Have you ever wondered about the best thing that Thailand has to offer? It’s not the pristine beaches or the bustling nightlife. It’s not even the restful bliss or the peace you can find in the temples. Although these things make Thailand a hard beauty to beat as compared to other countries, the best it has to offer is in a small bowl, served with a smile warmed by the heart. That’s right. I’m talking about Thailand’s simple, yet most delicious dish—the Pad Thai soup.
Pad Thai has gained international attention. You can now eat it in any part of the world. From London to New York, Australia to Japan, many are lining up and enjoying a bowl of Pad Thai. What do you expect? It’s been recognized as one of the most delicious foods on the planet. In one dish, you’d be able to taste all five different flavors at once. It’s also, surprisingly, super easy to make. This spectacular dish will leave you speechless and will give you shivers as it tickles all your senses. This makes Pad Thai phenomenal.
Onsight, a bowl of Pad Thai looks plain and simple. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. Not only is it rich in taste, but its origin is also a source of fascination as well. Here is a breakdown of its secrets, of what makes a Pad Thai dish the best noodle in the world:
A Bowl of Pad Thai
In Thailand, Pad Thai is always served with a smile. In fact, that smile guarantees that you’re about to get a bowl of happiness. Without it, some locals say they have been denied the chance to enjoy a good Pad Thai.
Pad Thai is a bowl of rice noodles, which is the base of the dish, with tofu, or meat of your choice. If it’s only made of those ingredients, what then makes it so unique? A Pad Thai has tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, dried shrimp, palm sugar, and red chili pepper. These simple ingredients make Pad Thai a bowl of five tastes—salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. The moment you put that spoon of Pad Thai hot soup in your mouth, you’ll immediately have all your sensations stimulated.
The Origin of Pad Thai
Pad Thais have their humble origin back in the late 1930s when Thailand’s Minister of Defense launched a nation-wide competition for the country’s national dish. Using nothing but local ingredients and flavors, the Pad Thai entry emerged victoriously and was a symbol that would galvanize the Thailand peoples and their sense of nationalism.
With the use of sen chan rice noodles, not only was Thailand able to make something original, but it also established their sense of independence by moving away from wheat noodles, which was a famous Chinese noodle. This proved to be a bold move that would cement their sovereignty from China’s massive influence.
Furthermore, introducing Pad Thai was also a way to get Thai people off from overeating rice. If they have an alternative to rice, the rice stock can be delivered to other nations that need food assistance. That is why eating Pad Thai is patriotic.
How it Became International
It’s as if this Thai cuisine joined an international competition and belonged in the top ten. It did. It won the best noodle category in the Chowtzer Fast Feasts 2014. But it’s been really popular in the world even before that distinction. The Thai government made an effort to globalize Pad Thai. Its tourism department launched a campaign to introduce Thai cuisine all around the world.
Pad Thai brings people together. Aside from the subtle explosion of its flavors that foodies can enjoy, its history also tells you that eating it was once patriotic and gave the nation its independence. This is the reason it’s served with a smile. This is the reason why there’s more to it than meets the eye.