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What is Pad Thai?

As Google celebrates this traditional Thai dish today, we show how it is prepared and explore its origins.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a classic Thai dish consisting of stir-fried rice noodles, and it is commonly served as street food.

Today, Google is celebrating the plate with an animated doodle, while exploring the history behind it.

What is Pad Thai?

  • Pad Thai is a Thai dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, vegetables and tofu in a sauce of tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, garlic, red chilli pepper and sugar. 
  • Some of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments, including red chilli pepper, lime wedges and peanuts.
  • There is also a vegetarian version that could substitute soy sauce for fish sauce, and omit the shrimp. 
  • Pad Thai is a signature dish of Bangkok street food and is sold in small Thai villages. 

Where does it come from? 

  • Its origins are difficult to trace, but many believe it was introduced by Chinese traders and evolved to reflect traditional Thai flavours. 
  • Other believe it is a dish of Vietnamese origin. 

World War II and Pad Thai

  • During the second world war, the country faced a shortage of rice, but rice noodles were not hard to find, presenting a cheap and filling option.
  • Noodles mixed with vegetables and proteins such as shrimp provided a balanced, nutritious meal. 
  • The Thai government, under Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, promoted the dish, helping to develop part of the country's identity. 
  • Pad Thai has become one of the country's national dishes. 

How do you prepare it?  

Many recipes are available; this is one of the most popular:

  • In a pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat.
  • Add onions and garlic, and saute until you can smell their fragrance. 
  • Add chicken and fry until it is cooked and browned. Remove chicken from the pan. 
  • In the same pan, add tofu, lemon juice, sugar, soy sauce and water; stir.
  • When it boils, add the noodles and stir.
  • When the noodles are soft, move them to the edge of the pan, making a space on the side. Add two tablespoons of oil. Break eggs and add to hot oil.
  • Stir the white and yolk well. When they are well mixed, stir with the noodles. When the egg is well cooked, add the chicken and mix with the noodles. 
  • Add the garlic and scallions, saute quickly and remove from flame.
  • Serve onto plates with lime wedges and sprinkle with a handful of chopped salted peanuts

Why is Google celebrating it today?

Today's Google Doodle was inspired by Doodler Julian. While she was researching how to prepare it, she aimed to show all the ingredients up close and with a colourful animation.

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