Guest blogger Khun Tony Soonthornnont from Fun Travel Time on Pad Thai…
Pad Thai is a dish that has found a place in the heart of many Thais as well as visitors to Thailand. While it isn’t the most consumed dish in the country, its popularity is never questioned.
A lot of people have heard of this dish and many have tasted it but here are some fun facts about Pad Thai that you may not have known:
1. Pad Thai often includes pork, chicken, beef and other meats. These ingredients are in fact considered a modern variation of this dish. In actuality, the tradition dish basically consists of dried shrimps and tofu with some variations served with fresh prawns alongside dried ones.
2. Pad Thai follows a Thai culinary tradition of using all five tastes which are salty, sour, sweet, spicy and bitter. That is why Pad Thai feels so rich on your taste buds, they fire all of them!
3. Pad Thai is a well-known Thai dish but many claims that the dish is in fact a variation of a type of Chinese dish. This is evident in the way that the Pad Thai is cooked which bears similarity to some Chinese noodle menus.
4. Pad Thai was introduced to Thailand in a period of ultra-nationalism in the wake of the 1932 revolution that ended absolute monarchy and installed a democratic system of constitutional monarchy in the country.
5. In the late1930s, Prime Minister Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram held a campaign to promote Thai nationalism. As part of that campaign, he led a public contest that was looking to find a new national noodle dish. The winner? Our beloved Pad Thai!
6. Pad Thai dishes introduced thin “Sen Chan” rice noodles which is a signature part of the dish. The noodle’s name was taken from the province of Chanthaburi, which is in Thailand’s east and close to Vietnam and Cambodia. This type of noodle is very similar to the Vietnamese noodle Pho.
7. Pad Thai was a quite a patriot. When first introduced, Prime Minister Plaek promoted Pad Thai as the dish that Thais should eat instead of rice. This is because at the time Thailand was heavily in debt and the prime minister wanted to export all the rice the country could produce. So for a brief period of history eating Pad Thai was considered a patriotic act!
8. Whenever a “top Thai food” list is published anywhere, Pad Thai is always a strong contender alongside Tom Yum Koong and Som Tum.
9. Pad Thai food is so popular that you can find it in most cities of the world.
10. Although there are many ingredients in a Pad Thai, none of them are baked. This is because at the time Pad Thai was introduced, baking ovens are not widely available in Thailand.
11. There are many variations of Pad Thai nowadays such as “Pad Thai Hor Kai” which is Pad Thai wrapped in a thin sheet of omelete.
12. Pad Thais are often served alongside Hua Prees which are actually baby bananas.