Our November country for the “Around the World in 12 Dishes” series is Thailand! First we’ll learn about Thailand and then we’ll make my kids favorite Thai dish: pad see ew.
Can you find Thailand on a map? Identify the continent and capital, and guess what language they speak. Judging by its location on the globe, what type of climate do you imagine they have in Thailand?
If you answered Asia, Bangkok, and Thai, you are correct! People often refer to this part of the world as Southeast Asia, due to its location south and east of India and China. The climate is warm and humid, and as most tropical countries do, they have a rainy season and a dry season.
The huge majority of the people in Thailand are Buddhist, and even young children begin the long process of becoming monks (click here to see a stunning photo slideshow of 2 boys on their way to becoming monks).
To learn more, check out TIME for kids has an incredible interactive lessons where kids can learn about Thailand: investigate sightseeing, look at a history timeline, learn some Thai words, and my favorite– check out a day in the life of a 12 year old Laddawadee Maroomdee.
Because of the tropical climate, different foods and be grown year round such as: rice (in wet fields), cassava, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, Thai limes, chiles, Thai eggplant, basil, and more. The tropical fruits are endless!! Mango, papaya, pomelo, pineapple, rambutan, lychees, and more. There are thousands of web sites detailing Thai cuisine, and endless possibilities to enjoy the freshly prepared, healthy Thai food.
It is so fun to learn about Thailand through cooking! Thai food is very popular around the world, and many restaurants are popping up. Pad see ew is a common Thai lunch, and is now popular outside of Thailand Soft and chewy rice noodles are fried with pork, some vegetables (such as Chinese broccoli) and soy sauce. Many people add a spicy chile sauce on the noodles.
We followed the recipe for pad see ew ผัดซีอิ้ว at Thai Table, except we swapped out the beef for a small amount of chicken and local shrimp, used baby bok choy for the green vegetable, and used dried rice noodles in lieu of the fresh noodles. Pad See Ew is simple, healthy, and my kids loved it! Dinners that involve chopping and stirring are our favorite because everyone gets to work together. The bonus is that the more kids are involved in the cooking, the more likely they are to taste and enjoy the food!
We are inviting our readers to participate in our culinary adventure!
On our Facebook page and our Google+ community page we have a coloring placemat and a 4 page passport with lots of fun information for each country, plus questions, a spot for a photo of you and your dish, and space to put your own recipe!