These Drunken Noodles with Shrimp are a lighter, spicy version of the take-out favorite

Drunken Noodles are a spicy Thai street food that consists of flat rice noodles sauteed with garlic, pepper flakes, a variety of vegetables, soy sauce and spices.  It’s a popular dish all over Thailand and has become a staple on Thai and Asian restaurant menus throughout the world.

These noodles are a favorite of mine, though I sometimes find them a bit heavy and greasy for takeout. So this month, I decided it was time to create my own version of this addictive dish, scaling back on the amount of oil and adding in shrimp for extra protein. The result is a delicious, spicy noodle dish that’s great any night of the week.

black line

8 ounces wide rice noodles

2 tablespoons toasted
sesame oil

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

¼ cup oyster sauce

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ to 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh chopped ginger

1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp

1/3 cup sliced red onion

1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and sliced

1 red or yellow bell pepper, sliced

½ cup sliced carrots

½ chopped green onion

2 tablespoons fresh Thai basil or fresh sweet basil leaves

  1. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Reserve about 1/3 cup of the cooking water, and then drain the noodles. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of the toasted sesame oil. Set them aside.
  2. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, remaining sesame oil and the reserved cooking water from the noodles. Whisk until blended and set aside.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add in the red pepper flakes and heat them for 10 seconds. Add in the minced garlic and ginger and continue cooking for 30 seconds.
  4. Add in the shrimp and continue to saute for another
    2 minutes.
  5. Add in the sliced red onions, sliced jalapeno, bell peppers and carrots, and saute for 3 minutes.
  6. Add in the cooked rice noodles and soy sauce mixture. Continue cooking and stirring for 1 more minute.
  7. Turn off the heat, sprinkle in the green onion and basil leaves, and serve.

This article was originally published in the February 2024 issue of 225 magazine.