Starting at 5 pm daily, the fires are kindled, and street chefs beginning churning out wok fulls of Pad Thai like crazy.You’ll hear a continual clickety clack as the metal spatulas clank against the metal rounded woks. While many people sit down for dinner, even more people order take-away, often in bulk orders.
The founder of Pad Thai Thip Samai, Ms Samai, was the first person to start selling Pad Thai in Thailand after learning the recipe from her mother. She opened her first street food stall in 1947 on Pratoopee Intersection, hence, the former name Pad Thai Pratoopee which was located not too far from their current location.
Using charcoal, the chefs are able to fuel the fire so they get the fierce heat required to produce the correct scorched flavor. Big batches, probably 10 – 15 plate fulls, are cooked at a time in medium sized woks. Depending on the version of Pad Thai ordered, the recipe often begins first with shrimp that are fried in oil before being joined by thick handfuls of dry rice noodles. The noodles are soaked in sauces and oils as the heat and steam cooks the noodles quickly.
Tofu, baby shrimp, leeks, bean sprouts, and other ingredients per recipe, are all tossed into the mixture. Finally the mess of Pad Thai is scooted to one side as eggs are cracked into the agglomeration.
After the batch of Pad Thai is finished, it’s divvied out onto individual plates and either served as is, boxed into styrofoam to-go containers, or brought over t0 what I like to call “the gift wrapping station.”
Similar to shopping at a department store and having your gift wrapped in a fancy box and tied with bright colored ribbon, so the Pad Thai is decorated in a beautiful wrapper before being served. Over a bonfire of flames, an intensely hot wok is thinly layered with beaten egg and swirled around like a crepe.
The egg cooks in seconds, at which point the plate of freshly cooked Pad Thai is dumped into the middle of the egg, wrapped up on all sides, and placed back onto the plate. The first egg layer is messy with holes in it, so the process is repeated twice, leaving the final Pad Thai neatly wrapped in smokey flavored eggy goodness. Meaty jumbo prawns and perfectly cooked noodles are packed into the egg wrapper which is then garnished with cilantro and slices of pepper.
Nowadays, Thip Samai is a well-established business with several branches in Bangkok as well as having their own Pad Thai sauces and recipes that you can buy at supermarkets and create your own classic Thip Samai Pad Thai!
According to eatingthaifood.com and toptravelfoods.com