One of the most commonly associated dishes with Thailand has to be the one that has the word ‘Thai’ in the name. Pad Thai, a famous stir-fry noodle dish, is simple on the surface but colored in its history. Before we begin to get into the juicy details of Pad Thai’s origins, let’s first describe this Thai street food icon.
Laab is one of the cornerstones of Thai cuisine. I know we say that about a lot of Thai dishes, but it’s true! A balanced, saucy mixture of protein and herbs, it is something of a fragrant meat salad in Thai food, one that we often credit to the northeastern region of the country, also known as Isaan. But the truth is, laab isn’t just exclusive to Isaan; there’s also laab nuea, or “northern laab”, which has a completely different take than laab Isaan.
Glutinous rice, or sticky rice as it is colloquially known, is a beloved staple of Southeast Asian cuisine and perhaps most frequently attributed to the unmatched cuisine of Thailand. A recipe that comes to mind immediately for many is the famous mango sticky rice, or "khao niew ma muang" as Thais call it. The simple dessert highlighting the country's star produce—mango, coconut, and rice—is easy to prepare, especially when compared to Western desserts, and yet so indulgent, delicious, and special.