Thursday, May 13, 2010

No Ketchup Added

Is there a bigger shame then when ketchup is added to a dish that is then passed off as Thai food? I'm referring of course to the North American trend of making Pad Thai with a ketchup based sauce. Now its not to say that it makes for bad food, it just doesn't make Pad Thai in my books (and I'm sure the books of millions of Thais and other foodies around the word).

So to get the actual food aspect of this post kicked off, Ill start by saying I've eaten a lot of mediocre Thai food in my life time. In fact the only authentic Thai food I remember ever being pleased with (up until a month ago) was at Young Thailand. Recently however, I heard of a place called Sukhothai, which was being praised as the best Thai food in Toronto. So after hearing such a string of recommendations, I went. I went with Christina and my friend Chris. I ordered the Sukhothai Pad Thai, spicy, with chicken. It was excellent, a nice light sauce, and wonderful fresh herb flavor. Chris also had the Sukhothai Pad Thai, mild, with beef. He was thoroughly impressed. And Christina had the Gaeng Panang, spicy, with chicken, she was quite impressed, and based of a small taste myself, I came to the same conclusion (maybe more so, as I previously have had a bad association with Thai curries).

So incredibly impressed by the food dished out by this tiny establishment on Parliament (just N of Shuter on the W side) that always seems to have a wait for a table, Christina and myself decided on a return visit just a couple weeks later. This time with my trusty camera!

We started by ordering a couple Thai Iced Tea's, to cure both our thirst, as well as curiosity.
A very interesting beverage, steeped hot tea, ice, and either coconut milk, or a heavy cream (I couldn't quite tell).
First to reach the table was our Pad Kee Mao, Spicy, with beef
Deliciously spicy, very tasty blend of flavours, steak strips weren't tough, a great dish.

Second up we got our Gaeng Masaman, a curry with tamarind and coconut, with peanuts, potatoes, and chicken, spicy.
With all the good things I had to say about the first dish, could you believe I liked this one better? Tender pieces of chicken in an amazing curry sauce, with the crunchy peanut slices to contrast the texture, whats not to love?

Third up, was the Pla Taud, the simplest of dishes, a piece of fried fish, with rice and mango salad.
Wow! Amazing even in its simplicity, this may have been the most perfectly fried piece of fish I have ever eaten. Incredibly tender, perfectly crispy, and with lathered with the sauce, a little taste of Ecstasy. The mango salad was quite good as well.

After eating all this amazing food, it put me back at the drawing board for making my own Thai food. So finally just this week I got around to putting together a semi Thai meal, of Thai chicken wings, and Pad Thai. I marinated the Thai chicken wings the night before. The marinade consisted of garlic, ginger, lemon grass, fish sauce, soy sauce, Thai chili's, cilantro, honey, lime juice, and tamarind. Baked for about and hour, and finished very quickly under the broiler.

The Pad Thai consisting of deep fried tofu, bean sprouts, green onion, garlic, ginger, Thai basil, cilantro, Thai chili, and shrimps marinated in sriracha, tamarind pulp, and fish sauce. The sauce consisted of tamarind pulp, and a touch of fish sauce (about 1 tbs for every 1/2 cup of tamarind).

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