with deeper soy flavors.

Thai Drunken Noodles are not only the perfect hangover cure, but these saucy stir-fried rice noodles are a fast, easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner! Full of umami flavor, make it with chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu!

More Thai Recipes to Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I truly love sharing what I know about making tasty Thai food and bringing a little bit of my Thai culture to your kitchen. Food is a huge part of Thai culture, and we truly believe that sharing and eating food with others makes life so much better. I hope this recipe brings great delight to your heart and home!

~ Suwanee

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Thai Drunken Noodles are the perfect hangover cure- spicy, saucy and full of bold umami flavor-can be made w/ chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu!

Drunken Noodles Recipe

  • Author: Suwanee | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 2-3 1x
  • Category: main
  • Method: Stir fry
  • Cuisine: Thai

Description

Thai Drunken Noodles are not only the perfect hangover cure, but these saucy stir-fried rice noodles are a fast, easy, 30-minute weeknight dinner! Full of umami flavor, make it with chicken, shrimp or crispy tofu! The added vegetables make this dish a perfect blend of healthy and indulgence all at once. (Vegetarian adaptable)


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 68 ounces dried wide rice noodles ( or sub linguini or fettuccini or soba noodles)
  • 2 tablespoons high-heat oil- peanut or coconut oil
  • 46 garlic cloves, rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes or (12 fresh Thai chilis, finely minced)
  • 68 oz chicken, thinly sliced (or sub shrimp, and see notes for crispy tofu)
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 cup onion, sliced long and thin
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced long and thin
  • Optional: 1/3 cup jalapeños, cut into long thin strips
  • Optional: 1/2 cup Roma tomato, sliced into long wedges,or sub other quick cooking vegetable
  • 1 cup fresh Thai Basil, holy basil or regular basil – this makes it!
  • garnish: lime wedges, chili paste

Drunken Noodle Sauce: 


Instructions

  1. Cook noodles: Prepare the noodles, according to the package directions. Either boil, or soak in hot water until soft, 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your noodles. 
  2. Make the Stir-Fry Sauce: Whisk the Drunken Noodle Sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside by the stove.
  3. Stir-fry:  If making crispy tofu– see notes and do this first. 
  4. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium heat. Turn the hood fan on. Add oil and garlic and cook until brown, 20-30 seconds. Add the chicken (or shrimp) and chilies, season with salt and pepper and stir fry until lightly browned, 3 minutes. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes or until tender.
  5. Add the vegetables- bell peppers, jalapeños, and tomato, stir, and cook for 2 minutes. 
  6. Add the drained noodles, stir in well and cook for 1 minute
  7. Add the sauce, stir and let cook for 2 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and stir only once more.
  8. Turn the heat off, add the basil, stir well one final time, taste and adjust as desired- add more lime juice, more fish sauce, more chili flakes, more sweetener, more salt, if you like- all to taste. Find your perfect balance. 
  9. Serve with lime wedges, chili paste

Notes

  • If making crispy tofu, cook the cubes of tofu in oil with salt and pepper, set aside, then add back in it the end at the same time as the sauce so it stays crispy.  This Crispy Tofu post is helpful.
  • If wanting to add steamed veggies like broccoli, drop it in the simmering noodle water for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking, and strain with the noodles.
  • Use Holy basil or Thai basil if possible, for the BEST most authentic flavor. Italian sweet basil is fine as a substitute. Just add a little extra…
  • Other Vegetables for drunken noodles are broccoli, pea pods, bok choy, green beans, asparagus, carrots, and baby corn- any quick-cooking veggie- ether stir fry or steam.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 ½ cups
  • Calories: 414
  • Sugar: 4.3 g
  • Sodium: 1053.9 mg
  • Fat: 12.6 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 53.7 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 19.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 55.2 mg

Keywords: Drunken Noodles, Thai Drunken Noodles, Drunken Noodles Recipe,

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Comments

  1. Delicious! My husband said it was the best noodle dish I’ve ever made, and I’ve made quite a few so that is an excellent compliment to the recipe creator!

  2. I was originally going to make pad thai because I was short on time…but this recipe has been on my mind so I thought I’d try it. Honestly, it took me about the same amount of time (I usually add extra veggies to my pad thai) and I actually like it better!! I used up the veggies in my fridge…broccoli crowns (which I stir fried and it tasted great), red pepper, mushrooms..I only added half of a small red onion and 1 clove garlic. I also only used chilli flakes. I made crispy tofu with minimal oil in my air fryer. For the sauce, I used molasses as a sub for the dark soy sauce and maple syrup for sugar. I didn’t have basil but cilantro was washed and ready to go so I used it instead – so delicious!! I know, probably not authentic but still so good 🙂 ! Thanks for another great recipe, Sylvia!

  3. Amazing recipe! I made this for my wife and son. We devoured it : )
    The flavors were great. We used chicken and could see using tofu too. Thanks again Sylvia! Your recipes are incredible…..

  4. Another winner! First time using Thai chilis- 2 were perfect- can’t imagine why they sell packages of 20 or more. Also don’t think I will buy any basil other than Thai from now on— such great flavor. I did use molasses. And I made your recipe for Asian cucumbers. Heavenly meal.

    1. Perfect Julie! So happy you enjoyed this and thanks for sharing your recipe notes. 🙂

  5. Looking forward to trying this! Sylvia – the noodles in your picture look to be 1/2″ to 3/4″ wide, but the noodles in the Amazon link are typical pencil wide. I’ve tried finding really wide noodles – especially for Pad See Ew – in stores, Asian markets and online and no luck so far. Do you have an online source? Thank you!

Hi, I'm Suwanee!

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