Dish of the day: Pad Thai
Most of us are familiar with a good dish of pad thai. You know, the pad thai where the noodles are steaming hot, the shrimp and chicken are tender, the crunch of the bean sprouts are crunchy and the flavour is just right… yum!
What is Pad Thai?
Pad thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish from Thailand. It is served as street food, but also in most Thai restaurants. An original pad thai is made from rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, tofu, coriander, bean sprouts, peanuts, and scrambled eggs all tossed together in a pad thai sauce.
History of Pad Thai
Actually, pad thai is not really a Thai dish as it is more a political one. In the late 1930s, Thailand was called Siam at the time and was in the process of creating a new identity for themselves. The prime minister, Plaek Phibunsongkhram, wanted to make Thailand a strong and nationalistic country. From 1939 to 1942, he issued 12 cultural mandates, one of which was the creation of a national dish – pad thai. There were two reasons as to why he chose this dish.
Firstly, because his housekeeper used to make him a Thai noodle dish which he loved.
Secondly, after the second world war, Thailand experienced a rice shortage and rice noodles used much less grain compared to rice. Originally, the dish was called ‘kway teow pad thai’ and was later abbreviated to pad thai. However, this noodle dish was believed to have already been introduced to Thailand in the 1700s during the Ayutthaya era by Chinese traders. Prime minister Plaek modified the dish. He added more ingredients to make it more nutritious and tasty and something that Thailand could be proud of. The Thai people were essentially forced to eat pad thai, as the government put a ban on the sale of Chinese and other foreign food.
How is Pad Thai made?
The ingredients needed for pad thai are salt, rice noodles, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, bell peppers, minced garlic, lightly whisked eggs, shrimp, black pepper, green onions, and roasted peanuts.
The noodles are cooked in boiling water and then drained. In a small bowl, the lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and cayenne pepper are whisked together. The bell peppers are cooked in a large pan before the garlic is stirred in. The shrimp are then added and seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for around 2 minutes or until pink. The shrimp and vegetables are pushed to one side of the pan. The egg is poured in, scrambled and then mixed in with the shrimp mixture. The noodles are tossed in and combined and lime juice is squeezed all over. The dish is garnished with green onions and roasted peanuts before being served.
Where to find Pad Thai in Singapore?
Many Thai restaurants in Singapore serve up a delicious pad thai. The Central Thai Kitchen does their pad thai with prawns. Blue Jasmine also does a yummy tofu pad thai dish. Both restaurants are very well priced and have glowing reviews. Discover more of the Thai cuisine on foodpanda!