I LOVE drunken noodles from Thai food restaurants, but am never able to find those wide, thin noodles in the markets and don't know what they're called to ask. Also, what sauce is used in drunken noodles? I assume there is some type of alcohol in it, but am not sure what.

So, my questions are:

  1. What are the wide, thin noodles called that are served in Thai "drunken noodle" dishes?
  2. What's in the Thai "drunken noodle" sauce?

4 Answers 4

  1. They are simply wide rice noodles.
  2. Fish sauce (nam pla), soy sauce, sugar, chilli, garlic, thai basil.

There are any number of recipes online.

  • 5
    The noodles themselves can go by a number of names, including shahe/ho/hor fun/fen and kway teow.
    – ESultanik
    Commented Apr 12, 2011 at 20:02

With regards to the sauce, from my understanding, Drunken Noodle is just spicy Pad Thai. IF this is the case, here's my recipe for Pah Thai sauce.

1/4 cup fish sauce (fish sauce is like salt, you don't taste it really, but you notice if it's gone) 3 tblsp tamarind paste (concentrated, other wise 3/4 cup) 1/2 of a plastic lime (i'm lazy, call it 1/4 cup or so) 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 3 tblsp minced garlic

mix these all together and add hot sauce to taste. the noodles get softened by soaking in warm water for 5-10 minutes. I usually let them soak for 7 minutes, then cook them in the sauce, so they soak it up.

  • Actually they are totally different. I haven't had any "drunken noodle" with tamarind sauce or even lime juice.
    – puri
    Commented May 2, 2011 at 22:43
  • Ah! Good to know that they are NOT the same. Apologies for the error. When I was trying to develope my pad thai sauce, many of the recipes I ran across called for rice vinegar, but i really thought it threw the taste off. Since Lime is often served with pad thai, I thought it might be a good acid to use. About the Tamarind...really? Most of the better recipes that I found on line referenced using it, and now I find that it's key to a good sauce.
    – Macromika
    Commented May 5, 2011 at 21:03
  • 1
    Maybe there are other variations of the dish. Sometimes Thai food outside Thailand, particularly in the US, is totally different.
    – puri
    Commented May 6, 2011 at 3:22
  1. Traditionally it is just rice noodle but it is common in Thailand to use other types of noodles such as spaghetti or even instant noodle.

  2. Besides fish sauce and soy sauce, oyster sauce and dark soy sauce (prominent in Pad See Ewe) are commonly added. So is palm sugar instead of white sugar.


From the Thai language wikipedia page about the dish, the ingredients for pad khii mao (ผ้ดขี้เมา) are:

  • rice noodles
  • soy sauce
  • fish sauce
  • garlic
  • any type of meat (even tofu)
  • chillis (usually green bird peppers in my experience)
  • snake beans
  • holy basil leaves or thai basil leaves (they are not the same thing)

I mentioned "my experience" so I better tell you what that is. I currently live in Thailand and the dish is one I eat quite often from various restaurants.

Most of the time it contains fresh green peppercorns, which is also mentioned on the Wikipedia page. They really give the dish some punch. It's also quite common to get carrots, broccoli and some other vegetables.

In addition to rice noodles you can get the dish with egg noodles, rice or (shudder) with spaghetti.

Another recipe lists oyster sauce as an ingredient.

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