Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Phat Kee Mao ผัดขี้เมา Drunken Noodles

This innocent looking dish is not for the fainthearted. If you are a fan of very spicy food then this one is for you! Kee mao meaning 'shit drunk' in Thai might not be the most poetic name for a noodle dish but once you have tried this, you might be wondering how it got it's perculiar name. Here are a few theories;
1) It is so spicy that one would need to drink non-stop till he or she is 'shit drunk'
2) It can wake up the most 'shit drunk' person.
3) Invented by a 'shit drunk' person who happened to just chuck everything in the wok.
You may cut down on the amount of chillies used in your version, it will still be very delicious! 
P.S I am not really in the mood of cooking up a storm but my late grandma used to say "it is alright to eat very simple food but it mustn't be dull" and this one is surely not dull! For my late grandfather's original version, triple the amount of bird chillies :)

Serves 4 as a one dish meal
you'll need;
1 kg of fresh thick rice noodles (hor fun), loosen and mixed with 1 tbs of dark soy
150 g of kailan, sliced
a handful of bean sprouts
1 chicken breast, sliced, marinated with dash of soy, oyster sauce and white pepper
5 garlic cloves, chopped
6 bird chillies, chopped (do check the spiciness first as they vary from batch to batch)
2 green chillies, chopped
1 bunch of Thai holy basil (bai kraphrao), picked
1 tbs of soy
2 tbs of fish sauce
2 tbs of oyster sauce
* Try to do your stir frying in batches for a better result. 

Thai holy basil - bai kraphrao is crucial to the dish. If you can't find this use Thai sweet basil - bai haropa instead.

Place noodles in a hot wok and char the noodles on both sides, one can achieve the smokey flavour so desirable at a home kitchen this way. Set aside.

Saute chopped garlic and chillies for 30 seconds then add in the sliced chicken.

Next chuck in the kailan and continue to cook for a minute.

Return the noodles and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, add seasonings and mix well. Finally add bean sprouts and holy basil, stir and mix well. 

Serve immediately with a cold beer or two! Just don't get 'shit drunk' !

Check out phat si ew  if you have to cook for others that dislike spicy food, the ingredients are pretty much the same.


  1. oh dear!!makcik sukaa sgt menu ni..pernah makan dirumah kawan yg berasal dari Chiang mai..fuhhh pedas berapi but sedapp:)

  2. I can't eat too spicy food, but this one looks like a killer!

  3. Loving the story about how these noodles got their name!

  4. 哈哈這道菜的名字很有趣,但我可要減少辣椒的份量呀!:)

  5. Haha! I love the name Shit Drunk!

    I totally would go for option one there.

  6. ชอบ มาก! ไม่ เผ็ด ไม่ อร่อย! :p

  7. Makcikmanggis, Oh memang pedas berapini, sudah dikurangi cilinya kerana ada yang tidak berapa suka makan pedas :) Kawan makcik tu di Kuala Lumpur kah?

    This is a killer! You can always cut down on the chillies :)

    Mr Noodles,
    Haha me too but something new always turn up though :)

    大肥 ,

    Brisbane Baker ,
    Haha a lot of other people would too :)

    muu .
    คุณ จะ ได้ สิทธิ์! ไม่ เผ็ด ไม่ อร่อย! haha!

  8. Hi Tummies,

    you can read my mind! This is one of my favorites, but I never cooked it at home.

    My problem is that I can´t get fresh noodles in Berlin. Any recommendations how I can deal successfully with dried ones? They often get too mushy when I use them.

  9. yum yum yum! I like the photos too. more chilli the better for me ;)

  10. Wow I like the sound of this dish, a few cold beers seem like very good idea! I still have problem finding holy basil in Richmond, which shop do you go to?

  11. Makcik suka pedas tapi anak dan suami tak boleh makan pedas.dulu kawan makcik tu tinggal di johor Bharu tp sekarang sudah lost contact..I miss her very much:(

  12. Lol! This was so funny to read! I am totally besotted with the combination of chillies, holy basil and garlic. My absoloute favourite :D

  13. What a great dish with a fun name! I am not sure I would try your grandfather's original version.
    I made phat si eww all the time now, this might be a good change :)

  14. I love this post- I love noddle dishes too and we don't nearly make them enough- I think it is time for a trip to the Asian market for some thick nooddles.

  15. *Giggling* Funny name for a dish. Triple amount of chilli for me too, Suresh!

  16. LOL! Very funny! It looks delicious to me. I like spicy food but, my older son loves very hot spicy food so I know he would love this! Great pics!

  17. Lol. Dear, bring it on. I am not a big fan of very spicy dish but that doesn't mean I can't eat it. Love the theories. Very informative.

  18. Haha how funny! I must try this dish for it's name alone! 6 chillies are not that hot! :p

  19. hahaa...funny name. Would like to try this.

  20. looks amazing great name right up my st this one is lol Rebecca

  21. loving it... I've become so spice driven in the past few years that it is turning into a compulsion. Yum... will add it to me *must try* spread sheet.

  22. Oh, yeah this is my kid of noodles..lol..looks wonderful

  23. you doesn't adore drunlen noodles...but this one..Is the best for sure..making it..making it :)

  24. I like the way your grandma thinks. This is a wonderful post, I like your stories. The dish sounds and looks great. I know I'd like it spicy, but my husbands can't handle the heat! :)

  25. Am hungry now..would like to finish those drunken noodles...yumm!!

  26. This looks so delicious!

    Where do you get the holy basil in Mel? TIA! :)

  27. Another great tip about charring the noodles first!! Maybe next time I make hor fun ... it will actually taste like hor fun!! Also I think we should rename this dish as either "One Night Stand" or "The Peel at 4am" ... I think the term shit drunk is synonymous!

  28. I love this post - just figuring out how the meal got its name is priceless! Funny, this dish looks innocent enough...

  29. Reading through, I think it wakes me up from my sleepiness....sooo spicy....haha

  30. i love the fact that not only is it tasty , it is so pretty to look at! love the colors:)

  31. haha, I've gotten "Kee mao " a few times! Yes, spicy food is awesome.

  32. This sounds wonderful...especially with the cold beer.

  33. Sarah Naveen,
    Thank you!

    If you like the combination, add some fried tofu and leave out the fish sauce. :)

    love to eat ,
    Haha no not many people can!
    Glad you have been making phat si ew, hopefully this will becomes a new favaourite.

    Lady Ren ,
    Thank you! You must especially when weather is warming up over your side.

    Haha you really want that many chilies in it? :)

    Haha thank you! I hope you will try it soon!

    Cool Lassi(e) ,
    Thank you, check out the other dish phat si ew, you might prefer that!

    Oh another chillies lover!

    Anncoo ,
    Thank you! Please do!

    Haha thanks, glad you like it!

    Thank you, please let me know if you do!

    Thank you very much!

    Jhonny walker,
    Haha thank you very much!

    Thank you :) I hope you will try it and cook the other version phat si ew for your husband.

    Priya ,
    Thank you very much :)

    Anh ,
    Thank you!
    I got mine from Victoria street. If your are coming from Church st, the first grocer that has a butcher attached to it. Holy basil is sold in plastic bag as they are rather fragile.

    Yeah charring the noodles first works every time! This is perfect after Peel at 4! :)

    Haha thank you! mustn't judge the book by its cover hey!

    Haha you must try it if you like spicy food!

    Cicily Antony,
    Thank you! Green indeed! :)

    CUMI & CIKI,
    Thank you very much! Especially for spicy food lover you!

    Haha just a few times?

    Bo ,
    Try and let me know!

  34. Hey buddy I had this once in Thailand and it must be your grandfather's version ohhhh! I'll try making this soon, we should all go for a little excursion to Victoria st soon! Cheers!

  35. Oh that is such a cute name! I love phat si eww and this hot spicy one will become a favourite for sure! Thank you!
    Next time when I'm kee mao I'll think of you lol

  36. Hearing this name for the first time!

  37. The pics are lovely .... don't mind getting 'shit drunk'!

  38. fitzboy,
    Oh if you ask for one in Thailand you will be getting my grandfather's version or more :) Weekend perhaps?

    Yasmin ,
    I hope it will!
    Haha I hope not :)

    tigerfish ,
    Haha always the first time!

    Cheah ,
    Haha thank you!

  39. We are going to get some holy basil for this and phat kaphrao, it sounds amazing!
    Sophia xxx

  40. You made a bit of a mistake translating the name of the dish. "kee" อึ is shit in thai. but ขี้ "kee" - sounds very similar! - is word that, when but before an adjective means someone who likes or wants to be what the adjective says. เมา "mao" means drunk and then "keemao" means "wanting to be drunk". So it's just "drunkards noodles" not "shit drunk noodles".

    thanks for a good recipe though!


  41. love your blog all the dish look wonderful and yummmy thank you for all the recipes


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