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Apr 14, 2011 01:21 PM

Thai dishes similar to Pad Thai

I'm going out to a Thai restaurant with friends tomorrow and I want to try to order something new. I absolutely LOVE Pad Thai but I also like to force myself to taste different dishes in a cuisine. Any suggestions?

In terms of spicy food I have a low to moderate tolerance, so I'm somewhat open to curry dishes too. This restaurant is pretty straightforward and traditional, they have a lot of dishes that I've noticed on other Thai menus too.

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  1. If you like pad thai because of the peanuts, you might also like mussaman curry, which is also big on peanut flavors. If it's the rice noodles and you've got nothing against basil, I like pad kee mow. As for spiciness, just about every place lets you pick your own, though it can take a visit or two to figure out just what your view on their 'American medium' is.

    2 Replies
    1. re: beachmouse

      Pad kee mow/ pad kee mao/ "drunken noodles" is my go-to dish at most new Thai restaurants. Wide rice noodles stir-fried with meat, onions, bell peppers, and fresh basil in a kinda spicy-but-also sweet sauce. You can't ever go wrong with that one.

      1. re: Big Bad Voodoo Lou

        So that's what drunken noodles are. None of the Thai restaurants around here go with the English version of the name, and I kept seeing it here and wondering what I was missing.

    2. Pad see uw - flat noodles like chow fun served with a dark sweet soy sauce, scrambled egg, julienned vegetables and chicken, beef, or tofu (I haven't seen a seafood version).

      1 Reply
      1. re: peter j

        I second pad see uw (also seen on menus as pad see you or pad see ew). It's a wide, flat noodle in a dark sauce. The sauce shouldn't be too sweet, but a balance of salty with sweet. There shouldn't be any hot spice here.

      2. Penang is red curry and peanut.
        Drunken Noodles.
        I'm getting a huge hankering for larb gai right now!

        1 Reply
        1. re: monavano

          Penang curry is a great entry point into curry-dom. It's usually the mildest and most Thai places do it with coconut cream - nice depth of flavor.

        2. Typical Thai curry spiciness and their colors:

          - Green - the spiciest.
          - Yellow - spicy
          - Red - mild

          There are water-based curries and coconut milk based curries -- I find the coconut milk based ones a little sweeter, so you won't feel the burn of spices as much.

          1. You may not see curry on the lunch menu. There's a Thai restaurant near here that has a lunch menu that consists of just Thai street food - “Aharn Jahn Deow” (one plate food) - stir-fry over white rice or a noodle stir-fry. I look on the lunch menu for curries, but they just list dishes like Pad Kratiem Prik Thai and Pad Thai.