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Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles

There are plenty of theories about the name of this Thai dish, which is slick with spicy oil, studded with crispy bits of pork, and spiked with garlic and chilies: a) you need a cold beer to tame the spice, b) it’s a very social/late-night meal, c) it’s the ultimate hangover food. I’ve heard from so many people over on Instagram that they’ve been making the drunken noodles from Dirty Food, I thought I’d share the recipe here too. It’s exactly the kind of thing I like to eat – a big plate of noodles you can totally tweak to suit you: use rice or wheat noodles, fresh or dried, and top them with crispy ground pork, or tofu, or shrimp, or plant-based crumbles, or just more veg. It’s all tied together with a sweet-salty-spicy-tangy-garlicky sauce that you could quickly shake up and have waiting in the fridge, and topped with crunchy peanuts (or cashews!), green onions and fresh basil, if you’re so inclined.

It’s a good kind of cleaning out the fridge and pantry meal – I pick up packages of dry rice noodles far more often than I actually make them, and I often have half a wrinkly pepper in the fridge, and always have soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic… sometimes (OK, a lot of the time) I stir in a big spoonful of peanut butter, too. Noodles are traditionally made to ring in a new year, right? Hope you had a great first week of this new decade.

Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles
Drunken Noodles

Drunken Noodles

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January 8, 2020


canola and/or sesame oil, for cooking

1/2-1 lb ground pork or diced tofu

3 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp fish sauce

1-3 Thai chilies, sliced, or dry chili flakes

3-4 green onions, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbsp brown sugar or honey

1 tsp rice vinegar

200 g dry flat rice noodles

1 small red bell pepper, sliced

a handful of Thai basil, holy basil or regular basil, chopped

lime wedges, for serving

chili oil, for drizzling (optional)


1Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil—I use some canola and some sesame—and cook the pork, breaking it up with a spoon, until it's no longer pink. As it cooks, stir the soy sauce, fish sauce and chilies (or a big pinch of chili flakes) together in a small bowl and add half to the pork along with the green onions and garlic. Keep on cooking until the pork starts getting crispy on the edges. Stir the brown sugar and rice vinegar into the remaining sauce.

2Meanwhile, cook or soak the noodles according to the package directions. Drain them well and add them to the pan along with the red pepper. Add the rest of the sauce and the basil and toss with tongs to coat and heat everything through. Transfer to a platter or plates and serve with lime wedges and chili oil. Serves about 4.


About Julie

7 comments on “Drunken Noodles

  1. Kris
    January 11, 2020 at 4:57 pm

    I just got your cookbook in the mail today and it all looks so yummy. I already have the granola in the oven and have the Drunken noodles on the menu for this week. I have decided to try and make every recipe in the book over the course of the next couple months. They all look delicious. Any suggestions to sub in for the bananas in the sticky banofee pudding? Not a fan of bananas and no matter how much the other tastes “hide” the banana taste I still can taste them.

    • Julie
      January 14, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      Aw thank you so much!! How about grated ripe pear instead of the banana?

  2. eva
    January 14, 2020 at 8:51 am

    Looks good and simple to make. I really like the rice noodles..so good! 🙂

  3. Sue
    January 15, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    So top w/chopped peanuts and a heaping tablespoon of peanut butter?

    • Julie
      January 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm

      I’d just top with chopped peanuts! Peanut butter would go into the sauce.

  4. Sharon
    February 1, 2020 at 12:53 am

    This sounds so delicious! I would like to know what brand of fish sauce you used for this recipe.

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