Few countries in the world can boast a cuisine as delicious and varied as that of Thailand. Thai people are justifiably proud of it, and its world-class reputation is richly deserved. Among the many dishes available, one that deserves special mention is Pad Thai.
Pad (pronounced pat) Thai is one of Thailand’s most popular and delicious national dishes. Basically, it’s a rice-noodle dish, stir fried with egg, and a whole range of tasty ingredients and garnishes, such as coriander, crushed peanuts, tamarind juice, lime juice, fish sauce and bean sprouts. Chicken, shrimp, or other non-vegetarian ingredients can also be added as required.
Everything blends perfectly into a distinctive and delicious dish that, once tried, is very likely to become a favourite.
In Thailand, Pad Thai is available everywhere, from humble street stalls to the classiest restaurants. You can enjoy a sizeable dish of Pad Thai at a street stall for about 50 pence. Restaurants charge more, of course, depending on their status, but you’re unlikely to pay more than a couple of pounds for a serving of perfect Pad Thai anywhere in Thailand.
Traditionally, Pad Thai is served on a banana leaf rather than on a plate, and that’s still often the case in places such as food stalls at markets. It’s normally eaten with chopsticks, although the more usual Thai style ‘fork and spoon’ combination is always available for visitors whose chopstick technique needs a little more time to get up to scratch!
Phad Thai is also available at Thai restaurants worldwide. Prices, as you’d expect, are usually hugely inflated, and you can expect to pay around £10 for a serving of Pad Thai in a Thai restaurant in London. Most connoisseurs of Pad Thai are often disappointed by the lack of authentic Thai ingredients unfortunately. Tomato ketchup just doesn’t cut it!
To be fair though, many Thai restaurants outside of Thailand prepare their dishes as authentically as possible and give them the care and attention they require. ‘Good food’ guides can be very helpful in locating the best Thai restaurants locally.
Thailand is a hugely popular tropical destination for westerners these days, with many flights to Thailand available online and elsewhere at competitive prices. Its many attractions are well-known, and locally-prepared Thai food is always high on the list. If you’re planning on visiting Thailand at any time, don’t forget to order a perfect Pad Thai while you’re there. You certainly won’t regret it.