Thai food has become one of the most popular types of ethnic food in the country. Its rich aromas, vegetarian options, and health benefits, Thai food has become a favorite for many families.
However, if you've never tried Thai food before, looking over a menu can be a bit overwhelming. Most items on Thai restaurant menus keep their original Thai names, and to patrons with little knowledge of the Thai language, it can be confusing. Although most restaurants include a brief description of their dishes, what a patron pictures a dish to be may be quite different from the reality.
Pad Thai is a common dish. It is even available in restaurants that do not primarily serve Thai food. Like many Thai dishes, pad Thai starts with rice noodles. Rice noodles are exactly what they sound like they'd be--noodles made from rice. They do not have a strong flavor, which makes them the perfect base for Thai dishes. Typically, egg is scrambled into pad Thai, and the dish usually features chicken or shrimp as its primary protein. Bean sprouts are also tossed in the mix, and it is usually topped off with chopped green onion and crushed peanuts. The noodles are usually tossed with fish sauce and a hint of red pepper to add flavor. Fish sauce is made by fermenting fish and adding a bit of salt. Although this may sound unappealing to many, fish sauce adds a richness to Thai dishes. Pad Thai is an excellent dish for beginners--not too spicy, not too outrageous, but just enough flavor to get a feel for Thai food.
Most Thai restaurants also offer a cashew chicken dish. This dish is typically a stir fry made with steamed white rice. Bite-sized chunks of chicken are tossed with chilies, carrots, bell peppers and onion. Since dried chilies are a staple in this dish, just a hint of heat is added to the sauce. Chopped cashews are also stirred in. Brown sugar and fish sauce give cashew chicken a sweet and spicy flavor that is far from overpowering.
If you're feeling especially adventurous, consider a curry dish. Thai restaurants carry dishes that feature yellow curry, red curry, and green curry. Green curries are usually considered the hottest; red curries are savory and more adaptable, and yellow curries are rich and mild.
No matter what you choose, your taste buds will be pleased! There are plenty of great Thai restaurants to try, but there are some particularly top notch ones in Claremont, CA.
Sanamluang Thai Cuisine is popular for its authentic Thai dishes, including the various noodle plates. The restaurant is now located at 710 South Indian Hill Blvd., Claremont, CA. You can learn more about Sanamluang at http://www.sanamluangclaremont.com.