I have two distinct memories from my last trip to New York, just before 2020 arrived in all its might. One memory is of discovering the most delicious (and cheap) scallion pancakes at Vanessa’s Dumplings on a walking food tour through China Town, and the second is of a painted menu outside a restaurant with the words “Drunk and Hungry Noodles”.  We were walking in Brooklyn a few days after Christmas, wrapped up in coats, scarves and beanies, when I saw the menu. My immediate thought was that the dish must be so delicious on a chilly day, drunk or not. We went back to Vanessa’s a few times for more pancakes, but we never went for noodles and sadly I will probably never find the place again. 

But the thought of those noodles stayed with me until I arrived back in Cape Town and I have since made a few versions of what I think Drunk and Hungry Noodles should be. Somewhere along the way the idea for a recipe book popped up, with quick and easy recipes that you can make when you get home from after-work drinks. I am, of course, referring to the days we still went to the office and met for drinks after work, but we have to believe those days will come again. Or when friends are over for a glass of wine and before you know it, two bottles are empty and everyone is hungry. Take out is an option but invariably it arrives late and cold. 

DRUNK AND HUNGRY provides recipe ideas and inspiration for quick and easy meals, whether you have friends over or it’s just you on your own. With or without a glass of wine. Some recipes are more healthy than others, a few can be done in the time it takes to scroll through an online menu, a few may take a bit longer, but all 15 of them are packed with flavour. Recipes include Spicy Sumac Roasted Chicken Wings, Indian Nachos, Sheet Pan Fajitas, Baked Risotto with Sausage and PeasGochujang Aubergine, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream, and Feta and Za’atar Omelette. The book ends with a handy list of pantry essentials so you can create all the recipes at any time.

Drunk and Hungry

The book is available for purchase as an instant download of the book by clicking on this link. The cost is R90 (about 6 US dollars).

Drunk and Hungry was awarded the South African winner in the Digital Books category in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards. It will now compete for Best in the World later this year at the Cookbook Fair in Paris. I will keep you posted on the results.

To tempt your tastebuds here is my recipe for the Drunk and Hungry Noodles that inspired it all. It is such an easy, quick fix recipe. Whether you are just hungry, or drunk and hungry.


  • oil for frying
  • 500 g ground pork or turkey
  • 250 g egg noodles cooked as per packet instructions
  • For the sauce
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sambal olek
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • Toppings
  • chopped fresh chilies
  • sesame seeds
  • sliced spring onion


  • Mix all the sauce the ingredients in a bowl
  • Heat the oil and brown the ground pork over a medium high heat
  • Add the sauce and cook for another few minutes
  • Add the noodles and give it a mix
  • Serve with the toppings

I hope you enjoy making this recipe for Drunk and Hungry Noodles. If you’ve made it, share it with me by tagging @heinstirred on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #heinstirred. It is always a treat to see the recipes made and enjoy.

Dishoom's Masala Prawns
Chili Crisp

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