Make Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s drunkard’s noodles

This recipe from 'Baan: Stories and recipes from my Thai home' for pad kee mao is a hangover cure sent from heaven that we're certain you'll find yourself making time and time again

Make Kay Plunkett-Hogge’s drunkard’s noodles; photography by Louise Hagger

Serves 2

Preparation time 15 minutes

Cooking time 15 minutes

This spicy and satisfying dish is known as "drunkard's noodles" because it’s alleged to be an excellent hangover cure. Better even than a bacon sandwich according to some. So, you'll have to put this one to the test for us the next time you've been on a raucous night out on the tiles. Most often, you’ll find the noodles served with beef, but it is equally delicious with pork or chicken, depending on what you have around. Just don't expect to have many leftovers. It's that good.


  • 115g sen yai (large) rice noodles
  • 1 heaped tsp nam prik pao (roasted chilli paste)
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nam pla (fish sauce)
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste (puree)
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 2-3 Thai bird's eye chillies
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 coriander roots
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 125g beef, pork or chicken, cut into thin strips
  • 1 tomato, cut into 8 wedges
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
  • a large handful of Thai basil leaves, plus extra to garnish


  1. In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water until they separate and reach the texture of uncooked fresh pasta.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the nam prik pao, dark soy, nam pla, tamarind paste, chilli powder and sugar, until the sugar has dissolved.
  3. Pound the chillies, garlic and coriander root together with the salt in a pestle and mortar until you have a rough paste.
  4. Heat your wok over a high heat until it's very hot, then add the oil. Add the garlic and coriander root paste, and stir-fry for a minute or so until it's really fragrant, then add the meat. Stir-fry until it takes colour, then add the tomato, lime leaves and the chilli paste mixture, stirring them in well.
  5. Now add the drained noodles and half of the basil. Keep stir-frying until everything is cooked through and well combined, about 5 minutes. Stir through the remaining basil and serve immediately, garnished with the extra basil leaves.