Pork Drunken Noodles

This easy recipe for Pork Drunken Noodles tastes just like your favorite take-out and takes less than 30 minutes to put together! You can also make this dish with pork, chicken, beef or make it vegetarian. This quick noodle dish will quickly become a weeknight favorite!

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homemade pork drunken noodles in a white bowl with fresh vegetables and thai basil

I am so excited to share this recipe for Pork Drunken Noodles with you! This dish is similar to Pad Kee Mao at Thai restaurants. This recipe isn’t purely authentic Thai, but it tastes amazing and is fast and easy to make.

I first had Drunken Noodles at this take-out Hawaiian Thai Restaurant in Portland that was out of a house! Sadly, it has closed, but I often dream of those Drunken Noodles with Kalua Pork. And guess what? This Easy Drunken Noodle Recipe is pretty darn close!

Why is it called “Drunken Noodles”?

I found a few different reasons why these are called drunken noodles. A few sources said because the dish is so spicy people get drunk consuming so much alcohol to quench their thirst after all the spice. I thought that was funny, but if you know me, I don’t do super spicy foods. So my version is not very spicy at all (but it can be!). The great thing about cooking at home is that you can do whatever you want! I also always say “you can put spice in, but you can’t take it out!”

Ingredients Needed to make Pork Drunken Noodles

  • wide rice noodles
  • soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • honey
  • chicken stock (you can also use beef or vegetable)
  • garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • green onions
  • ground chili paste (I use Sambal Oelek found in most grocery stores)
  • sesame oil
  • shredded pork (or protein of choice)
  • broccoli
  • bell pepper
  • carrots
  • Thai basil

How to Make Pork Drunken Noodles

  1. The very first step is to soak the rice noodles in very hot water. They will soak as you prepare the rest of the dish.
  2. Prepare the vegetables and herbs so they are ready to go.
  3. Make the sauce by adding the soy sauce, honey, chicken stock, garlic, ginger, green onions, and chili paste in a bowl.
  4. The pork I use in this recipe is already cooked. If you are making this with a protein that is raw, cook the meat and set it aside.
  5. Heat the sesame oil in the pan at med-high heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add the cooked meat and the prepared sauce to the pan with the vegetables and stir to combine.
  7. Drain the noodles that have been soaking and add them to the pan. Continue stirring to ensure all of the noodles, vegetables, and meat have been coated with sauce.
  8. Cover the pan and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken quite a bit and the noodles will soften even more.
  9. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped basil. Serve immediately and enjoy!

How to Customize These Noodles

Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) are traditionally made with vegetables like broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, and bean sprouts. But, you can use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand like onions, tomatoes, or even squash.

pork drunken noodles in a pan with the sauce

For other protein options, you can use chicken, beef, or even seafood. If you want a vegetarian option, add cooked tofu or leave out the protein option altogether.

This dish is traditionally also made with a wide rice noodle. If you can’t find a wide version, substitute with a thinner version similar to the noodles used in Pad Thai.

What’s the difference between Thai basil and Italian basil?

Thai basil is a different color and smells different than the more common Italian basil. Thai basil has purple stems and smells more like licorice than pesto. It is also sweeter than regular basil. If you can’t find Thai basil you can use Italian basil and perhaps add a little mint to get a more unique taste.

pork drunken noodles with fresh vegetables and a thai basil garnish
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Tips for making the best Pork Drunken Noodles:

  • Make sure you soak the rice noodles in hot water at the very beginning of cooking. This will ensure they are soft and have already soaked up moisture before adding them to the sauce.
  • Quick fry the vegetables for only a few minutes so they are lightly charred but not soggy.
  • The sauce will thicken and become very sticky for the perfect drunken noodle experience.
  • Add the Thai basil after you remove the noodles from the heat so they don’t wilt before you get to enjoy the dish.
  • Store any leftover noodles covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • For the chili paste, start with a tablespoon for taste and a tiny bit of heat, and then add more if desired.
  • If you don’t have chili paste, you could substitute a chopped jalapeno pepper or hot pepper of your choice. 

More Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes:

drunken noodles

Pork Drunken Noodles

This easy Pork Drunken Noodle Recipe tastes just like your favorite take-out and takes less than 30 minutes to put together!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 587kcal
Author: EmilyFabulous

Equipment

  • large saucepan or wok

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces wide rice noodles
  • ½ cup soy sauce (I use low sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup chicken stock (you can also use beef or vegetable)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced (*see tip below)
  • 2-3 stalks green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili paste (I use Sambal Oelek found in the grocery store)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 cup cooked shredded pork (or cooked protein of choice)
  • 1 head broccoli, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 1 large bell pepper, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 2-3" sticks (I cut up baby carrots into sticks)
  • 1 cup Thai basil, chopped

Instructions

  • Soak the rice noodles in very hot water while you are prepping and cooking. You will add them at the end of the recipe
  • Chop all of the vegetables and herbs so they are ready to go. Once the cooking starts things move fast.
  • Place the soy sauce, honey, chicken stock, garlic, ginger, green onions, and chili paste in a bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  • The pork I use in this recipe is already cooked. If you are making this with a protein that is raw, cook the meat and set it aside. If you are using meat that has already been cooked, you will add it after you cook the vegetables.
  • Heat the sesame oil in the pan at med-high heat. Add the vegetables and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the cooked meat and the prepared sauce to the pan with the vegetables and stir to combine.
  • Drain the noodles that have been soaking and add them to the pan. Continue stirring to ensure all of the noodles, vegetables, and meat have been coated with sauce.
  • Cover the pan and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. The sauce will thicken quite a bit and the noodles will soften even more.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chopped basil. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Notes

  • Store any leftover noodles covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  • Soak the rice noodles in hot water to ensure they soak up as much water before adding them to the vegetables and sauce. Make sure you do this step at the very beginning.
  • Quick fry the vegetables for only a few minutes so they are lightly charred but not soggy.
  • The sauce will thicken and become very sticky for the perfect drunken noodle experience.
  • Add the Thai basil after you remove the noodles from the heat so they don’t wilt before you get to enjoy the dish.
  • I always have ginger root in my freezer. Whenever a recipe calls for ginger, I pull it out and use my handheld grater to grate the ginger. It’s so easy, there is less mess, and I don’t even remove the skin (optional). The ginger maintains its amazing aroma and taste but you don’t end up throwing away any unused ginger and you always have it on hand. 
  • For the chili paste, start with a tablespoon for taste and a tiny bit of heat and take it from there. If you enjoy the heat, you can always add more. 
  • If you don’t have chili paste, you could substitute a chopped jalapeno pepper or hot pepper of your choice. 
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 587kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 51.7g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3.2g | Cholesterol: 124mg | Sodium: 1438mg | Potassium: 1129mg | Fiber: 5.2g | Sugar: 8.2g | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 5mg

Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

close up of pork drunken noodles with fresh vegetables
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