It’s no secret that Thailand makes some of the best noodles of all time. Tourists from all over the world are visiting to get a taste of the local noodle dishes that people have been raving about. However, there are still a lot of people who don’t know much about Thai noodles at all. Here are some of the most popular noodle dishes that are not Pad Thai to try whenever you come to visit Thailand:
1. Pad Kee Mao
“Pad Kee Mao,” or drunken noodles, is one of the most-ordered dishes in Thailand. Despite the word “Mao” meaning drunk in Thai, the dish does not have a single drop of alcohol in it. That being said, the dish can be absolutely delicious when enjoyed with a cold bottle of Chang or Singha, especially when you ask for it to be made spicy. Now, there is an origin story for the dish, which is basically a story of drunk people coming home to throw in whatever they could find to have a filling meal, and that’s how Pad Kee Mao has come alive in the Thai street food scene. Anyway, don’t make the mistake of thinking that this dish is comparable to Pad Thai; they’re not similar by any means apart from being in the same category of stir-fried noodles. The noodles in Pad Kee Mao are usually wider than those in Pad Thai, as well as thicker with a more rubbery and chewy texture. Pad Kee Mao is also prepared with lots of holy basil, which adds in a great hint of herbal goodness that you can’t find in Pad Thai. The dish is typically made with soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and a lot of chili blend for that spicy kick. A lot of vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, baby corn, peppers, and bean sprouts, making it a great choice for vegetarians. For those who want to add some meat in, there is a wide range of options including tofu, pork, chicken, beef, and even seafood.
2. Rad Na
Another popular noodle dish is “Rad Na,” which is prepared with wide rice noodles in a thick, gravy-like sauce that is inspired by a Chinese noodle dish. Its soupy consistency made from tapioca starch is what sets it apart from other Thai noodle dishes. Needless to say, not everyone is going to love the dish. Some people love the slimy texture while some are disgusted by it. Regardless, the thickness of the soup and noodle makes the dish super filling. The flavor of Rad Na is a blend of sweet and salty, as well as oily. However, if you want something very spicy, Rad Na may not be the best choice for you. Even if you can add extra black pepper or chopped chills for extra spiciness, it may still not be enough to satisfy your craving.
3. Yam Wun Sen
Yam Wun Sen, also known as Glass Noodle Salad, is another popular dish that everyone should try at least once. The dish is different from the previous two in the sense that it’s not a stir-fried noodle. Yam Wun Sen is served as a chilled, and arguably, healthy salad. The dish can be very spicy as it’s prepared with green and red chili peppers. However, just say the word to the chef and the spiciness can be adjustable to your taste. You can expect to get very thin and translucent noodles from Yum Wun Sen, which is very light in texture. The noodle is typically seasoned with lime juice, fish sauce, and garlic. Yum Wun Sen is served with chopped onions and tomatoes with the addition of minced meat or seafood as an extra protein source of your choice.
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