Drunken Noodles

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Before making this Thai restaurant staple I thought that Drunken Noodles earned their name because of having alcohol in the recipe. No, no…there’s actually no alcohol used. They’re called drunken noodles because the dish is so spicy that you’ll get drunk trying to cool down the raging spice fire in your mouth. (There are a couple other theories on the naming of the dish but this is the one I believe!) This dish is hands down the spiciest thing we’ve ever made…we were planning to start a movie while eating dinner but we literally could not focus on the movie because we were simply trying to survive and then recover from the burn. Disclaimer: If you don’t like really spicy things we advise that you cut the amount of Thai chilis down by half or more. That being said this is an amazing, easy, and super flavorful noodle stir fry that will rival any Thai restaurant AND clear up your sinuses during this cold and flu season. The dish uses two varieties of soy sauce plus fish sauce and a ton of garlic so there’s a great flavor complexity to a meal that comes together in around a half hour. Just make sure you have a drink nearby to douse the flames in your mouth!

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Katryn’s Wine Pairing: Cono Sur Bicicleta Riesling, 2013
Rating: 9.0 out of 10.0

This wine was perfect with the noodles!! It wasn’t too sweet (like some Rieslings can be!) but it had just the right amount of sweetness and acidity to balance the spice. It had mineral and grapefruit undertones that were an awesome balance to the saltiness of the soy sauce and the heat of the peppers. This wine would be great with any thai dish…particularly one involving chicken.

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Nathan’s Beer Pairing: Newcastle Brown Ale
Rating: 7.0 out of 10.0

Newcastle Brown Ale is a pretty drinkable beer that makes for a good session beer. It pours a pretty brown color with tan head and has light aromas of sweet malt and toast. The beer is very light in body and also has little to no hop flavor or bite. The main flavor comes from sweet malt that makes the beer just slide down your throat. However mediocre this beer may be it is actually a perfect pairing with spicy Thai food! There is a reason why malty beers like Singha and Chang are popular in Thailand: the combination of a lite beer and lots of malt help to put out the fire in your mouth!

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Drunken Noodles:

Adapted from this recipe

1 14-ounce package 1/4-inch-wide flat rice noodles (You may not need the whole package…we thought about ¾ of the package was a good balance to the amount of sauce there is)
2Tbs. vegetable oil
12 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbs. chopped fresh Thai chiles (We used ¼ cup but, like I said, this results in a very spicy dish!
1 pound of skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla or nuoc nam)
1/4 cup black soy sauce
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
4 large plum tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
4 Anaheim chiles or Italian frying peppers, or 2 green bell peppers (about 12 ounces total), cut into strips
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil leaves


1. Cook noodles in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring frequently. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add garlic and Thai chiles; sauté 30 seconds. Add chicken and next 4 ingredients and sauté until chicken is cooked through, about 4 minutes.

3. Add noodles, tomatoes, and green pepper; toss to coat. Transfer to large platter, sprinkle with basil leaves, and serve.

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