How to tell if your Thai food takeout is authentic

Part of the fun of eating out at different styles of restaurants is the ability to enjoy cuisines from all over the world. Without ever having to update your passport, you can set foot into a completely new place by experiencing all of the different types of foods that a particular region or country has to offer to you. Thai food is fairly ubiquitous in Denver, which can be good and bad. It is good because you have many different restaurants creating their own approach to traditional Thai food, which can help create a more well rounded idea of the actual food that you would find in Thailand. However, the drawback is that you could also find that many restaurants out there that will sacrifice authenticity in the name of trying to keep their operating costs down.

When it comes to Thai food, there are certain ingredients that might be local to a particular area that are very hard to find or perhaps even very expensive in the United States. When that happens, a Thai food takeout joint may decide to skip that particular ingredient entirely and try to produce a dish using other more affordable substitutions. This way they will save money by not having to order expensive ingredients and they can then continue mass producing dishes in order to keep themselves in business.

Over time, other restaurants may being to follow their lead by leaving out authentic dishes from the menu or dishes that are too time intensive to create in a Thai food takeout situation. Here are a few ways for you to recognize if the Thai food delivery that you are considering ordering is authentic to Thailand:

  1. Pad Thai. Pad Thai that is authentic is going to come with a lot of different components on it. It has become very easy for restaurants to cut corners on this dish, but you should not have to put up with that. An authentic Pad Thai dish is going to come with dried shrimp, pickled radish, bean sprouts, Chinese garlic chives and crushed peanuts. Many restaurants will try to cut corners by substituting in shredded carrots instead of radish, or they may leave off the peanuts and dried shrimp.
  2. Pad Kra Prao. This dish is another staple on most Thai food restaurant menus. The name it more commonly goes by is basil chicken, shrimp, or beef.  This dish is actually a popular dish to get from a street vendor, but there is one tell tale way to know if the dish is being prepared authentically: the dish should be topped off with a crispy fried egg.
  3. Lad Na. This is also a popular Thai dish both in the States as well as in Thailand. It is a classic Thai comfort food as the dish itself is essentially noodles and gravy – perfect for a cold winter day. This dish is straightforward and hard to cut corners on, but the condiments that come with the dish are what really make it authentic: it should come with a little bit of sugar, fish sauce, chili flakes and sliced hot chilies in vinegar.

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