Pad Kee Mao Gai



Pad Kee Mao Gai
(Drunken Noodles with Chicken)


1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped Thai bird’s eye chiles
1-1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, sliced into strips or small chunks
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup black soy sauce
1/4 cup Golden Mountain sauce
1 tablespoon palm sugar
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 bunch fresh Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
32 ounces fresh wide rice noodles


Heat oil in wok over high heat. When oil begins to smoke, add garlic, onion and Thai chiles. Stir fry until golden, no more than a minute.

Add chicken, fish sauce, black soy sauce, Golden Mountain sauce and palm sugar (note: it will seem very saucy; don’t worry, the noodles will soak it all up later). Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add red and yellow bell peppers. Continue stir frying for 2 to 3 more minutes until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.

Turn off heat, add basil and stir until just wilted. Add the rice noodles and toss thoroughly to coat. Serve immediately.


This recipe. This was one of the top recipes of all time when I was over on Blogger as Alosha’s Kitchen. When I posted it nearly seven years ago, I had this to say:

Oh man, it was awesome. No pretense here, no beating around the bush. This kicked ass. One bite and I was jumping for joy. I just couldn’t believe it: my pad kee mao tasted like pad kee mao!

And as far as I remember, it did. But I also remember I wasn’t very good at working with the rice noodles. So after making this all of once, I never went back to it again. I actually transformed the recipe into a stir fry over rice and let this recipe lie.

Until last night. The bag of fresh rice noodles went in the microwave… and then I spent maybe a mere 15 minutes pulling them apart one by one. Huh. Maybe this wasn’t as bad as I thought. Or maybe my cooking skills have just gotten so much better in the last 7 years, everything feels easier than it used to. I’m going with the latter.

Either way, this recipe is not going back into obscurity. It was SO. Damn. Good. Not only does it taste like restaurant Pad Kee Mao, it tastes like Thai Nakorn‘s Pad Kee Mao. And for me and Steve, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Actually, success with this recipe means that I now have three out of our five favorite Thai Nakorn dishes – Pad Kee Mao Gai, Tom Kha Gai, and Panang Curry with Beef – down pat. Now if I could just nail down Beef Basil and Satay, we’d be all set. (Already working on it!)


60 thoughts on “Pad Kee Mao Gai

  1. OMG! Ridiculously amazing is all I can say! I don't salt ANYTHING and can't stand salty things but I found this perfect…correction, the family found this PERFECT! We don't get to go for Thai food too often just because it's expensive, but this recipe was worth the long trip to the store to get the correct ingredients! I omitted the bell peppers since we don't eat them and I don't recall them at the restaurant but everything else was verbatim! Pad Kee Mao is usually husband and older daughter's favorite (I'm about to make Pad see ew for me and youngest) however, I have to say I can't stop nibbling on this! Thank you so much for posting. I can't wait to try one of your other recipes. I wish you had a pad see ew. I hope the other person's recipe is even 1/2 as good!


  2. Denise, it's comments like this that make me still so happy I leave my food blog up and running publicly. I am thrilled that you and your family loved this dish! I do hope you'll try my Thai red curry and my stir fry dish as well.

    Re. pad see ew: I did three attempts a couple of years ago but haven't returned to it. Each attempt was very good but not perfect/repeatable enough for me to post. You know what recipe you should use though? My friend Jen Yu's. She's amazing (though she also got it from a mutual blogger friend):

    Thanks again. Made my day!


  3. Hi Melissa,

    I've been searching for the right recipe to replicate my favorite thai dish ever (pad kee mao). Yours was amazing! I am fortunate to live in an area of NYC that has many different ethnic groceries, and thought I might pass along what the lady at the thai grocery store told me: Golden Mountain is for Pad See Ewe, normally we only use fish sauce for Pad Kee Mao. Tamarind extract is the important sauce base for Pad Kee Mao. So I tried it with tamarind instead of Golden Mountain and it came out really authentic! Also my local restaurant uses a couple plum tomatoes, which really marries well with the rest of the dish. Finally, she said Sweet Soy Sauce is also necessary for Pad See Ewe, so in case you do want to revisit it at some point, I hope you try it that way!


  4. I have been searching for too long for a recipe for Kee Mao Gai and only just NOW learned to search for Pad Kee Mao! I inquired at one of our local Thai restaurants about a recipe for this dish and they directed me to your site! Upon further research, with the right recipe name, I found a plethora of recipes and not ONE has the same liquid ingredients,much less quantities. I made this last night and both my hubby and I were impressed with the depth of flavor but found it waaaaay too salty…I'm not sure what contributed to it. I also do not have access to fresh rice noodles so I used the wide flat dry version, pre-cooked them and they curled up into cylinders – any idea why? I've seen multiple iterations on how to cook rice noodles as well…Unlike one of the other posters, I didn't weigh the cooked noodles. thoughts on the saltiness or suggestions on the noodles! Need to play around with the liquids to get it right for us! Thanks!!!!


  5. Hi Anon! Unfortunately, I can't offer much help on the noodles. I have not made the noodle version of this in years, since my husband is not a fan of the wide pad kee mao style ones, and I turned this into a stir fry instead:

    As for the saltiness (and a few others have complained of the same issue so it isn't just you guys!), I'd say it's a personal preference. The fact of it is the combination of fish sauce, black soy sauce and Golden Mountain seasoning is going to be fairly salty, so the only thing I can suggest is cutting each of those elements in half – if you need more moisture for the noodles, maybe add a few tablespoons of water? I am not sure how else you could dilute the saltiness, but we and many others who have made it like the level as it is. Again, you are not the only one who hasn't, so I think it is a matter of personal preference.

    Sorry to not be of much help, but I do appreciate you making the recipe and also appreciate the feedback!


  6. Made this tonight. Made with about 12 ounces of wide noodles and 1 pound of chicken. With a red and yellow peppers and a small red onion and following your recipe with 3 thai chilies I thought it came out well. I had fresh thai basil too, and I probably used more like 2 cups unpacked. At first it was between your recipe and one on Glad I chose yours.


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