Basic Pad Thai is seen in this 2009 file photo. With ingredients like firm, pressed tofu, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate, Pad Thai is more like what you may find on the streets of Thailand than in a U.S. restaurant. Larry Crowe Associated Press
Basic Pad Thai is seen in this 2009 file photo. With ingredients like firm, pressed tofu, fish sauce and tamarind concentrate, Pad Thai is more like what you may find on the streets of Thailand than in a U.S. restaurant. Larry Crowe Associated Press

World

What is Pad Thai? The Google Doodle that’s currently making the world hungry

By Matthew Martinez

mmartinez@star-telegram.com

November 07, 2017 09:58 AM

UPDATED November 07, 2017 02:09 PM

If you didn’t have lunch plans today, you do now.

No, it’s not National Pad Thai Day, or the anniversary of the first bowl of rice noodles, fish or chicken, peanuts and veggies ever served with that sweet, spicy kick.

Our Google overlords were apparently just in the mood to celebrate the signature street food of Thailand on Tuesday, so they made a Pad Thai Party out of today’s Google Doodle.

If you’re a fan of the salty/spicy/sweet dish, you know you don’t need much of an excuse to get on board.

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Making pad thai with shrimp

Mark Bittman makes the noodle dish Pad Thai with shrimp.

New York Times

According to the Google Doodle blog, the dish as we know it today was probably born out of a rice shortage in Thailand associated with World War II. Rice noodles were still cheap, filling, and, most importantly, available. The popular version with rice was an “age-old recipe (thought to be introduced by Chinese traders).”

It’s a simple recipe that’s also endlessly customizable. If you’re a spice-head you can turn the heat up to 11. If you like sweet more, you can do that as well, and most restaurants that serve Pad Thai will ask your preferred spice level when you order. Protein choices traditionally range from tofu to shrimp to chicken.

This recipe from Delish.com says total prep time for a Pad Thai meal for four is just 20 minutes.

The Google Doodle shows a cartoon walk-through for preparing the dish. Soak the rice noodles. Chop the green onions and garlic. Fire up the wok. Make a mess, and slurp.

It’s that simple. And now we’re all hungry.