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Drunken Noodles with Tofu

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Who needs delivery when you can make your own drunken noodles with tofu right at home?! Sweet, spicy, and saucy, this recipe has everything you love about the takeout favorite.

Drunken noodles with tofu in wok with chopsticks

For the longest time, I would only order pad see ew at Thai restaurants, but once I started tolerating spicy foods, I gave drunken noodles a try and they quickly became my go-to. While they’re definitely two different dishes with different flavors, you’ll find that the bases of the sauces are pretty similar. This means if you have the essentials to make pad see ew, you can whip up a batch of drunken noodles with tofu too!

This is the type of recipe that’s easy enough to make for a weeknight meal—and it’s also versatile enough to make everyone happy. You can use any protein you like; I chose tofu because that’s what I typically order, but sliced beef, chicken, or even shrimp would be delicious. Add more vegetables, adjust the spice level according to your preferences, and garnish with some extra fresh basil, sliced green onion, chopped cashews, or anything else you happen to have on hand.

What You’ll Need

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make drunken noodles with tofu at home.

For the sauce:

  • Oyster sauce – You can swap in vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce if you want to make this recipe plant-based.
  • Soy sauce
  • Sweet soy sauce – This is usually sold alongside other soy sauce varieties. You may also find it labeled as kecap manis, which is the Indonesian version.
  • Rice vinegar – Not the kind that’s seasoned and sweetened!
  • Fish sauce – Again, you can use a vegetarian fish sauce here, or just add extra soy sauce.

For the rest of the dish:

  • Flat, wide, rice noodles – If you can’t find the short, flat rice noodles, you can use regular longer flat rice noodles.
  • Onion
  • Red bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Bird’s eye chili – If you can’t find these at your grocery store, you can use 1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes.
  • Thai basil leaves – Thai basil has a very distinctive, sharp, anise-like flavor. If you can’t find it, use regular basil leaves. 
  • Extra-firm tofu – Extra-firm tofu stands up well to stir-frying. Anything softer is more likely to crumble.

Variations

Here are some ways to change up this drunken noodle recipe:

  • As mentioned above, you can add a different protein. Note that you’ll need to cook that protein first!
  • Add scallions, baby corn, broccoli, carrots, or other veggies.
  • Stir in halved cherry or grape tomatoes after removing the wok from heat; just enough to warm them up before serving.
Drunken noodles in wok with with chopsticks and bowls in background

How to Make Drunken Noodles With Tofu

As promised, this recipe is totally easy and fast enough for a weeknight dinner. By the time you get takeout or delivery, you could already be eating!

Make the sauce. Whisk together the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl, then set aside.

Cook the noodles. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, then cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package.

Cook the vegetables and aromatics. Place a wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until the vegetables are soft and tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, bird’s eye chili, and basil.

Finish the drunken noodles. Reduce the heat to medium, then pour in the sauce. Stir to combine. Add the drained noodles, then toss to coat them in the sauce. Add the tofu and gently toss again to evenly distribute all the ingredients. Remove from heat and serve.

What Can I Use if I Don’t Have a Wok?

Use the largest skillet you have; preferably one with high sides. You’ll need plenty of room to toss all of the ingredients together.

Closeup shot of drunken noodles in wok with chopsticks

Tips for Success

Here are some tips for perfect drunken noodles with tofu at home.

  • Drain the noodles well. If they’re too wet when you add them to the sauce, they’ll thin it out and your finished dish won’t be as flavorful.
  • Press the tofu. Take the time to press the tofu; this lets it soak up the flavor of the sauce.
  • Adjust the level of heat. Drunken noodles are usually served spicy. If you’re making this for people who have different preferences for the heat level, you can make the recipe with a small amount of hot pepper, then reserve some for garnish for those who want more of a kick.

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Store drunken noodles with tofu in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the microwave until warmed through. Drunken noodles are great for meal prep lunches, too!

Drunken noodles with tofu in wok with chopsticks

Other tofu or Thai-inspired recipes you may enjoy:

Drunken Noodles with Tofu

Make this classic Thai takeout dish at home without having to leave your house!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2
Author: Julie Chiou
Save Rate Print

Ingredients 

For the sauce:

  • 2 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce

For the rest of the dish:

  • 5 ounces flat, wide, rice noodles, cooked
  • ½ medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 or 2 birds eye chili, finely chopped (or use 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes if you can't find birds eye chili), adjust levels of spice to your own tolerance
  • Handful of fresh Thai basil leaves
  • 7 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed, pressed and drained

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, combine ingredients for the sauce. Set aside.
  • In a small pot, bring a pot of water to boil and cook rice noodles according to directions on the package.
  • Put a wok over high heat and add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the wok. Once hot, add onion and bell pepper to the wok. Cook until soft and tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add in the garlic, birds eye chili, and basil.
  • Reduce heat to medium then add in the sauce. Stir to combine then add in the drained noodles. Toss to incorporate then add in the tofu and gently toss to incorporate everything evenly.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

YOUR NOTES

NUTRITION FACTS

Serving: 1 Serving | Calories: 308 kcal | Carbohydrates: 52 g | Protein: 11 g | Fat: 5 g | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 27 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: easy weeknight dinners, pad kee mao, thai recipes
Recipe Rating




Brian

Wednesday 25th of May 2022

Followed the recipe and didn’t substitute anything…. I did add an extra dash of rice vinegar because the levels were on the sweet side. It was fantastic and going in the rotation for vegetarian dish.

I also did a pad thai thing and served with crushed peanut and lime wedges that I will do again.

Maddie

Tuesday 19th of April 2022

I absolutely adore this recipe and make it all the time! I was just looking at the nutritional info and am curious where the sugar is coming from? 27g seems like a lot so I’m just curious if you know?

Julie Chiou

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

it's from the sweet soy sauce

Sherry

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

REALLY good and easy and QUICK.

I loved this and will be making it regularly. FINALLY, I can have Drunken Noodles at home! And, I was able to bring the heat down to a level that doesn't make me cry. Thank you.

Sherry

Sunday 27th of February 2022

This is a follow up. I entertained for the first Covid-era time tonight and served this. It is such a stress free dish to serve company. It turned out great!

I served it with miso soup and a small salad. It was a successful dinner. Thank you!

Susan

Monday 1st of February 2021

I would love to try your tofu stir fry recipes, but I need to know the sodium counts.

Julie Chiou

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

you can input the ingredient amounts into a nutritional calculator that you can google...sorry, i only do the basic calculations

Amanda B

Saturday 26th of September 2020

This was excellent, will definitely make again!