Thai in 7 drunken noodles with tiger prawns and Thai basil

Known as pad kee mao in Thailand, drunken noodles are a great way to use up any bits and bobs you have in the fridge. You can add whatever vegetables or protein you like – it’s tasty with braised duck, chicken or crab. I’ve never known why it’s called drunken noodles, so I sometimes add a shot of whisky to ensure it makes more sense!

drunken noodles
Nassima Rothacker

FEEDS 2

VEGETARIAN (if using vegetarian oyster sauce and mushrooms – see tip)

100g flat rice noodles (fresh are best)
6 fresh raw tiger prawns, outer shells removed and deveined
2 eggs, cracked into a bowl
3 tbsp palm sugar, pounded in a mortar so there are no lumps
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 head of pak choi, core removed and thinly sliced
small handful of Thai basil leaves

1. If you are using dried noodles, check the packet instructions, as you may need to soak them in water for an hour to soften before stir-frying; if so, once soaked, drain thoroughly.

2. Pound 2 roughly chopped bird’s eye chillies and 2 peeled garlic cloves together to a coarse paste using a pestle and mortar. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a nonstick wok and leave over a high heat for a minute or so until it is smoking hot. Add the noodles and spread them across the heat of the wok, then toss them regularly for around 30 seconds until they begin to turn translucent and soften. Move them to one side of the wok, add another tablespoon of oil, then add the garlic and chilli paste with the prawns (or mushrooms – see tip). Stir-fry for 1½-2 minutes until the paste begins to turn golden brown and the prawns have turned pink. Pour the eggs over the top, leave them to scramble for a few seconds and then move them a little to avoid burning.

3. When the eggs are cooked, mix everything with the noodles, then add 3 tablespoons of fish sauce (or soy sauce, if you prefer), the palm sugar and oyster sauce and toss through the noodles. Continue to stir-fry for a further minute or so and these liquids will cook the (fresh) noodles and season the stir-fry. Turn off the heat and taste. It should be sweet, salty and moreish, so adjust the flavours as necessary.

4. To finish, gently fold the pak choi and Thai basil leaves into the noodles and serve in bowls with chopsticks. Squeeze over a little lime juice, if you wish.

TIP Swap the prawns with king oyster mushrooms for a vegetarian alternative. Use 6 mushrooms, cut into 1cm-thick slices, and cook as for the prawns above.

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thai in 7 cookbook

Our recipes are from Thai in 7 by Sebby Holmes, which is published by Hachette, price £17.99. To order a copy for £10.79 until 19 July go to whsmith.co.uk and enter the code YOUTHAI at the checkout. Book number: 9780857838346. For terms and conditions, see whsmith.co.uk/terms