This Vegan Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles) dish is a scrumptious and drool-worthy that will surely satisfy your take-out cravings! The recipe is easy, quick, and made using fresh homemade flat rice noodles.
What is your favorite Thai noodle dish? Pad Kee Mao is definitely at the top of my list especially the one from Chiangmai. I love the fragrant herb paired with charred noodles and sautéed in a delicious and flavorful sauce which makes me drool just thinking about it.
I shared this recipe on @woon.heng a couple of months ago and many readers asked if I could make a video on it. So, here you go and make this noodle dish today with the easy steps below.
How to make Pad Kee Mao
Step 1: Mix all the sauces together in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
Step 2: Chop or pound garlic and chili into crumbles to release its flavor.
Step 3: Pan-fry tofu until golden brown, then push them to the side of the pan. Add a little more oil and sauté garlic and chili mix until fragrant.
Step 4: Add vegetables of choice and cook for a minute or two. My favorite vegetables to use are baby Gai Lan, broccolini, and today, I am using homegrown bok choy.
Step 5: Add the rice noodles and spread it out slightly on the pan and continue to add the sauce.
Step 6: Using a pair of tongs, toss noodles in sauce until all noodles are well-coated. Continue to cook for another 30 seconds to allow the noodles to absorb all the flavors. Taste test and season accordingly that is to add more vegan ‘fish’ sauce or stir fry sauce for more umami flavor or more soy sauce or salt for saltiness.
Step 7: Add the Thai Basil and give it another toss until all ingredients are well-combined.
Step 8: Serve warm with a side of chili flakes or vegan ‘fish’ sauce.
- Basil – Thai Basil is the reason why I love Pad Kee Mao so much! See substitution under the ‘Cooking Tips and Variations’ section below.
- Dark soy sauce is usually used for color and I used the thick version which is normally a bit sweeter compared to the thin ones. However, if you can’t find either, then you can skip this ingredient.
- Stir-Fry sauce is one of my go-to sauces to create that umami richness in a dish. Store-bought or homemade Stir Fry sauce works great in this dish.
- Light soy sauce is a type of soy sauce that is slightly salty with a touch of sweetness.
- Vegan ‘fish’ sauce is my favorite ingredient to use in a lot of my Vietnamese and Thai dishes to create that extra touch of savoriness. Try this Easy 5-minute Vegan ‘Fish’ Sauce recipe or use your favorite store-bought vegan ‘fish’ sauce. Since store-bought sauces’ sodium level varies, please adjust the sauces accordingly in the mixture.
- Sugar – a little touch of sweetness to balance the saltiness from the above sauces.
- Spices – I used garlic and fresh Thai chilies here to keep it simple and for a milder flavor, feel free to omit the chili.
Pad Kee Mao Cooking Tips and Variations
- Can I use store-bought rice noodles? Yes, of course! Fresh rice noodle is the best if you can get a hold of it. Alternatively, you can make your own Flat Rice Noodles, which is totally worth it by the way.
- Basil – The best kind to use is definitely Holy Basil, but you can sub it with other basils of choice such as Thai Basil.
- Vegetables – Use your favorite leafy greens or cruciferous vegetables. My favorite go-to vegetables are broccoli, broccolini, and Gai Lan. I used homegrown bok choy in today’s recipe.
- Protein – I chose tofu as it’s one of my favorite protein foods but you can substitute it with seitan or soy mince.
- Chili – Fresh or dried chilies work great in this recipe. If you can’t find either, chili flakes will be a great sub as well.
This Vegan Pad Kee Mao is
- made with gluten-free flat rice noodles
- Flavorful with the fragrant Thai Basil
- Quick and easy
- Gluten-free friendly – replace sauces with gluten-free options
- Easily customizable
- and super TASTY!
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Pad Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles)
- 2 servings of fresh flat rice noodles* [about 420g]
- 1 cup of vegetable of choice used bok choy
- a handful of Thai basil leaves about 1 cup packed
- 4-5 cloves garlic
- 2 Thai chilies
- 4 oz firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 1½ tablespoons stir fry sauce
- 1½ tablespoons soy sauce/tamari
- 2-3 tablespoons homemade vegan ‘fish’ sauce see Notes if using store-bought version
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- Pound or finely chopped the chili and garlic into bits to release its flavor.
- In a heated non-stick pan with a drizzle of oil, pan fry tofu until golden brown. Then, push tofu to the side of the pan.
- Add a little more oil to the pan and sauté the garlic and chili until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the vegetables of choice and continue to cook until they are fully cooked through.
- Next, add the noodles and slightly spread it out on the pan.
- Pour in the sauce and quickly toss the noodles with a pair of tongs until all noodles are well coated. Continue to cook for another 30 seconds or so to allow the noodles to absorb all the flavors.
- Taste test and season accordingly that is to add more vegan 'fish' sauce or stir fry sauce for extra umami flavor or more soy sauce or salt for saltiness.
- Finally, add the Thai Basil and give it a quick toss and turn off the heat. Serve warm and enjoy!
- For dried rice noodles, please prepare noodles as directed before adding them to the mixture.
- If you are using store-bought vegan ‘fish’ sauce, please adjust the taste accordingly as some brands may have higher sodium or sugar level.
- For homemade sauces, feel free to check out my Cooking Essentials page.