During World War II, the Thai government wanted to reduce the consumption of rice for economic reasons. Eating noodles was economic because with one bowl of rice, one can produce five bowls of noodles. As noodles were a Chinese product and not so popular among the local Thai people, the government modified a noodle stir-fry recipe by using more local ingredients and renamed it as ‘Phad Thai’, meaning the ‘Thai stir-fry’.
Nowadays, Phad Thai is one of the signature dishes of Thailand. In the traditional version, Phad Thai is made with Chanthaboon rice noodles – from Chanthaburi Province on Thailand’s east coast. As there currently exist so many different versions of the dish, feel free to use your creativity when preparing the authentic recipe.
Recipe: Phad Thai
Ingredients & preparation: Phad Thai sauce
- Ingredients (for 250 ml)
- 150 g of tamarind paste
- 150 g of palm sugar
- 50 g of shallots
- 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
- Deep-fry the shallots in hot oil until golden, drain and keep them aside.
- Heat the tamarind paste and add the palm sugar. Stir until melted.
- Turn off the fire and add the fish sauce.
- Mix the preparation in order to obtain a smooth sauce.
“In Bangkok, there’s the oldest and still running Phad Thai restaurant of Thailand, called ‘Thipsamai’.”
Ingredients & preparation: Stir-fry
- Ingredients (for 2 persons)
- 200 g of rice noodles, soaked in water until they’re soft
- 4 tablespoons of Phad Thai sauce
- Dry or fresh shrimps
- 1 clove of garlic
- ½ cup of (hard) diced tofu
- 1 or 2 egg(s)
- 2 teaspoons of fermented turnip
- 6 strains of chive
- 1 or 2 cup(s) of beansprouts
- 4 tablespoons of crushed peanuts
- ½ teaspoon of dry chili in flake
- 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
- Heat the oil in a wok. Stir-fry the fresh shrimps. When they’re cooked, keep them aside.
- With the remaining oil, stir-fry the garlic, the turnip, the tofu and the dry shrimps.
- Add the sauce, the noodles and some water (if too dry). Cook everything.
- Add the eggs. When they’re cooked, add the chili and the peanuts.
- Add the beansprouts and the chive. Stir-fry for 10 seconds and stop the fire.
- Season to taste with fish sauce, dry chili, green lime juice and caster sugar.
If you’re planning a trip to Thailand and intend to stay a few nights in Bangkok – which is highly recommended -, The Siam Hotel and The Sukhothai Hotel will definitely complete your stay in this vibrant city. When you also want to discover the true spirit and taste of the Thai cuisine, be sure to have dinner at Paste restaurant. Here, chef Bongkoch ‘Bee’ Satongun – one of the most talented and respected female chefs in Bangkok – serves artisanal Thai food in a gastronomic way. To make your trip complete, we can certainly suggest a visit to Sühring restaurant, located in a tranquil 1970s villa in a residential area in the heart of Bangkok. The German twin brothers Mathias and Thomas Sühring present here gastronomic dishes inspired by their home country.
In addition, if you’re also planning on going the Phuket, make sure to book a stay at The Twinpalms Resort, located at the fabulous Surin Beach with great views and lots of food stalls. The cherry on the cake should be a trip to The Trisara Resort, where having dinner at PRU restaurant is highly recommended.
Recipe & Photography: The Tourism Authority of Thailand / Adriaan Van Looy
Text: Carline Roggeman