How To Cook Thai Drunken Fish (Pad Kee Mao)?

The title of the dish comes in the Thai word”pad kee mao”, which means drunken stir fry. This dish is known for its heat and spicy flavors that include fresh chilis, green peppercorns, and fingerroot. Back in Thailand, hot food is usually enjoyed with a nice cold beer, so that you can imagine that it may take a few beers to calm down the warmth of the dish. Pad kee mao is also a popular dish after a night out in Thailand, as most street food stalls offer this on their menus in the late hours. So whether pad kee mao is responsible for getting you drunk, or that you crave it when you’re drunk, we believe you’re going to like this dish.

In Thailand, drunken fish is usually made out of catfish, which has quite a strong smell, so the fish meat is rinsed with salt and tamarind juice. You may use any white fish in this recipe, and we have also discovered that salmon functions very well.

You may have observed drunken noodles on the menu in Thai restaurants, and you can bet that the key ingredients remain the same: lemongrass, green peppercorn, fingerroot, makrut lime leaves, and ginger. Feel free to add flat rice noodles for this recipe as well for an easy one-pot dish.

Drunken Thai Fish


  • 2 tablespoons rice bran oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 3 red chiles, sliced
  • 1/2 pound cod fillet, sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced lemongrass
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon green peppercorns
  • tablespoons sliced fingerroot
  • 6 makrut lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup sweet basil
  • Thai jasmine rice, for serving, optional

How To Make Thai Drunken Fish (Pad Kee Mao)

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Heat a pan over medium to high heat. Add oil, garlic, and chile. Fry until garlic turns slightly yellow.

  3. Add the slices of fish and cook for 3 minutes. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan and let the fish cook without moving it around. This will keep the fish pieces intact.

  4. Season by adding soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.

  5. Add the lemongrass, cherry tomatoes, green peppercorn, fingerroot, and makrut lime leaves. Stir in all of the aromatics until well combined.

  6. Turn off the heat and add the sweet basil.

  7. Serve hot with Thai jasmine rice.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Post