Drunken Noodles

February 17, 2015
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 9 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I have cooked for a few drunks in my day... and this recipe right here is a great one to accompany a beer or cocktails. Traditionally in Thailand, these noodles are served to late-night patrons to help sober them up. This dish is spicy, but you can prepare it to your own liking. My favorite drunken noodles are at the the “I Like Thai” cart in Portland, OR, and are all of $5, but when I don’t want to drag my three-year-old son downtown, I make my own second place version that serves at least four noodle munchers. I have access to many Asian markets and I pick up my ingredients there, where they are usually cheaper and better quality, but most of these items can be found at your local supermarket du jour. After you have done your prep, this dish comes together quickly, so if you do your mise en place the night before, you could make this in front of your guests and even invite them to help, or just let them watch your stir-fry ninja skills! —Alexandra V. Jones

Test Kitchen Notes

WHO: Alexandra V. Jones is a self-proclaimed kitchen ninja.
WHAT: Go home noodles, you’re drunk (with our favorite Asian flavors).
HOW: Use a mixture of powerful sauces -- soy, oyster, and fish -- and fiery chili garlic oil to douse a stir-fry of shrimp, fresh vegetables, and wide rice noodles.
WHY WE LOVE IT: We will gladly drink large amounts of beer if it means we get to sober up with these noodles. They’ll be as good as the best drunken noodles you’ve had at a Thai restaurant -- and even if they only come close, at the very least you’ll feel cool that you made them yourself. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 tablespoons thick soy sauce or hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Thai chili garlic oil (if you can’t find this, use sambal oelek or Sriracha)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 12 medium shrimp, shelled and deveined, tails on
  • 1 cup chopped tofu (I used fried, but well-drained raw tofu will also work)
  • 1 12-ounce bag rice flake noodles, soaked in lukewarm water for 10 minutes and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves
  1. Heat a wok (or the biggest skillet you have) over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk together thick soy sauce, regular soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili oil, and fish sauce together and set aside.
  2. Add peanut oil to wok and cook the garlic and shallot until light brown, then add eggs and scramble together. Add shrimp and tofu and cook for 2 minutes, then add the drained noodles, bell pepper, and sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, add basil and cook for 2 more minutes, or until some of the noodles are a bit crisp on the edges. Serve with an ice cold lager or I.P.A.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • roryrabbitfield
  • CarlaCooks
  • carlito
  • mrslarkin
  • hardlikearmour
Chef de cuisine @Shelburne hotel Seaview, WA

22 Reviews

roryrabbitfield March 2, 2021
What are “rice flake noodles”? Should the recipe maybe instead call for “rice flour noodles”?
Alexandra V. March 2, 2021
Its actually a shape, they are triangle. But you can use any wide rice noodle. Rice flakes are made of rice flour as are all rice noodles.
catydid April 12, 2020
Really delicious! Increase (double?) sauce next time, as others suggest. Made my own hoisin and vegan oyster sauce from ( with no sugar/syrup - really nice to have truly savory noodles with no sweetener. To feed 6 used 18oz of the rice flake noodles and 3 eggs (did increase sauce commensurately, but still not enough). Added green beans and peanuts, no shrimp for us. Peanuts and sesame seeds as condiments. Stir fried tofu first, 1/2 as crumbled, 1/2 as cubed, held aside; then stir fried garlic, shallots, green beans, then added peppers, then followed rest of recipe order. Pretty quick to go together - delicious and healthy!
Jodie S. January 9, 2018
Delicious, but not spicy enough (used Sriracha) or saucy enough for us. Will adjust next time, and try some of the variations listed below.
Adrienne W. April 29, 2015
These were really good! I didn't have tofu but I had a bag of frozen mixed seafood. Added a zucchini and halved the spice for the girly men in my family. I just put more sriracha on mine! A keeper.
Just thinking, I had heard they were called Drunken Noodles because you are always reaching for your beer because they are so spicy!
CarlaCooks April 21, 2015
This is a fantastic recipe! I doubled the recipe, added a zucchini, and used home-made fettuccine for the noodles. I am definitely keeping this recipe in my back pocket.
za'atar April 13, 2015
I enjoyed these noodles for dinner tonight! The sauce was tasty and the basil made it especially delicious. I'm not sure if I did something wrong or just had a different brand, but my noodles still weren't soft after 20 minutes soaking so I cooked them in boiling water for a few minutes. Not sure if this achieves the desired texture or not, but it turned out well in case someone else has a similar problem.
Valerie G. July 6, 2015
I had this issue too, I used dried rice noodles that were in triangle shapes- I hadn't used those before but I think that's the right kind? I soaked them for longer than 10 minutes and then cooked them like instructed and they were definitely not done, so then I had to add water to the whole thing and sort of steam it. So if they're not ready to eat after soaking, I'd def recommend to boil them and not overcook the whole meal like I did.
carlito March 15, 2015
Was hungover. Made these (added baby bok choy). Feeling better. Success.
Alexandra V. March 16, 2015
carole G. March 13, 2015
Just finished serving this dish. It was great. Looked a bit darker than the pic, so I assume I may have fried too long, but the flavor was wonderful and deep.
Alexandra V. March 14, 2015
Mine is a bit darker...there are variations, I love the crispy bits but i'm so pleased that you got some depth and flavor out of this!
mrslarkin March 13, 2015
Can't wait to try these - they sound delicious! Congrats!
Alexandra V. March 13, 2015
Thank u!
Kitty March 13, 2015
wow! as a Thai, i paused a bit on the name of the dish... then i understood...I have never realized how it came to be called "drunken". it is indeed a great dish. In our home, we throw in chilis instead, and a lot of basil and chinese kale. mmm. so good!
Alexandra V. March 13, 2015
Awesome! I will look into getting my hands on some Chinese kale.
hardlikearmour March 12, 2015
Yum! These sound fantastic!
Alexandra V. March 12, 2015
Thank you!
aargersi March 12, 2015
These look wonderful! Congratulations - I will for sure be trying them!!!
Alexandra V. March 12, 2015
Thanks! Congrats to you as well! Your recipe sounds amazing!
cookinginvictoria March 12, 2015
Congratulations on being selected as a finalist, Alexandra! This recipe looks wonderful . . . and I think that I have all of the ingredients in my pantry. Looking forward to making this soon.
Alexandra V. March 12, 2015
Thanks so much! I keep getting these awesome reminders of why I do my blog and participate here....such a great and supportive community of fellow food lovers! Cheers!