Pad Thai is synonymous in the United Kingdom when you mention Thai Cuisine and is often one of the favourite choices for many when they go out to eat or order in Thai food. Pad Thai is a noodle base dish that was made popular in the 1930s by the Prime Minister of Thailand at the time Luand Phibunsongkhram. You may wonder why the Prime Minister was responsible for the introduction of the dish Pad Thai. The introduction of the dish was a part of his election campaign as an effort to encourage people to eat less rice. The reasoning was not just as concern purely for the dietary habits of Thai people but it had an economical motive behind it. It was to move the main bulk of Thailand's economic dependency from the production of rice and to introduce something else to be created and exported; noodles. These days Pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand and now throughout the rest of the world.
Pad Thai is often based around the same core ingredients although the preparation and cooking method will alter from person to person, establishment to establishment. The main ingredients in an authentic Pad Thai are of course noodles, prawns, Nam Pla (fish sauce), beansprouts, coriander, chilli, lime, peanuts and as well as prawns it can also be made with chicken and tofu.
One of the more interesting ingredients is tamarind - this is an ingredients that is found often in Thai cooking but is not very well known in the Western world. Tamarind is a plant which grows in and is native to Africa one product it is used in which is better recognised in the UK is Worcestershire sauce.
To make Pad Thai -
To start you would cook your noodles (generally rice noodles) and then rinse them under cold water to refresh them before cooking in the stir fry. The next step would be to mix all of your flavourings together, fish sauce, lime, sugar and chili. These ingredients make up the core tastes of Thai cuisine; sweet, sour, savoury and salty. The next step would be to get a wok very hot with some oil in it and stir fry your tofu, chicken or prawns as well as some spring onions. Next toss in the drained cooked noodles, flavourings and peanuts and toss well until it is cooked and hot and all the flavours have married together - serve straight away.
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