My Favorite Drunk Food

Spicy Peanut Noodles
Spicy Peanut Noodles

I have seen this dish done many times and in many ways.  Over the years, I’ve tried to make many variations of it, trying to perfect my recipe, using everything from a sesame oil based sauce to veggie broth.  And seemingly, I just couldn’t get it right.  The peanut flavor was always overshadowed by the other base that I used, either that or the texture was greasy and slimy and wouldn’t stick to the noodles like I wanted it to.

One drunken night, everything changed.  I found the secret . . . water.  Just water.  No veggie broth, no ridiculous amounts of oil to melt the peanut butter into.  All it took to emulsify the sauce was water.  Of course I didn’t realize what I’d accomplished before I went to bed that night.  In the morning, though, I returned to the kitchen, hungry and hungover and remembered that I had leftover peanut noodles in the fridge.  I tasted them . . . and they were delicious.

My thought is that when you make food while drunk and it’s still delicious the next day, you’re doing something right.

A lot of the quantities in this recipe aren’t exact.  That’s because it’s variable based on personal preference.  I like this sauce really spicy and really soy saucy.  But if you want the peanut flavor to be more pronounced, you wouldn’t put nearly as much tamari and sriracha in as I do.  Also, this recipe is awesome because it’s done in one pot and ready in less than half an hour from start to finish.

Spicy Peanut Noodles


  • Pasta, any kind, enough for two people

    This ought to be enough for two servings.
    This ought to be enough for two servings.
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
  • 3-5 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Tamari, Shoyu, or Soy Sauce
  • Sriracha or other Asian chili sauce
  • about 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • Juice of 1/4 of a lime

Pasta and Peas

Boil water for pasta in a medium to large saucepan.  Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to directions.  1-2 minutes before the pasta is done, add frozen peas to the water and allow them to cook with the pasta.  When pasta is done, drain in a colander and leave the pasta and peas in the colander in the sink while you make the sauce.

Yeah . . . that looks like 1/4 cup.

Dry out the pan and put it back on the stove over medium heat.  Add oil to the pan, once it is hot, add the crushed garlic.  Saute garlic briefly, about 30 seconds, being careful not to let it burn.  Then add peanut butter to the pan  allow it to melt down into the oil.  Watch the garlic carefully at this point, and if it starts to burn, turn the heat down.  Once peanut butter is mostly melted, add the water and allow the sauce to come to a boil, stirring constantly and somewhat briskly to emulisify the peanut butter and water together.

All kinds of stuff goes in there . . .
All kinds of stuff goes in there . . .

This is the point where you get to go a little crazy, deciding what you want your sauce to taste like.  Add the tamari, sriracha, and maple syrup.  I usually add about a tablespoon of tamari and a tablespoon of sriracha to start with, and then taste and adjust the seasonings.  You may want to start with a tablespoon of tamari and a teaspoon of sriracha.  I like these noodles really spicy, and a tablespoon may be too much sriracha for you, so season your sauce carefully.  Once you’ve decided how salty/spicy you want your sauce, add the 1/4 of a lime’s worth of juice and mix well.  The sauce is complete!

Add Pasta
The pasta and peas go right into the sauce.

Add the pasta and peas back to the pan.  Stir it all up and you’re ready to eat!

This is my favorite recipe to make for drunk friends.  It’s easy, doesn’t require much knife work, so it’s pretty safe for drunken cooking, and it tastes soooooo gooooood when you’ve had just a bit too much to drink.  My friend Darren always begs me to make him peanut noodles for him whenever he comes home from the bar two or three sheets to the wind.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Ema says:

    how much peanut butter? for some reason your website isn’t showing me the list of ingredients. it looks delicious though!

    1. Kate B says:

      There’s a 1/4 cup in there. WordPress must be being wonky this afternoon. I should also note that you should use natural peanut butter in this recipe, you know, the kind you have to refrigerate. And especially don’t use anything with sugar added to it. That throws off the whole thing.

  2. kope187 says:

    Ok drunk food? Vegan or not if you are drunk or hungover you want grease. Waffle House or something. Taco bell is also a classic late night place to eat when you are drunk. Its just so yummy! Peanut Butter on some noodle I am sure tastes great, but lets be honest.. Drinkers eat real hardcore food.

    1. Kate B says:

      I like taco bell when I’m drunk, yeah . . . but there isn’t one within walking distance of my house . . . or any bar in Duluth, really. I want protein, fat, and strong flavors when I’m drunk and I also don’t want to put much effort into cooking. Peanut butter, if you didn’t know, is FULL of protein and fat. And the seasonings provide all the strong flavors I want.

      Besides, I’m talking about cooking while drunk. Anything wafflehouse style is probably a bad idea to cook while drunk . . . unless you wantto end up in the emergency room with second degree burns and needing stitches.

  3. Fawn Parker says:

    A much more hungover and starving version of myself decided to make this at 9pm this morning. Went veeery well with leftover vegan cheesecake

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