Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Drunken Noodles (Vegetarian)

I am about to cook 'Drunken Noodles' for the first time (also known as Pad Kee Mao). I tried this dish at a Thai Restaurant in Manuka (Canberra) recently and loved it! I had actually decided to order it after much research on the dish. Some of the definitions are below:
"Pad Kee Mao translates to 'Drunken Stir Fry' in English. This is one variation of many such 'drunken' dishes that are commonly hawked by street-side vendors in Bangkok. The 'drunken' description comes from the fact that it originated in late-night revelers' kitchens after stumbling home from the nightclubs in the wee hours of the morning."
In Thai, ‘pad’ means to stir-fry, and ‘kee mao’ means someone who likes to drink too much. ‘Kee’ literally means ‘shit’, and adding ‘kee’ in front of any verb means it’s a bad habit. ‘Mao’ means drunk. So, a ‘Kee Mao’ (shit drunk) is someone who has a bad habit of drinking!
No one is sure where the name of this dish comes from. Some believe it is called drunken noodles because it's an excellent hangover cure. Others believe that it is so hot that the eater has to be drunk to be able to stand it, while some are sure that it's because one becomes drunk trying to drown out the heat with alcohol. Still others believe that the name comes from the wide assortment of ingredients the dish contains: The chef is drunk enough to throw in a bunch of vegetables and spices without thinking it over. The most probable explanation is that this is one of the only foods available on the streets of Thailand late at night and in the very early morning, the times when inebriated revelers are leaving places of celebration. It is very possible that the extremely "wobbly" noodles themselves give the dish its name.

Read more:
In my opinion, the third link explains the dish of 'Drunken Noodles' the best.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs vinegar
  • 2 tbs kecap manis
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 1 tbs finely grated palm sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 250g fresh rice noodles
  • 1 tbs peanut oil
  • 2 tsp chilli paste (sambal oelek)
  • 1 brown onion, sliced finely 
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced to your liking
  • 150g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbs sherry
  • 1 tbs soy sauce (light or dark)
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 baby bok choy, sliced
  • 2 green onions, trimmed, thinly sliced
  • Lime wedges, to serve


  1. Combine the oyster sauce, vinegar, kecap manis, fish sauce, sugar and lime juice in a small bowl.
  2. Prepare noodles as directed on packet.
  3. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a wok until just smoking. Add the chilli paste, onion, and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Add the zucchini, mushrooms and bok choy and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes or until just cooked through. 
  4. Add soy sauce and sherry, stir to combine.
  5. Add the eggs and swirl pan to lightly cover, until just cooked through to your liking. Add noodles, stir to combine. 
  6. Add the oyster sauce mixture. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until heated through and well combined. Add the green onions and toss to combine.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with lime wedges.

Dining Out in Canberra

Here are just a few places that I have dined out in the last week or so.

Alto Restaurant - Black Mountain Tower

Polenta and crisp egg coated crab, lime chilli and garlic dressing, served with a mango and leek salad

Twice cooked black truffle and gruyere souffle

Grilled beef loin, chatel mustard and white truffle crust, petit pomme, celeriac and double cream puree, autumn vegetable melange

White chocolate and pistachio Bavarian, caramelised pear, glass biscuit and passionfruit coulis

Pan seared QLD scallops and pea puree, potato crisps, bacon and tomato vinaigrette

Dark chocolate souffle, poached black cherries, fennel and all spice ice cream

Aubergine Restaurant - Grifffith Shops

Trout tartare, Oyster vichyssoise, avruga caviar, fennel salad

Sauté of sand whiting, chorizo, south coast squid, smoked rice

Can't quite remember this one, but I do know it consisted of duck breast, duck sausage, potato tartine, pate and spring vegetables

Fillet of baby barramundi, kataifi wrapped prawn, sweet corn purée, bourride