Drunken noodles, a translation of pad khi mao (though a more accurate translation would be “drunkard’s noodles”), are spicy Thai noodles traditionally enjoyed late at night after an evening of drinking, or as a nice lunch dish. They are a great menu addition for an operator looking to add more global flavors as consumers flock to more dishes beyond the “big three” cuisines of Italian, Mexican and Chinese.
The demand is there, and growing, for dishes that are not only innovative and tasty examples of global dishes, but authentic ones as well.
These noodles are easy to make and accessible for any consumer who is familiar with Thai food and wants something new, as long as they have a decent threshold for spicy food.
Market research firm Datassential reports that 39% of the population knows about drunken noodles while only 21% have tried it. Awareness is highest among Millennial, Asian and Western consumers.
Click through the gallery to learn more about this Flavor of the Week and see how one restaurant is using drunken noodles on its menu.