Now they celebrate St Patrick's day in Belfast and Ballymena and of course Boston in the USA but I had not expected anything in Bangkok. I was in for a surprise. I gather there had been a parade but it was so damned hot that I stayed in the bar.
A lot of beer was sunk that night but even more pad thai. What's pad thai? An Irishman who has spent too long in the sun? Not exactly. It's this.
Serves 1 to 2:
100 gm of dry rice noodles, pre-soaked in warn water until soft
5 medium sized prawns peeled and de-veined
2 table spoons of vegetable oil (NB never use olive oil or sesame oil in Thai cooking)
25 gm of chopped chives or spring onions
1 table spoon of palm sugar (palm sugar is from coconut trees or jaggery or even at a push brown sugar)
2 tea spoons of fish sauce
50 gm of raw bean sprouts
1 table spoon of finely chopped garlic (or garlic paste)
60 gm of firm tofu cut into strips
1 table spoon of tamarind paste or white vinegar
1 table spoon of pickled white radish finely chopped or pickled cabbage
1 table spoon of ground roasted peanuts or cashew nuts (take your pick)
1/2 tea spoon of dry red chilli powder
1. Heat oil, add garlic and fry.
2. Add prawns, tofu, bean sprouts, chives and stir vigorously (and I mean vigorously!) and keep stirring until prawns are cooked.
3. Add the egg and keep stirring as with scrambled egg.
4. Add noodles, add seasoning (fish sauce, palm sugar, roasted nuts, red chilli powder, tamarind paste and radish or cabbage) while still stirring vigorously.
5. When noodles are soft and translucent switch off the heat.
6. Garnish with ground peanuts and chilli powder.
Serve with fresh vegetables.
Talking of which it is very bad manners to insert a fork directly into your mouth in Thailand. You are supposed to use the fork to gather the food in your spoon. Just so as you know.