Drunken Style Noodles with Shrimp

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This Drunken Style Noodles with Shrimp recipe is inspired by the popular Thai street food pad kee mao, or “drunken noodles.”

Drunken Style Noodles
Drunken Noodles with Shrimp

The flavor of these drunken noodles is perfectly balanced – spicy, savory, and slightly sweet – and the lime juice rounds the whole dish out. This Thai noodle recipe is also filling, loaded with protein from the shrimp and eggs and naturally gluten-free if using gluten-free soy sauce. More of my favorite Thai shrimp recipes are this Shrimp Pad Thai and Thai Green Curry Coconut Shrimp with Basil.

Drunken Noodles with Shrimp

I recently got my hands on a new cookbook, Once Upon a Chef: Weeknight/Weekend Cookbook by Jenn Segal and I’ve been dying to make this dish. The book is 70% fast and easy weeknight meals and 30% slow and soothing weekend recipes. All her recipes look wonderful, and this dish did not disappoint! I slightly tweaked this one by cutting back on the oil but otherwise kept it the same. I think you’ll love it as much as we did, it had so much flavor!

What makes drunken noodles drunken?

Jenn says: “Contrary to what the name implies, the dish does not contain alcohol. Pad means “stir fry” and kee mao means “drunkard,” so it’s not the noodles that are drunk but rather the person who is eating them! I’m sure the dish is comforting after a night of partying – or that it’s spicy enough to sober you up – but for me, it’s simply a delicious weeknight dinner, ice-cold beer optional.”

Drunken Noodle Ingredients:

Below are the ingredients for this shrimp drunken noodle recipe:

  • Noodles: Rice noodles and water
  • Protein: Shrimp and eggs
  • Vegetables: Broccoli and green onions
  • Flavor: Salt, garlic, basil, lime juice

Here’s what Jenn has to say about the width of rice noodles:

“I call this version “drunken-style” because, traditionally, drunken noodles are made with fresh wide rice noodles. I use medium rice noodles because I can count on them being stocked in my grocery store – these are the noodles used for pad Thai, which makes the recipe more of a drunken noodle-pad Thai hybrid.”

To make the drunken noodle sauce, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Oyster sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Brown sugar
  • Water

Variations & Tips:

  • Protein: Switch up the protein with chicken or tofu or skip it if you want vegetarian drunken noodles.
  • Spiciness: If you want milder pad kee mao noodles, omit the sriracha. Like it spicier? Add more.
  • To make gluten-free drunken noodles, use gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
  • For ultimate efficiency, prepare the other ingredients while your noodles soak.

Drunken Noodles with Broccoli and ShrimpDrunken Noodles with Shrimp

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Drunken Style Noodles
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Drunken Style Noodles with Shrimp

487 Cals 35 Protein 59.5 Carbs 11 Fats
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Dinner, Lunch
Drunken Style Noodles with Shrimp recipe inspired by the popular Thai street food pad kee mao, or “drunken noodles.”


  • 8 cups plus ¾ cup water, plus more as needed
  • 8 ounces rice noodles, as thick as you can find
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free Tamari
  • tablespoons fish sauce
  • tablespoons sriracha, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound large (31/35) shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • cups bite-sized broccoli florets , (from an 8-ounce/225 g broccoli crown)
  • 1 bunch of scallions, light and dark green parts separated, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup loosely packed Thai or Italian basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)


  • Soak the noodles: Bring the 8 cups (2 L) water to a boil in a large pot. Remove the pot from the heat and add the rice noodles. Stir very well so they don’t stick, then let soak, stirring frequently, until soft, pliable, and just shy of perfectly cooked (they should be al dente, just like regular pasta). This process should take 10 to 20 minutes; check the noodles frequently as the soaking time varies greatly depending on the width and brand of the noodles. Drain and rinse well with cold water. (If not using the noodles right away, toss them with a little oil to prevent sticking.)
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the oyster sauce, soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, brown sugar, and ¼ cup (60 mL) of the water.
  • In a small bowl, beat the eggs with ⅛ teaspoon salt.
  • Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large (12-inch/30 cm) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt; cook, tossing occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque and just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl and wipe clean.
    shrimp in wok
  • Spray the skillet with oil; add the eggs and scramble until cooked through.
  • Transfer the eggs to the bowl with the shrimp.
    Eggs broccoli and shrimp in a bowl.
  • Add the broccoli to the pan along with ⅛ teaspoon salt and the remaining ½ cup (120 mL) water. Cover and steam until cooked through, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the bowl with the shrimp and eggs.
  • Discard any excess water from the pan and wipe it clean with a moist paper towel.
  • Return the pan to the stove, increase the heat to high, and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil is shimmering, add the light scallions and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the noodles and sauce to the pan and toss with tongs until the noodles absorb the sauce and are perfectly tender, 3 to 5 minutes. If the noodles remain a bit tough at this point, add 2 tablespoons water to the skillet and continue to toss and cook until tender. Repeat with more water as necessary.
    noodles in pan
  • Add the shrimp, eggs, and broccoli, the dark scallions, and the basil and lime juice to the skillet and toss until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. If the noodles seem dry, add another tablespoon


Variations & Tips:

  • Protein: Switch up the protein with chicken or tofu or skip it if you want vegetarian drunken noodles.
  • Spiciness: If you want milder pad kee mao noodles, omit the sriracha. Like it spicier? Add more.
  • To make gluten-free drunken noodles, use gluten-free soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos.
  • For ultimate efficiency, prepare the other ingredients while your noodles soak.
*Gluten free options for oyster sauce- Kikkoman and Wok Mei


Serving: 2generous cups, Calories: 487kcal, Carbohydrates: 59.5g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 306.5mg, Sodium: 1539.5mg, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugar: 6.5g
Blue Smart Points: 9
Green Smart Points: 11
Purple Smart Points: 9
Keywords: drunken shrimp, noodles, rice noodles, thai recipes

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  1. Yes this was complicated to make and the next tiem I make it will do it differently but it was EXCELLENT. Loved the flavours, texture and everything about it. My sister who has lived in and visited many Asian countries rated it highly as well. Definitely will do again. Very filling as well

  2. If I was served this in a restaurant I would not be disappointed. The flavors are fantastic. I forgot to purchase basil which was super unfortunate but it was still a great dinner. I used tofu because I had it on hand, and honestly, I really don’t love shrimp. I also threw some peanuts on top, which was pretty tasty. This dish will definitely be put on rotation in my house.

  3. I had to laugh that someone posted “Easiest, least involved” not that it was hard, just a lot of factors to it…but BOY WAS IT GOOD! I also had issues w/ my noodles. I used Taste of Thai noodles, and they were what I consider al-dente at about the full 20 minutes, but then they broke apart into small pieces in serving. Not sure if that is the way it is supposed to be? Never have cooked rice noodles b4. …BUT YUM YUM YUM

  4. This is my favorite Thai dish I order at restaurants, so I was thrilled to see this recipe. I made a mistake and didn’t have rice noodles, so I used whole wheat linguini (just what I had on hand). It was still a successful dish. I absolutely loved the flavor! It was a flavor bomb! I definitely recommend prepping all the ingredients before starting, like I do for your Spicy Shrimp fried rice (another favorite recipe), because all the steps go really fast. My husband even liked it, though he said he would have preferred less fish sauce. Thank you Gina for another winner!

  5. This was delicious! Only change was that I roasted broccoli and made it a “side” and added snap peas, cabbage, and carrots to the main dish.

    One thing that I would like to put out there based around a few of the comments that I see: every style, thickness, and brand of rice noodles have their own specific needs to prep them- my preferred ones soak in warm tap water for 20 minutes then are good to go – following the recipe above with boiling water would have turned them to goo. Check the prep directions on the noodles you get, they’re probably not the same ones she used!

  6. Great flavor but a 15 min noodle soak turned my noodles to a pile of mush. If using Ocean, soak 6 mins. I was so sad I ruined it all and will have to try again. 

  7. This is one of the easier, least involved at home Thai food recipes I’ve used! Super flavorful and delicious. We love Thai but hate how heavy and greasy buying from a restaurant can be. This stays fresh and light

  8. This was delish!  I used udon noodles, which were a whole lot easier than the rice noodles and had enough body for the dish.  I would add a lot more veggies next time….there was plenty of sauce to accommodate them.  Onions, peppers, snow peas and matchstick carrots would all be fabulous in here.  The sauce has a great umami from the fish sauce and oyster sauce.  It’s definitely one I’ll make again! 

  9. This was delicious and will be added to our rotation of favorite recipes! it was my first time making rice noodles and I was a tad nervous but they came out perfectly! Thanks for another amazing recipe!

  10. Delicious! I subbed out the shrimp for extra-firm tofu that I crisped up in the pan before scrambling the eggs. Also used light brown sugar because that’s what I had on hand. Came out perfectly! Definitely use Thai basil if you can find it, it was the perfect flavor for this dish.

  11. Made this tonight for dinner! It was amazing!  Very  easy to make! Doubled the veggies using frozen 12 oz frozen broccoli florets and 1/2 pack frozen stir fry veggies.  It was so good! Even picky husband loved it!

  12. I’d love to make this, but the sodium is out of sight.  It’s almost one days of sodium.  Certainly not healthy

  13. How many servings does this make?

  14. So delicious! I over poured the noodles and used about 9.5 oz, about 3.5 cups broccoli, and 5 eggs. Also added about a half TBSP of dark soy sauce at the end. Otherwise followed the recipe exactly and it was great! 

  15. This is terrific and so adaptable. My husband won’t eat broccoli so I subbed sugar snap peas and matchstick carrots. I did pan sear the sugar snap peas so they weren’t too watery when added to the mix. Not sure the egg is necessary as we agreed that it didn’t add to the taste, however it does add protein. I might try a fried egg on top next time I make this. I will definitely use this recipe as a base and as Gina suggests, change up the proteins, veg, etc. Soooooo good!

  16. This was so good! I loved it and was pleasantly surprised how much flavor the shrimp and broccoli picked up. I doubled it and was great I can’t wait to keep making this!

  17. Hi Gina,

    Would soba noodles work here 

  18. Looks delish!  I’m counting macros and looking for a lower carb option.  Besides zoodles, what other options would you suggest for swapping out the noodles? 

  19. Wow!!

    I don’t know about your experiences with shrimp, but “31/35” are tiny little things & not even remotely “large”. The size “16/20” is the first size I’d even consider calling “large”.

  20. Delicious and easy to prepare. Great balance of spice mixed with the sweetness of the shrimp. We will definitely add this to the rotation.

  21. I made this just about exact, but forgot the lime and basil, and used chicken as I had no shrimp. What can I say, I don’t  follow instruction well…

    10/10. SOOO good. I’ll definitely make it again!

  22. This was incredibly delicious and comforting. My husband had coincidentally ordered this today from our local Thai place and he said this one was way better! Perfect amount of spice. Only confusion was the “soaking” of the noodles. We followed the cooking instructions on the noodles box instead and it turned out a bit off in texture, so we will try the soaking next time!

  23. This dish was so good! Tasted liked take out and the whole family enjoyed it! Especially my 2 year old. Definitely will make this one again. 

  24. Flavorful and delicious. I added some frozen edamame and used less noodles. Even with my husband having 2 helpings, we still have leftovers!

  25. Can I use frozen broccoli that was steamed first with this recipe?

  26. Ok I know what I am making for work lunch this week :D.

  27. This  looks super good! Is there any way to adapt this without out the fish components? i am allergic to shellfish, and have an aversion to most fish besides salmon or sea bass.
    Thank you!

    • You can use soy sauce in place of the fish sauce and just add in a little extra hot sauce for the depth of flavor. Also, I bet any protein would be great!

  28. are there any substitutions for oyster sauce and fish sauce? I’m allergic to shellfish so I would make this with Kosher imitation shrimp….

    • You could sub soy sauce or tamari.

      • Delicious!! My husband said it was better than most takeouts. Directions were easy to follow.
        It did have a kick. My husband and I loved the heat, but it was a little too spicy for my 4 year old. It was easy to separate the shrimp, egg, broccoli and pasta before adding the sauce. Will definitely cook again.

  29. Is there any way to make this without the oyster sauce?  I love drunken noodles but am allergic to oysters and am always looking for a way to make it without the oyster sauce. 

  30. Oyster sauce is typically not gluten free. Have you found one you like that is? 

    • Kikkoman and Wok Mei both make one.

      • Jenn Segal from Once Upon A Chef is my favorite food blogger. Her recipes never disappoint. Not all her recipes are skinny, but they often can be modified fairly easily…reducing the oil, or subbing Greek yogurt for sour cream for example. I met Jenn at one of her book signings a few years ago. She is extremely nice.

  31. This is really good. Definitely prep your ingredients first. Made mind with chicken and made it gluten free. Couldn’t find gf oyster sauce so I had to omit it. Still was delicious.