Thai food has exploded onto the UK food scene in recent years with restaurants popping up all over the place.
We have welcomed the far eastern alternative to Indian or Chinese into our hearts with aplomb and I couldn’t be happier about it. I visited Thailand when I was much younger and far less appreciative of an exotic cuisine. I wish I had paid more attention because if i had I would have had an extra ten years or so to explore the countries fiery flavours and delicate spices. Instead I caught up with the rest if the UK. From big cities to suburban villages Thai restaurants seem to be popping up across the UK at an alarmingly satisfying rate.
I get my local Thai fix from a place called Number One Thai in Sutton. Not a wholly inventive name, but it is a hidden gem. It’s relatively lacklustre exterior is completely forgotten once you step inside to find a quaint wood panelled restaurant set on a raised balcony up a tiny flight of stairs brimming with authentic charm. The jungle curry is a must for spice lovers, but my favourite is the Pla Nueng Se Eiw (Steamed whole sea bass with ginger and spring onions) set on a banana leaf and accompanied by bamboo steamed rice.
When I can’t find the funds to satisfy my taste for Thai, I’ll whip up a Pad Thai – a dish I will happily devour night after night given half the chance. Not the most adventurous as far as Thai food goes, granted. But completely addictive. It’s a bit of a cheat recipe as I use a store bought sauce and tend to add whatever veg is in my fridge at the time to bulk it out – but I’m not one to begrudge a bit of experimentation.
KING PRAWN PAD THAI WITH CASHEW NUTS
- Noodles (I use Udon – although strictly Japanese they are my favourite)
- King prawns (raw are best)
- Pad thai sauce
- Handful of peas
- 1 egg
- 1 red onion
- Couple handfuls of spinach
- Cashew nuts
1. Fry the king prawns, peas, red onion and spinach in a little sesame oil until golden brown.
2. Whisk one egg in a cup and stir into the pan until its resembles scrambled egg.
3. Whilst frying the fresh ingredients, boil a pan of water and drop in the noodles. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until soft, and drain. Add to the pan.
4. Stir in the Pad Thai sauce and cook for another minute of so.
5. Plate up, sprinkle some crushed cashew nuts on the top and serve.