Sunday, 10 June 2012
A trip to the Khaosan Road in Bangkok will prove just how popular Pad Thai is with foreign visitors, and the reason for this is very simple. It is an entirely non-threating dish in every way, no chillies, no strong herbs or spices, just simple fresh ingredients, blended together with that classic Thai attention to flavour. No other dish is eaten more frequently by visitors to Thailand.
Fortunately, for those who find themselves craving this classic take on fried noodles once they leave the Kingdom of Thailand, the dish is extremely easy to prepare, and all ingredients required should be easy to find anywhere in the world.
Pad Thai is always eaten as a meal in its own right, with no extra side dishes, it is very filling, and no other food is required to turn it into a major meal. It is always served with a portion of fresh salad and a handful of fresh bamboo shoots. In many restaurants it will be served in a basket, which has been woven from a type of large turnip which has been shredded, and then deep fried to form the basket, this is then eaten once the Pad Thai has been finished.
The major variation on Pad Thai is in regards of the shrimps used. Traditionally, dried shrimps are added, which re-hydrate whilst being cooked. Whilst this is an excellent way of preparing Pad Thai, many cooks believe that fresh shrimp is a far better option. Instead of adding a profusion of small dried shrimp, they will add half a dozen large prawns, which adds a far heavier flavour to the dish of Pad Thai.
Pad Thai is one of the few dishes that Thai people will eat with chopsticks. Many visitors to Thailand make the mistake of presuming that Thai people eat everything with chopsticks, yet this is not the case, there are very few uses for chopsticks with Thai food.
For those who are going to attempt to prepare Pad Thai for themselves, please note that Pad Thai preparation differs from most Thai foods in a major way. Instead of being cooked quickly at a high heat, Pad Thai is cooked more slowly, allowing the noodles to soften fully before being served. If you should find that your noodles are still a little raw once you have finished cooking, just let the Pad Thai stand for a few minutes to allow them to soften up.