Gluten-Free Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)

Sunday, January 15th, 2012 | click here to comment

I tried my hand at making drunken noodles, and couldn’t find THE recipe after exhaustively searching the net. I decided to wing it, using the ingredients and rough measurements from several recipes, and hoped for the best. The end result was ok, but I think needs a bit of tweaking to make it just right. For me, the amount of fish sauce, while scant, was still a tad too much. I also found myself wanting more sweet and more spicy. I think the next time around I’d double the black soy content, reduce the amount of meat, and put a few tablespoons of chili paste and maybe some chili flakes to kick up the spice.

You do have to made some adjustments on this recipe to make it gluten-free, but I was able to find substitutes for all of the sauces that I think work just fine. For light soy sauce (not lite as in reduced sodium), which is a slightly sweet and salty soy you add 2 tablespoons of chicken broth and 1/4 teaspoon of sugar for every 2 tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce you use.

To make black soy or thick soy sauce, use equal parts soy sauce and molasses. It’s more about making it sweet, so you can err a little more on the molasses side if you’d like. Molasses also imparts that great dark color into the dish.

For now I’ll have to satisfy my gluten-free Drunken Noodle cravings at Rhong Tiam in NYC until I can master this recipe at home. I’ll continue to post updates here as I refine the recipe.

Do you have a Drunken Noodles recipe that you love? Share it with me and I’ll make it for and will credit you!

Gluten-Free Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao)


  • 1-2 tblsp peanut oil
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced or roughly chopped
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3-4 thai chillies, chopped (use more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 black soy sauce (2 tablespoons of molasses mixed with 2 tablespoons of gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1 tblsp light soy sauce (make 1/4 cup of this by using 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce, 2 tablespoons chicken broth and 1 teaspoon sugar)
  • 2 tblsp oyster sauce (Lee Kum Kee, Green Label)
  • 2 tblsp fish sauce (I would use 1 tblsp next time)
  • 1 tblsp rice vinegar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb ground chicken (I would use 1/2 lb next time or chicken breast — you can use any meat you want or tofu/veggies)
  • 1 package of wide rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup thai basil, chopped*
  • 1 tsp sugar

Heat 1-2 tablespoons of peanut oil (or vegetable oil) in a wok until shimmering. Add carrots and green pepper, cook until almost softened. Remove carrots from wok and add shallot and onions, cook until translucent. Add thai chillies and ginger, cook for 30 seconds. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds, but do not brown. Add chicken (or other meat/veggies), and cook through about 3-4 minutes. Add beaten egg and cook until just scrambled. Add cabbage, and cook for 1 minute. Add black soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar and golden mountain sauce. Cook for one minute and add rice noodles. Toss until thoroughly coated. Add thai basil, and 1-2 teaspoons of sugar. Give it another toss and you’re done!

*Note: There is a difference between Thai and Holy basil, see image below. The notable difference is that Thai basil has purple stems and Holy basil does not. Never use sweet/Italian basil in place of Thai basil, it does not taste the same. Most Asian grocery stores will carry all of the ingredients above.


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