Today's lunch was taken at the venerable Or Tor Kor Market, Bangkok's finest. In a bout of indecision I decided to order phat thai. Despite the mad popularity of this stuff in the US, it doesn't really seem to be all that popular in Bangkok, and I rarely eat it.
I do like it though, but have only made it myself once or twice. Phat thai is not a difficult dish to make, but it does require a certain amount of skill (otherwise the noodles tend to ball up into a sticky mess!), and is easiest done in a large flat skillet, as shown below, although some people do prefer to use a deep wok. The phat thai below is called phat thai hor khai, "phat thai wrapped in an egg", and is my favorite type. To illustrate how it's done I tried to capture each "step" below.
The first step involves frying bits of firm tofu, chopped shallots, dried shrimp and dried preserved radish:
Next involves taking the rice noodles, which have been pre-softened in a sauce that usually consists of fish sauce, tamarind and sugar, and frying them with the other ingredients:
After this some bean sprouts and a kind of crisp green onion are added:
The mixture is then pushed to the side of the pan and a couple beaten eggs are added:
The egg is spread thin and when it has solidified a bit the noodle mixture is heaped on top:
The egg is then wrapped around the noodle mixture to form a "package" of sorts:
And we're done:
Phat thai is always served with additional sprouts, green onions, as well as a slice of lime and banana flower. The phat thai above was a special deal fried with oysters and mussels. Not bad, but in this case, very, very oily!