Pad keemao gai – drunken noodles with chicken

Noodles RECIPES Stir fries


I love pad keemao (drunken noodles) – and no surprise there as it has my same favourite pad krapow flavours but in a rice noodle dish and with some more veg.

So the same rules apply! If you can get krapow – Thai holy basil – then that’s the best. If you can’t but you can get fresh or jarred horapha – Thai sweet basil – then definitely do that! And if you can’t get either then honestly I would still make it anyway.

Another thing … whilst pad keemao should be made with rice noodles, you could use whatever noodles you like. I often make it using leftover cooked pasta with shapes like penne – and it tastes amazing still.

So – this is really versatile and up to you how you pimp it basically!  Oh, and you can also use any meat or seafood of your choosing of course or have just with vegetables.

Ok, so to make a couple of portions you’ll need …

about 1.5 chicken breasts, chopped small so it cooks quickly

a few garlic cloves and bird eye chillies, skins and stalks removed and bashed in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. The chilli pieces should still be large enough to remove easily if you don’t want to eat them.  I used three garlic cloves and six chillies

I had a few slices of white onion, chopped, but this isn’t traditional and I’m only adding it as I had a piece of onion that needed using up. Entirely up to you to include or not.  If not I would definitely include spring onion in your vegetables

half a chicken knorr stock cube

selection of veg, chopped – I’ve got spring onion, a piece of carrot, red pepper, fine beans and mange tout

rice noodles, ready to stir fry, or other noodles or pasta cooked ready to add

fresh or jarred Thai basil

white sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce

handful of spinach leaves (optional but nice)


Heat a frying pan or wok, add cooking oil and when hot add the chicken, chillies and garlic and onion (if using).


Sttir fry over a medium-hot heat until the chicken is completely sealed, then crumble in half a stock cube and a splash or water and stir fry until it’s all mixed in.

Add the veg and stir … then add a teaspoon of jarred Thai basil (or half a good handful of basil leaves).

Stir again and then add a good pinch of sugar, a few dashes of soy sauce, a glug of oyster sauce and a small splash of fish sauce.


Cook for a minute and then add your noodles – and yes, I’ve got too many noodles or too small a pan really!


Stir fry for a couple of minutes and then add half a teaspoon more Thai basil from a jar (or another handful of fresh Thai basil leaves) and a big handful of spinach leaves (if using).


Stir until the leaves begin to wilt and then turn off the heat and continue stirring until the leaves are completely wilted in.


Hope you like this recipe: it’s an everyday favourite of mine. Let me know what you think …

3 thoughts on “Pad keemao gai – drunken noodles with chicken”

  1. Pingback: Pad krapow gai – spicy stir fried chicken with Thai basil | Racey's easy Thai (ish) cooking ...

  2. Letty - September 19, 2014 7:24 pm

    Just made drunken noodles for dinner…..a new family favourite for us too! Thank you. A wonderful recipe.

    1. racey - September 19, 2014 7:39 pm

      Thank you! So glad you like it x


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