Pad thai

Pad thai
Street stall pad thai, Chiang Mai
Alternative names phad thai, phat thai (also spelt with a capitalized "t" in "thai")
Type Rice noodles
Place of origin Thailand
Associated national cuisine Thai
Serving temperature Hot
Main ingredients Dried rice noodles, eggs, tofu, tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried or fresh shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper, palm sugar, lime, peanuts
Cookbook: Pad thai  Media: Pad thai

Pad thai, or phad thai (/ˌpɑːd ˈt/ or /ˌpæd ˈt/; Thai: ผัดไทย, RTGS: phat thai, ISO: p̄hạdịthy, pronounced [pʰàt tʰāj] ( listen), "Thai stir-fry"), is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at most restaurants in Thailand.[1]


Pad thai is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and is flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts.[2] It may contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, pickled radishes or turnips, and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other animal products. Many of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments such as the red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables.[3] Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.


A dish of stir-fried rice noodles is thought by some to have been introduced to Ayutthaya during the time of the Ayutthaya Kingdom by Chinese traders[4][5] and subsequently altered to reflect Thai flavor profiles.[5]

During World War II, Thailand suffered a rice shortage due to the war and floods. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the Thai government under Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram promoted eating noodles instead.[6] His government promoted rice noodles and helped to establish the identity of Thailand. As a result, a new noodle called sen chan (named after Chanthaburi Province) was created. Pad thai has since become one of Thailand's national dishes.[7] Today, some food vendors add pork or chicken (although the original recipe did not contain pork because of the government's perception that pork was a Chinese meat).[8] Some food vendors still use the original recipe.

A notable pad thai Bangkok neighborhood is Samran Rat (Pratu Phi) in Phra Nakhon (near the Giant Swing and Mahakan Fort). There are two pad thai eateries[9]. Thipsamai was awarded a Bib Gourmand from the Michelin Guide in 2018.[10][6]

Pop culture

  • Pad thai is listed at number five on a list of "World's 50 most delicious foods" readers' poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011.[11]
  • The Thai film Jao saao Pad Thai uses pad thai as a plot device as the protagonist claims she will marry whoever eats her pad thai for 100 days in a row.[12]
  • In 2008, in an episode of Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, celebrity chef Bobby Flay was defeated by Chef Nongkran Daks at her restaurant, Thai Basil, in Chantilly, Virginia.[13]
  • On 7 November 2017, a Google Doodle featuring pad thai was displayed in the U.S., Canada, Cuba, Thailand, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and several countries in both Europe and South America.[14][15] Google celebrated it as an initiative of Doodler Juliana.[16] While she was researching how to prepare it, she aimed to show all the ingredients up close and with a colourful animation.[17]

See also


  1. "Pad thai". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2017-03-20.
  2. "Pad Thai-ผัดไทยกุ้งสด" (in Thai). Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  3. "7-Steps to Properly Eating Pad Thai". Retrieved 2017-05-29.
  4. "The Truth About Pad Thai". BBC. 2015-04-28.
  5. 1 2 "Pad Thai". Pad Thai Restaurant. Archived from the original on February 18, 2013. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  6. 1 2 Pungkanon, Kupluthai (13 May 2018). "All wrapped up and ready to go". The Nation. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  7. Tapia, Semina (2011-08-15). "Thai National Foods". Archived from the original on 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  8. ไพวรรณ์, กฤษดา. "วัฒนธรรมการกิน : กินแบบชาตินิยมสมัยจอมพล ป. พิบูลสงคราม". Official of Art and Culture: Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University (in Thai). Retrieved 2018-03-15.
  9. ทุมนานนท์, ธนา (2010-07-19). "ผัดไทยประตูผี ที่สุดของที่สุด". Thai Rath (in Thai).
  10. "Thipsamai Phad Thai (Pratuphee)". Michelin Guide.
  11. "Your pick: World's 50 most delicious foods". CNN Go. September 7, 2011. Archived from the original on November 11, 2012. Retrieved October 11, 2011.
  12. Jao saao Pad Thai (2004) - Plot Summary
  13. "Pad Thai: Throwdown With Bobby Flay". Food Network. 2009-11-16. Archived from the original on 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2013-02-23.
  14. "Doodles: Celebrating Pad Thai". Google. November 7, 2017. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  17. "What is Pad Thai?". Retrieved 7 November 2017.
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