single dish

Rice with Red Pork

Thai name: Khao moo daeng

This is one of the most universal of Thai dishes. You'll almost certainly find at least one stall selling this in any collection of street vendors or food court. I tend to think of this as a comfort food. It's a good dish for tourists to get to know, since it's almost universally available and is one of the most mild of Thai street foods.

American Fried Rice

Thai name: Khao pat amerigan

You don't have to be in Thailand too long or make too many Thai friends before one of them will eventually order khao pat amerigan at some food stall or restaurant. I frequently get asked about it by first-time visitors, who assume that the dish really is American in origin, even if they themselves are from the USA and have never heard of it.

Chiang Mai Fried Noodle

Thai name: Pat mee chao neua

Fried bamee noodles are less common in Thailand that they are in other parts of South-east Asia. The exception seems to be Chiang Mai, where pat mee is quite easy to find. For this dish, ham is used most of the time. Use thinly sliced ham, such as you can get pre-packaged for sandwiches in most supermarkets. Cut the ham into very narrow strips, making it a sort of “meat noodle”.

Rice Noodles in Thick Gravy

This simple dish, called rat nha in Thai, is widely available throughout Thailand, where for many it's a 'comfort' food. In stalls, the gravy is usually prepared in a large pot and ladled out over bowls of noodles and kale. If you can't find Chinese kale, broccoli is a good match for the colour, crunchiness and taste of Chinese kale. Likewise, cornstarch can just as easily be used in place of tapioca flour (cassava starch) as a thickening agent.

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