That Spicy Chick

Pad Kee Mao Gai (Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken)

Pad Kee Mao Gai is a spicy rice noodles stir-fry with peppery Thai holy basil, chicken, veggies, and a salty-sweet umami packed sauce. It’s easy to make in under 30 minutes, and full of the BEST garlicky and chili flavors!

Close up top view of plate with stir-fried fresh flat wide rice noodles dish with chicken and holy basil.

PAD KEE MAO BABY!!

You guys, this is one of my ALL-TIME favorite Thai dishes! It’s on the same level of tasty awesomeness as my Spicy Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice, and just as EPIC because it’s made with fresh flat wide rice NOODLES! ❤️ 😍

What is Pad Kee Mao?

Pad Kee Mao is a stir-fried fresh flat wide rice noodles dish that’s made with garlic, chilies, Thai holy basil, a few veggies, and a salty-sweet sauce. It’s often made with chicken (gai), pork, beef, and seafood, but it can also be made with tofu.

Pad Kee Mao translates loosely to “drunken noodles” in English. The story behind the name is that a very drunk (or hungover) man whipped up this easy spicy noodles dish to sober him up or cure his hangover. Others say that the name came about from the fact that Thai people love to eat this dish after a night out drinking.

Whatever the story behind or reason for the name of this dish is, one thing’s for sure: it is DAMN delicious – when you’re sober or not 🙃 . Moreover, it is guaranteed to please you with all of its mouthwatering flavors!!

Front view of plate with stir-fried flat wide rice noodles dish with chicken and holy basil.

Why This Recipe Works

  • It’s a one wok wonder, and super quick and easy to make in under 30 minutes.
  • Smashing the garlic and chilies in a mortar and pestle helps to release their oils and makes this dish more flavorful.
  • Cooking the garlic chili paste after cooking the chicken prevents it from burning and creates less smoky and pungent fumes.
  • Fresh flat wide rice noodles have a wonderful and pleasing chewy texture. They taste phenomenal with the sauce and other elements in this dish.
  • It’s customizable with your favorite protein (pork, beef, tofu, or seafood), and is veg/vegan adaptable.
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