Adapting Pad Thai for Philippine palate | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


I really admire the Thais for their dedication in promoting tourism to their country. Lately, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has been whipping up an activity almost every month to promote various aspects of Thai trade and tourism.

Last February, at a trade show held in Dusit Thani Hotel, 23 private organizations from various sectors presented Thai products and tour packages designed to remind the audience of the beauty and allure of Thailand. Among those present were the Thai Ambassador himself, Prasas Prasasvinitchai, and country manager for Thai Airways Sern Chupikulchai, as well as Dave de Jesus, Philippine marketing manager for TAT.

Similarly, the Thailand Trade Exhibition held early this month at the SMX Convention Center was a showcase of Thai products and services. This time, however, the products, ranging from silk to jewelry to plasticware, were for sale, and at very reasonable prices, too. I came home with shopping bags full of assorted goods, including some dips and sauces.

And speaking of sauces, it was in one of the booths selling Thai delicacies that I learned how to make pad Thai the easy way. What makes it easy is the use of bottled pad Thai paste for stir-frying the noodles.

I used to make the sauce from scratch, i.e., from fresh tamarind, which I would boil and press to make my own tamarind sauce. But at the trade exhibition, I learned that bottled pad Thai paste is just as good for cooking this very popular noodle dish.

Here’s the recipe, which I’ve recreated after watching the cooking demonstration. Bottled pad Thai paste, such as the one used in the cooking demonstration with the brand name Kanokwan, is available in the condiments section of major supermarkets.

Easy Pad Thai recipe

¼ c cooking oil

3 eggs

1 block tofu, cut into thin strips

200 g rice noodles, soaked in water for 20 minutes

1 c bottled pad Thai paste, such as Kanokwan brand

¼ c water

1 small carrot, cut into thin strips

½ k small shrimps, peeled

Several strands of bean sprouts, trimmed

¼ c chopped spring onions

¼ c ground peanuts

2 tbsp white sugar

Sliced lemon

Heat 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan and cook the eggs, scrambled-style. Remove eggs from the pan and cut into strips. Set aside.

Add the remaining two tablespoons cooking oil in the same wok or pan and fry the tofu strips until brown and crisp. Remove from pan and set aside. Spoon the excess oil from the pan.

In a bowl, mix together pad Thai paste and water. Pour into the pan. Drain noodles from the water and add to the pad Thai paste in the pan. Add carrot strips, shrimps and bean sprouts. Stir-fry until noodles and bean sprouts are tender and shrimps are fully cooked, around five minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and top with the cooked scrambled eggs and tofu. Garnish with spring onions.

Combine peanuts and sugar and sprinkle on top of the noodles before serving. If desired, serve with lemon slices or lime (if available).

For more tips, recipes and stories, visit author’s blog: and Facebook fan page: Follow on Twitter@NormaChikiamco.

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