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Drunken Noodles vs Pad Thai: Which Classic Thai Dish is Right for You?

May 10, 2021
IN Thai Cuisine

The flavors of Thailand are packed full of delicious spices, tasty vegetables, and steaming piles of rice or noodles. Think delectable curries and piles of rice noodles blended with scrumptious sauces. 

Two of the most popular dishes for anyone who loves Thai food are Drunken Noodles, or Pad Kee Mao, and Pad Thai. Both of these dishes are delectable choices for your next Thai meal. 

However, while these noodle dishes may sound similar, they’re actually pretty different! Here’s what you should know about Drunken Noodles vs Pad Thai. 

The Ingredients 

One of the first ways that Drunken Noodles and Pad Thai differ is in their ingredients. While both these dishes involve traditional Thai spices, the flavor profile is actually quite different. 

Pad Thai is made from a tamarind sauce that incorporates fish sauce and palm sugar to create a subtly sweet taste. Chicken or tofu is then tossed in the sauce and placed on top of a pile of rice noodles. 

In contrast, Drunken Noodles are a stir-fry that has a savory sauce. This sauce is a mixture of soy sauce, fish sauce, and oyster sauce poured over piles of vegetables and fresh wide rice noodles. 

Like Pad Thai, Drunken Noodles ingredients usually involve tofu, chicken, or another protein. The spicier flavor of Thai Drunken Noodles, however, can also be paired with beef or another darker meat while Pad Thai is more likely to contain chicken or prawns.

The Flavors

Another key difference between Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles is their flavor profile. Both of these are fairly sweet dishes when compared to other Thai foods, but they still have very different flavors. 

For one, Pad Thai features Umami flavors and bold, nutty tastes. This is enhanced by incorporating crushed peanuts into the sauce, which brings out the crunchiness and complements the tamarind paste. 

In contrast, Drunken Noodles have much more of a kick to them. Their savory sauce always involves Thai Basil, which adds more spice to the sauce than you’ll find in Pad Thai. 

The Calories 

We don’t always think of take-out as being healthy, but Thai food offers some surprising health benefits. And, Thai dishes don’t tend to be terribly high in calories, either. 

Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles both have a moderate calorie count, making them a good choice at a restaurant. On top of that, they’re packed with veggies and protein. 

Pad Thai has roughly 357 calories in one cup. Drunk Noodles contain about 323 calories per cup. That means that the calorie count for these recipes is fairly similar, giving you a similar health profile regardless of which you order. 

The Lowdown on Drunken Noodles vs Pad Thai

Both Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles are great choices for anyone who enjoys exotic flavors. And, now that you know the key differences, you’re ready to order a plate for yourself!If you’re ready to put this information on Drunken Noodles vs Pad Thai to the test, head on over to Thai Ginger. Place an order online for a steaming pile of Drunken Noodles. We guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

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