About once a week or so, I will suddenly get an intense craving for a plate of deliciously spicy, chewy Drunken Noodles, or, as it is named on takeout menus, Pad Kee Mao, for days on end and nothing but that flavorful dish seems to be able to satisfy the craving.
Instead of ordering the greasy, sodium-heavy version for delivery from my local Thai restaurant, of which there are so many in NYC, I’ve learned to make a healthier version of this pad kee mao at home!
For summer, I love bright vegetables. The mini bell peppers add a vibrant pop of colour to the dish – I bought a pack of these at my local Trader Joe’s, but they can often be found at farmer’s markets as well. If you don’t have mini bell peppers on hand, a single small red and small yellow or orange bell pepper will do just fine.
To create a healthier dish, I also substitute the sugary, dark soy sauce many restaurants use for a low-sodium version, which you can buy at most grocery stores.
The spice level of this dish can easily be adjusted – I love super spicy food, so I often add 2 to 3 Thai chilis, but 1 will give enough of a kick for those who prefer milder dishes. I also used the chiffonade technique, which I love to chop my basil – see how here – it’s such an easy way to chop all your basil leaves evenly!
Check out the easy recipe for these Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)! It’s a must-try if you love Thai cuisine and noodle recipes like me. It’s a dish you can never get enough of once you tried it.
This dish is perfect for noodle connoisseurs like me who love fusion cuisines.
Super Rich Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)Print Recipe
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 1 bunch of Thai basil
- ½ lime
- 1 onion
- 7 mini bell peppers (assorted red, yellow, and orange)
- ½ pound of ground pork
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon of low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar
- 1 Thai (bird's eye) chilli
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
- 6 ounces of fresh rice noodles
- 4 cups of water
- 1 teaspoon of sriracha
- Wash all produce. Defrost meat (if frozen). Mix together the rice wine vinegar, fish sauce, and soy sauce in a bowl.
- Finely mince the garlic and chillies and set them aside together in a bowl. Slice the onion and bell pepper and put them into separate bowls. Save 4 to 5 small basil leaves to use as garnish. Roughly tear or chop the remaining basil. Slice the lime in half and put one half back into the fridge.
- Boil a large saucepan full of 4 cups of water. Place rice noodles in a large wide bowl. Once water is boiled, remove from heat and pour over noodles. Let noodles sit in water until tender for 5 to 6 minutes. Heat oil in a large wok (or saute pan) on med-high.
- Once the oil is hot, add ginger and chilli, then onions, and cook for 1 minute, frequently stirring so the garlic does not burn. Add pork, break up with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink for 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add bell peppers, cook until slightly soft for 2 to 3 minutes, add noodles, sauce mixture, and sriracha, and toss together in a pan to coat noodles for 2 minutes. Toss the basil in and remove from heat.
- Plate noodles and squeeze the juice of half a lime over the noodles. Garnish with remaining Thai basil and serve.