Hello, class, today we'll be learning about pad Thai, the delicious national dish of Thailand (which can partially explain why Thailand is known as "The Land of Smiles"). But before diving in to this big bowl of noodles, let's first talk a walk through Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia known for its incredible beaches, royal palaces, ancient ruins, and ornate temples. 

Thailand offers a cultural experience beyond belief with incredible excursions that can even end with you playing with a herd of elephants (in an ethical setting, of course). And all of this is accompanied by amazing food, served on every street and restaurant. But now you might be wondering, what is pad Thai? It may just look like a stir-fried noodle dish, but it has way more of a story than that!

The History of Pad Thai

When Plaek Phibunsongkhram came into power in the late 1930s, his mission was to change his nation's identity, turning the name from Siam to Thailand, and turning the national food into Pad Thai. The origination of pad Thai actually came about as a result of a competition for this national dish of Thailand.

Even though this plate stems very much from Chinese influence (they low-key refer to it as "Thai-style stir-fried noodles"), Thais were able to add their own little spin with special ingredients like palm sugar, tamarind, and the famous Thai chili. And ever since then, pad Thai has been taking over the world.

How to Make Pad Thai

vegetable, chicken
Luna Zhang

I actually tried making pad Thai myself, and it came out AMAZING (and trust me, I'm no chef). All you need are rice noodles, bean sprouts, peanuts, green onions, chilis, and pad Thai sauce (or if you're feeling adventurous, tamarind, soy sauce, fish sauce, chili sauce, and brown sugar). And if you care to add some proteins, throw in some shrimp, chicken, tofu, etc. 

#SpoonTip: If you can't find rice noodles, you can also make pad Thai using ramen noodles

Pad Thai offers the perfect culmination of flavors—sweet, salty, spicy, and sour. It literally appeals to anyone and everyone because it has everything. It's not one of the most popular foods in America for nothing (nd you can mostly likely get it delivered to you at odd hours of the day, I know I do). 10/10 would recommend.