Dish of the Day: Pad Thai
Pad Thai is one of the famous Thai noodle dishes. It has a combination of flavours of sweet, savoury, tangy, and spicy. Served with lime at the side and topped with crushed peanuts. It is a comforting meal that many people love.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai literally translates to Thai stir-fry noodles. It consists of rice noodles, meats, some vegetables and eggs. The meat commonly use is shrimp, crab, squid, or chicken. For vegetables, it may contain bean sprouts, chives, and shredded carrots.
All these ingredients are stir-fry together with the sauce. The sauce can be found in most supermarkets. It is also easy to make from scratch. The most important ingredient for this sauce is tamarind.
Besides tamarind, the sauce also contains palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and red chilli pepper. Any other hot sauce such as sriracha or garlic chilli sauce can substitute the chilli pepper.
This dish served with a wedge of lime and topped with crushed peanuts. The basis of this dish is rice noodles, a sprinkle of crushed peanuts on top, and lime wedges at the side. So, there are many possible variations for this dish as it is a versatile noodle dish.
History of Pad Thai
There are many stories related to the origin of Pad Thai. The first version is where the stir-fried rice noodles introduced to Thailand by Chinese trader. The Thai people altered the recipe to create a dish that suits the local people taste.
The other version state that it was created in the 1930s by the prime minister at the time. Even though Chinese noodles used to create this dish, it is called Pad Thai to promote nationalism.
The last version of the origin of Pad Thai was from World War II. At the time, there was a shortage of rice due to war; thus they promote the consumption of noodles. So, various versions of noodles created, and Pad Thai was one of them. It has become one of the national dishes since then.
Pad Thai Sauce
You can get Pad Thai sauce at most supermarkets in Malaysia. There are many variations of sauce, depending on the ingredients. It is also easy to make the sauce from scratch. The primary ingredient is available at markets, grocery stores and supermarkets.
The main ingredient is tamarind, a pod-like fruit with brown, edible pulp. It is widely used in traditional medicine and Asian cuisine and has a sweet and tangy flavour.
The tamarind is often sold by blocks in markets. You need to soak it in warm water and squeeze to get the tamarind juice. Otherwise, there are tamarind concentrate or puree that available in supermarkets.
Some people create a substitute for tamarind juice to use in this dish. Instead of tamarind, they use ketchup and lime juice to replace the tamarind concentrate. This will make the dish sweeter and redder.
Other than tamarind juice, the sauce contains palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and chilli. For a healthier choice, you can use honey instead of palm sugar and low-sodium soy sauce. Types of chilli can be used are such as chilli sauce, sriracha, red pepper powder or garlic chilli sauce.
Besides that, adding some peanut butter to the sauce gives a creamy taste to the dish. All these ingredients whisk in a bowl until well mixed. You can prepare the sauce beforehand and keep it in the fridge.
Where to find Pad Thai in Malaysia
If you’re adventurous enough to cook your own Pad Thai, try making it with our recipe here, and tell us how it turns out!
You can also find more Thailand cuisine on foodpanda to satisfy your craving!
Article Written By Anna
Anna is an absolute foodie, and lives by the motto that food is happiness. She is a writer by day and a gamer by night. She believes that good food comes from all over and is constantly amazed by the passion and dedication it takes to make food that warms the soul.