Cravings | Pepper's Drunken Noodles
Pepper's Drunken Noodles
Pepper's Drunken Noodles

You guys asked, Mom answered.

When it comes to recipe requests, so many of you have been asking for more of Mom's noodle recipes. While her Pad Thai is hard to beat, I think her drunken noodles (aka "pad kee mao") has to be a close second. "Kee mao" literally translates to “drunk person," which Mom says is because the dish has so much heat that even a drunk person can taste all the flavors. (Uh, no idea if this is true.) Whether you believe her or not, these noodles are still a household favorite. The wide noodles are coated and soaked all the way through with a thick, savory sauce filled with chili peppers for an extra kick. Caution: the more you mash the chili peppers, the spicier they become. So if super spicy food isn't your thing, hold back on the chilies, or use a light touch with the mortar & pestle!

Pepper's Drunken Noodles:

  • Serves: 2

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes

  • Total Time: 20 minutes


  • ½ pound boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 5 bird’s eye chili peppers 

  • 4-5 cloves garlic

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce (or more regular soy sauce)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

  • ½ small onion, diced

  • 4 spring onion greens, sliced (or scallions)

  • 1 cup lightly packed Thai basil leaves (or any variety of fresh basil)

  • 5 ounces fresh pad see ew rice noodles (less than half a bag)

  • Salt to taste


  1. Combine the chicken and soy sauce in a bowl and toss to thoroughly coat the chicken. Set aside to marinate briefly.

  2. Lightly mash together the chilies and garlic using a mortar & pestle or the back of a chef’s knife; the more you mash them, the spicier the mix will be. Heat the oil in a large, high-sided pan or skillet over medium-high heat and add the chili-garlic mixture. Sauté, stirring often, until aromatic (be careful not to burn the garlic), 1 to 2 minutes.

  3. Add the chicken and sauté, stirring, until just about cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the noodles from the package, gently unpeel them, and add to the pan along with the chicken. Add the light soy sauce and toss to coat. Add onions, and cook, stirring often, until lightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the spring onion greens, basil, and a pinch of salt, and toss to thoroughly combine everything. Remove from the heat and serve.

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