A popular dish in Thailand, drunken noodles or pad kee mao is a stir fried noodle dish consisting of broad rice noodles, chili, baby corn, fish sauce, oyster sauce and deep-fried holy basil. Origins of the name kee mao or khi mao translates to drunkard but why the dish was dubbed drunken noodles remains a mystery. Some swear that it is the cure for a hangover, others say the dish was once made after a long night out, but regardless of the history, the dish remains a favourite!
Make BuaBua Thai's original recipe for pad kee mao, whether you have a wok or not, just make sure you are working with a hot pan!
If you give this recipe a shot, make sure to post up your creation on Instagram and tag @tastetoronto and @buabuathai!
Pad Kee Mao 12 Steps
Heat wok or pan over medium-high heat until it is slightly smoking. Add oil and cook chicken, stirring occasionally. Once cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
Follow the package instructions of your dried noodles and cook accordingly (recommend to cook the noodles a few minutes less, as they will be finished in the wok again). Typically this involves soaking the noodle overnight and then boiling in salted water, or soaking the noodle in hot/warm water for a certain amount of time. After noodles are cooked, toss in neutral oil to prevent from sticking (use sparingly).
Boil bamboo shoots in hot water for approximately 5 minutes and drain.
Mix ingredients for sauce (oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, sweet black soy sauce) together in a bowl and set aside.
Bring 1/4-inch neutral oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit in a small pot. Take 1/3 cup of the holy basil and fry until leaves turn bright green and crisp up. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel.
Ensure the wok is cleaned completely after cooking the chicken (no pieces of chicken left on the wok). It is imperative to start with a completely clean wok so nothing will burn throughout the cooking process.
Heat up wok to an almost smoking point, add in a bit more oil, turning to just coat the pan. Wait 5 seconds, then add egg and stir around (almost like making scrambled eggs in the wok).
Once the egg is no longer runny add in the cooked chicken meat and stir, making sure nothing sticks or burns. Stir for 30 seconds to heat chicken through.
Now add white onions, green beans, baby corn, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, Anaheim peppers and red hot chilis. Continue stirring until ingredients start to soften. Be sure to move quickly as the wok is very hot and always continue to stir to prevent burning.
After ingredients are 90% cooked through, add noodles to wok (don’t be afraid to crank up the heat to high while frying the noodles). You almost want to char the noodles a bit so they get some colour on the outside -- that’s where all the amazing flavours are! After noodles begin browning, turn off the heat.
Add the mixed sauce into the wok, turn the heat back on and stir fry. Make sure noodles are evenly coated with sauce. If ingredients begin sticking to wok, quickly scrape off before burning.
Once everything is evenly distributed and looks uniform, add in fresh holy basil and crushed black pepper. Toss around wok to mix evenly and plate.