Thai cuisine is known for its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal - hot ( spicy ), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food is really better described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern ( or Isan ), Central and Southern. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

Monday, January 1, 2007

Recipe: Pad Thai

1 pack dried rice stick noodles or "sen lek"
1/2 cup dried shrimp
1/2 cup baked tofu cut into small strips
1/2 cup ground peanut
1 cup fresh beansprouts
1/2 cup chives cut into 1 inch pieces
1 pound chicken meat cut into small bite-sized pieces
6 eggs
2 teaspoons pepper powder
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons smashed garlic
2 tablespoons smashed onion
1/2 cup of water
Soak the rice stick noodles in tepid water for roughly 15 minutes. Then cut the noodles into 4-inch pieces. Strain the noodles, then set them aside.
Using a large skillet (preferably a wok) heat the vegetable oil and add in the garlic, onion and tofu.
After stirring for 2 minutes, add in the dry shrimp, and stir. Then, one at a time add in the peanuts, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, pepper and chicken, stirring the mixture the entire time.
Add the eggs and continue to stir the mixture. Then add in 1/2 cup of water.
Add the noodles, and be sure to stir! The noodles tend to burn if not continuously stirred.
Check to see if the taste of the dish is suitable to you, if not, then add in either fish sauce (salty), sugar (sweet), or soy sauce (salty). Here is where a matter of preference comes into play.
The final step is to add in the bean sprouts and chives, just before turning off the burner.
Pad Thai is normally garnished with a heaping portion of uncooked beansprouts on the side as well as a sprig of cilantro on top.