No need to reach for a takeout menu! This version of pad kee mao, or spicy thai noodles, takes less than 30 minutes to make and is just as delicious as what the local Thai restaurant serves.
pad kee mao

Nothing makes you realize how out of shape you’ve become quite like stir frying the day after a Body Pump class.


My shoulders/elbows/places-I-didn’t-realize-could-hurt-but-do will never be the same.


Okay, prrooobbaaabblllyy they’ll feel better in a day or two.

But until then…

…Thai noodle me, please? I need it.

For those of you who don’t have lactic acid buildup/I’ve-become-a-lump-from-writing-my-thesis problems, making this is going to be SO EASY. Like, order takeout easy. But easier.



All you need to do is prep your veggies, soak your noodles, whisk your sauce, and STIR!

Stir, stir, stir until you can’t stir no more. (<–Literally, for some of us.)

Then slurp those sweet salty savory spicy noodles while standing over the wok like nobody’s watching.

I won’t tell if you don’t.


These are based off of my current favorite Thai noodle recipe, pad kee mao. Think of it as a spicier version of pad see ew. I couldn’t go full out on the spice because the.boy was eating it, but feel free to add chilies/extra sriracha until your taste buds fall off. That seems like the authentic way to do it.

Pad Kee Mao (Spicy Thai Noodles with Peppers)
No need to reach for a takeout menu! This version of pad kee mao, or spicy thai noodles, takes less than 30 minutes to make and is just as delicious as what the local Thai restaurant serves.
Yield: 4 servings
  • 14 oz wide rice noodles
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp dark sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp safflower seed oil
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 bird's eye chilis, minced (or more to taste)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 green bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 oz basil
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Stir rice noodles into boiling water and then remove from the heat. Let sit for 8-10 minutes, or until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the soy sauce, kecap manis, and rice vinegar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok over high heat. Add the garlic, chilis, onion, and pepper to the pan. Saute for 5-6 minutes, or until peppers are just tender. Stir in the tofu and saute for another 2-3 minutes Stir in the sauce and noodles, tossing to coat the noodles and combine the ingredients. Cook until the noodles are coated and take on a slightly charred flavor from the hot wok. Toss in the basil and serve immediately.
Adapted from the New York Times
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

More Thai food at home!

vegetarian pad thai

Vegetarian Pad Thai

thai tofu, butternut squash, and eggplant soup

Thai Tofu, Butternut Squash, and Eggplant Soup

spicy thai peanut vegetable curry noodles

Spicy Thai Peanut Vegetable Curry Noodles

From Around the Web:

Thai Pizza with Zucchini and Pickled Onions from I Heart Naptime

Thai Sweet Potato Nachos from Oh My Veggies

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup from The Roasted Root

Thai Tea Semifreddo from A Cozy Kitchen

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Red Curry Peanut Sauce from With Food + Love


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38 Responses to Pad Kee Mao (Spicy Thai Noodles with Peppers)

  1. Ha! At least you were rewarded for that hard arm work. Love this!

  2. I love pad kee mao!!!! looks amazing!

  3. I love me some noodles!
    I can totally relate to the pain of cooking after a tough workout. Yikes!

  4. Daaaang. If this goodness isn’t the perfect thing for the-day-after-a-long-weekend I don’t even know what is!! I’m feeling like it’s time for a faceplant. 😉

  5. This looks delicious! And I totally laughed out loud at “Stir, stir, stir until you can’t stir no more. (<–Literally, for some of us.)" I feel your pain- when you're sore, everything is about ten times harder 🙂 Pinning!

  6. Sues says:

    Pinned and will definitely be making this in the very near future! Pad Kee Mao is one of my all-time favorite take-out foods!

  7. That sauce sounds incredible!! Love, love love these noodles!

  8. SallyBR says:

    Sounds perfect to me…. of course, I have sore wrists from attempting the crane pose too many times in the same morning, but…. nothing too serious (knock on wood)

  9. I need to make this! Lucky me having almost all the ingredients except tofu. Gotta get some tomorrow and make this for the dinner. Thanks for sharing, Joanne.

  10. Noodles – how comforting when you are hurting. I hope your shoulders get to feeling better. This is a good way to have your take-away fix without spending the money or time going for it. Fake-away 🙂

  11. Julia says:

    Body PUMP! I used to participate in those classes…and by “participate,” I mean fall behind on alllll the reps and make weird noises as the buff chicks in the class were swinging around weights like it was their job. SUCH a great workout, and SO warranting of delicious spicy noodles. I’ve never heard of pad kee mao, and i want it in my face trap!

  12. Kelly says:

    Haha I would definitely slurp these gorgeous noodles over a stove like nobody’s business! Love pad kee mao and the spicier the better! Looks incredible!

  13. CakePants says:

    Oh, what wouldn’t I give for a big bowl of these noodles right now?! I’ll have to stock up on rice noodles so that I can make this whenever Thai cravings strike. I can’t believe how quick this comes together!

  14. OMG bring on ALLLLL the spicy noodles and EASY recipes! LOVE this one!

  15. Kate says:

    That’s the best kind of soreness. And these look like the best kind of noodles!

  16. These noodles sound and look incredible, Joanne! Such a comforting recipe – I could totally devour a bowl or two or these right now!! 😀

  17. Christina says:

    Bodypump is my go to! And yes anything involving use of my triceps 1-3 days afterwards is useless… like stir frying or blow drying hair…

  18. pad kee mao is my FAVE! and i don’t know anyone in real life that likes it. sooo glad you do too 🙂 this version looks fantastic, and SO easy!

  19. Props for doing body pump. Any work out class with the word body in it makes me scared…haha. Also those noodles look ten times better than takeout.

  20. i didnt realize this is so simple to make..i eat too much thai take out, this is a life saver 🙂

  21. We love Thai food and This recipe is so easy !! Our mouths are watering !!! Thanks for sharing Joanne!

  22. Eileen says:

    Pad kee mao is one of the best Thai dishes! For some reason I’ve never made it at home, though. Clearly it needs to go on the list of things to make next!

  23. Victoria says:

    Yummy! I love Thai noodles of all kinds. I’ve never tried these before, but they look so good and super easy.

  24. Hotly Spiced says:

    Lovely pad kee mao. This is one of my most favourite Thai meals. I went to the gym today and didn’t do body pump but did to a TRX class. So many lunges I doubt I’ll be able to sit down tomorrow xx

  25. Body pump? This is beyond me, but it shouldn’t be! These noodles sound superb and if it take a body pump class to eat them, then I guess I will just have to bite the bullet! Maybe!

  26. easypeasy says:

    Just in time! I have been in the mood for something Oriental! 🙂

  27. Danguole says:

    This is all I want from Thai food. Shoot — it’s all I want from food, period. Carbs, sauce, and spice!

  28. Sarah says:

    Oh wow you had me at Thai. I love the looks of this!

  29. So glad that you were rewarded for the hard work. And these spicy thai noodles look extremely delish and yum!

  30. Monica says:

    Joanne, my mouth is truly watering here! I love being able to make thai food at home – it feels like such a feat! : ) This looks amazing.

  31. The kids got new bikes. So I decided they could ride, while I run beside them. I am SO sore. Running on the treadmill is nothing like running outside. How do you do it, marathon woman??? Also, Thai food for life!

  32. These spicy Thai noodles look BOMB, Joanne! I am all about some spicy-noodley-stir-fry action! These look WAY better than take out, plus anything homemade always tastes a Bazillion times more yummy! I hope your musk-ells feel better soon, girlfriend! That is exactly why I avoid the gym and count standing over a wok while stirring exercise! 🙂 Pinned! Cheers!!

  33. Ala says:

    Nothing says you’re out of shape like being sore after bowling with an 8-pounder the day before 🙁 my right arm needs me these noodles, pronto!

  34. Thai food is a fav of mine and I always love homemade take-out dishes. This looks super tasty!

  35. […] had this dish at a yummy Thai place in San Fran and would LOVE to re-create […]

  36. Johanna GGG says:

    these look a bit like noodles I have been making which sylvia eats so I think that I would try these without spice and hand E a bottle of sriracha – this is what we do with mee goreng lately

  37. Jas says:

    This recipe was more like sad kee mao. I tried this recipe and it was not even remotely thai. It was actually very bland. I would just follow the directions on your package of rice noodles instead of letting them sit in 4 cups of water (believe that should have been quarts). Salvaged the pot by adding a bunch more of the dark and regular soy sauce as well as more finely chopped chilies. At best it tasted like an okay pot of regular stir fry. Would also recommend using sesame oil for a little more flavor versus safflower oil.

    • joanne says:

      I’m so sorry you didn’t enjoy this! I definitely love the idea of adding sesame oil. As for the rice noodles, I definitely used 4 cups rather than 4 quarts of water. I was limited in the amount of spice I could add because my husband has very weak tastebuds, but would definitely add more chili peppers if you’re more of a spice fiend!

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