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5 March, 2016

Low-Carb Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mow)

Posted in : Noodles, Thai on by : John Cressman Tags: , , , , ,

There are several stories about how the name “Drunken Noodles” was started.  In one story, the drunken noodles are so named because they are so spicy that after eating them, you need so much Thai beer to cool your mouth that you get drunk.  In another story, a cook comes home drunk, is hungry and makes himself something with whatever ingredients are available.  And in yet another story, the drunken noodles get their name from rice wine which is added to the noodles – though I can find no recipe that actually uses rice wine.  No matter their origins, drunken noodles are one of the tastier Thai dishes and can be found in almost any Thai restaurant. Unfortunately, they are also full of carbs. Luckily, you friendly, neighborhood low carb chef has a solution.

The original recipe comes from Jet Tila from the Wazuzu at Encore, Las Vegas but I’ve modified it for those of us who prefer (or must have) a low carb version.  Instead of rice noodles,

Ingredients for Low-Carb Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mow):

Where to find the ingredients:

Soy Sauce – You can find soy sauce and low sodium soy sauce at nearly grocery store in the international/Asian/ethnic section.  There are many different varieties with varying levels of sodium, so pick the one that’s right for you.  If you want a non-soy replacement, I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, which is usually in the organic or heathfood section of most mid to high end grocery stores.  You can also find it in any Asian grocery store.

Oyster Sauce – You can often times find oyster sauce in the international/Asian/ethnic sections of your local grocery store.  If not, you can find it at an Asian grocery store or order it off the internet.  Finding the mushroom oyster sauce is more difficult.  That’s almost exclusively at the Asian grocery store (you may have to ask for it because the bottles are rarely in English) or order it off the internet.

Fish Sauce – Fish sauce if popular enough that it is almost always in the international/Asian/ethnic sections of your local grocery store. I haven’t found a good vegetarian replacement for fish sauce.  It’s really a staple of Thai cooking but you can do a search on the internet and try some of the many variations.

Sesame Oil – I’ve also found this in the international/Asian/ethnic, as well as the substitute Stir-fry oil infused with garlic, onion and other herbs.  Both work equally well so pick one that suits your particular taste.

Skinny Noodles – I haven’t had much success finding these locally and usually have to order them from amazon.  You may find other Shirataki noodles but the ones I’ve found are usually combined with something – spinach (as the case with the ones above) or tofu.  This tends to give them better texture but adds calories and possibly carbs.  For example, normal skinny noodles have 0 carbs and 0 calories but the shirataki spinach fettuccine have 15 calories.  You have to decide which is best for your diet.

Basil leaves – if you go to an asian grocery store, you may find Thai basil leaves, otherwise most grocery stores should have them.  Some sell them in fresh plant form and those are obviously the tastiest but even the packaged ones will work.

Other ingredients – the rest of the ingredients are fairly common and should be easy to find at any grocery store.

Directions forLow-Carb Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mow)

Ingredients for Low Carb Thai Drunken Noodles

Step 1 – Assemble the Ingredients

Get everything you are going to need together.  See the ingredients above.  Make sure everything is at hand because the last thing you want to do is realize halfway through that you forgot something!  Been there… done that.  Notice that I am using the fresh basil.  The bottom of the basil is in dirt, so it’s still alive.  That’s the tastiest basil I’ve found, but it’s not Thai basil.

Shirataki Skinny Noodles

Step 2 – Prepare the Noodles!

Once you have everything together, the next step is actually to prepare the noodles and since this is common to any dish that uses the Shirataki noodles, I made a special post just for preparing the noddles.  Please check it out here!  This takes some times, so make sure you do it before you do any of the other steps.

Prepared Ingredients for Low Carb Thai Drunken Noodles

Step 2 – Prepare the Ingredients


In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce and fish sauce.  Mix.  Slice the tomato and onion and put into separate bowls.  Then, if using regular garlic, mince the garlic.  Prepare the basil and tear any very large leaves into smaller slices.  Finally, slice the chicken into 1-1 1/2″ cubes.

Oil and Garlic

Step 3 – Oil and Garlic

Add the oil and your garlic to your work or large frying pan on medium high heat and sauté until slightly brown.

Add Chicken

Step 4 – Chicken!

Instead of adding the egg at this point, as per the original recipe, I add the chicken and stir fry the chicken with the garlic until it’s about half cooked.

Adding the Eggs

Step 5 – Eggs

Once the chicken is half cooked, move the chicken over to one side and add in the eggs.  Scramble them and then mix them in with the chicken.  I feel this helps the chicken to absorb more of the sauce, which you’ll add later.

Thai Drunken Noodles Onions

Step 6 – Onions

Once the eggs and chicken is thoroughly mixed, stir in the onions and stir fry for 2-3 minutes.  See optional step below.

Hot peppers

Optional Step

When you add the onions, you can also add some hot peppers, if you like it spicy – which I do.  I was sharing this with my neighbor, so I didn’t add as many as I normally would.  Tip: crush or rip the peppers to release the seeds and oil for more “heat”.

Rest of Ingredients

Step 7 – Release the Hounds (or at least the rest of the ingredients!)

Add in the other ingredients, the noodles, the basil leaves, the tomatoes and then pour the sauce over top.

Combine all ingredeints

Step 8 – Swish and Flick – er…Fold and Toss!

Fold and toss together for 3-5 minutes to combine the ingredients and saturate everything in the sauce. As you are doing this, you can add pepper to your tastes.  I’ve also added red pepper flakes and other hot sauces, etc. to give it a little more kick!


Low Carb Thai Drunken Noodles

Step 8 – Dinner is Served

Divide into portions and enjoy your low carb Thai Drunken Noodles!  It should make 4 portions!

Below are the nutritional facts, as per the Recipe Calculator.  As you can see, it has an effective carb count of less than 5g for a serving and only 285 calories for a delicious, authentic style dish! If you’re on a low sodium diet, make sure you find the lowest sodium soy sauce you can or use Bragg’s Aminos.


Nutrition Facts

4 Servings
Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 284.4
  • Total Fat 17.0 g
  • Saturated Fat 3.9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 5.0 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat 6.9 g
  • Cholesterol 69.6 mg
  • Sodium 1,516.2 mg
  • Potassium 353.2 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 9.8 g
  • Dietary Fiber 4.0 g
  • Sugars 1.0 g
  • Protein 24.8 g
  • Vitamin A 7.3 %
  • Vitamin B-12 6.9 %
  • Vitamin B-6 33.7 %
  • Vitamin C 10.9 %
  • Vitamin D 0.0 %
  • Vitamin E 2.1 %
  • Calcium 3.2 %
  • Copper 5.0 %
  • Folate 4.0 %
  • Iron 8.6 %
  • Magnesium 12.7 %
  • Manganese 11.4 %
  • Niacin 55.9 %
  • Pantothenic Acid 9.7 %
  • Phosphorus 20.7 %
  • Riboflavin 6.9 %
  • Selenium 27.7 %
  • Thiamin 6.2 %
  • Zinc 6.6 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.