Drunken Noodle Sauce (Pad Kee Mao)

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This simple Drunken Noodle Sauce makes a quick 30-minute dinner. Stir fry the easy sauce with vegetables and wide rice noodles for a meal that’s better than takeout.

Overhead of bowl of drunken noodles.

Drunken noodles is a Thai dish made with stir fried noodles, vegetables, and a savory, sweet sauce. Traditionally the dish contains Thai chilis for added spice and fragrant holy basil.

The sauce is easy to whip up and is simply added to the pan when stir frying the other ingredients. We like to make the sauce slightly sweet and we don’t use the Thai chilis because I have a low tolerance for heat.

We don’t have a lot of Thai dishes on the site. Most of our sauces are simply Asian inspired, like this creamy peanut sauce, perfect for serving with spring rolls. Or this honey garlic sauce that is epic in stir fry’s. But this drunken noodle sauce is one you are sure to love.

Why This Recipe Works

  • The flavors are balanced for a sweet yet savory profile.
  • The sauce works well with chicken or shrimp, a large array of vegetables, and wide rice noodles.
  • You can control the spice level! While we don’t include chilis in our recipe, feel free to dice some up and mix them in.
Ingredients for drunken noodle sauce.


For the ingredient measurements and the entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

  • Garlic: Use fresh garlic that you mind yourself. Avoid the preminced garlic in jars.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger offers a pleasant gingery kick.
  • Oyster sauce: This has an earthy, slightly sweet, and salty taste.
  • Soy sauce: We prefer to use low sodium soy sauce but regular will work just fine.
  • Fish sauce: This adds a slight saltiness plus an umami, savory flavor.
  • Sugar: We use a very small amount of light brown sugar for a touch of sweetness.
  • Water: Just a little is added to thin the sauce.
  • Chilis: Thai chilis are a staple in drunken noodles. Use 1 to 3 or leave them out altogether.

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

  1. Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Add the sauce to the pan when stir frying meat, vegetables, and noodles.
Drunken noodle sauce in a liquid measuring cup.

Tips For Success

  • Cook the protein of your choice, then stir fry in the vegetables. Add the sauce and softened rice noodles. Continue to stir fry until the sauce is thickened and noodles are well coated.
  • This sauce makes enough for 200 grams of dried rice noodles. Cook the noodles according to the package directions and drain well before adding to the stir fry.
  • Stir fry in a large wok or a 12-inch skillet.
Close up bowl of drunken noodles.


Can I make this sauce vegan?

Unfortunately, our recipe uses both oyster sauce and fish sauce. You can use a vegetarian stir fry sauce in place of those ingredients, but the flavor won’t be the same.

What vegetables do I use for drunken noodles?

You can use carrots, broccoli, onion, green onion, zucchini, and holy basil. Pick what you like best!

Drunken Noodle Sauce

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Overhead of bowl of drunken noodles.
This simple Drunken Noodle Sauce makes a quick 30-minute dinner. Stir fry the easy sauce with vegetables and wide rice noodles for a meal that’s better than takeout.
Sauce Fanatic
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Serving Size 2


  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • Add all the ingredients to a small bowl and whisk until well combined.
  • Stir-fry sauce with cooked rice noodles, chicken or shrimp, and veggies of your choice.


  • Make it spicy: Chop 1-3 Thai chili peppers and add it to the sauce.
  • Vegetables to use for drunken noodles: Carrots, broccoli, onion, green onion, zucchini, holy basil.
  • Protein to use for drunken noodles: Chicken or shrimp work well.
  • Noodles: Look for dried rice noodles. We use the wide ones. Cook them according to the package directions, drain well, and stir fry with vegetables and protein of your choice. The sauce is enough for 200 grams of dried noodles.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 56kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 2358mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.


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