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Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

Old Aug 1, 15, 4:00 pm
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Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

The first time I tried the famous Thai Dish Pad Thai was in Khao San Road in Bangkok. It was sold on the streets and it tasted so good and fresh.

But when I later tried it in US, in some small restaurants and at PF Changs and Pei Wei, they taste very different and they taste sweet. I hated it.

The one I tried and loved in BKK didn't taste sweet.


Any idea why it is different?
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Old Aug 1, 15, 4:05 pm
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A different recipe, I'd guess.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 4:38 pm
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Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

Pf changs owns pei Wei
I find pf changs far too sweet in general

Americans love sugary food
So catering to perceived American "taste"?
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:10 pm
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there are restaurants where you can find good/authentic food, but have to find them
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:22 pm
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Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

There are authentic Thai restaurants all over the place in the US. There is absolutely nothing Thai about PF Changs. Look up your local Thai restaurant and try it out.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:39 pm
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There's a big difference between the Thai food made by Chinese in the US and Thai food made by Thais.

And also if you happen to have a restaurant with real Thais that 'Americanize' the menu, you can always ask them to make it authentic like it is in Thailand.

I would say that a good majority of the 'Asian' restaurants are Chinese owned and operated, and that can make a difference when I'm looking for authentic Japanese or Thai food.

This is easily avoidable in big cities.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:54 pm
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Why Pad Thai in US taste sweet?

you had me at pf chang's - that's asian as taco bell is mexican!
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:55 pm
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On my recent visit to Pei wei, I asked them to not to add any sugar cos I didn't want my Pad Thai to taste sweet but when I ate it, it still tasted sweet though not too sugary. I tried one at a local Thai Restaurant and the Pad Thai there also tasted bit sweet.

I guess Pad thais are made with different tastes I guess. Also regarding the Mongolian beef, it is delicious but the ones sold by Peiwei is just too sweet. The one I usually eat at the local small chinese restaurant never tastes sweet.


I had this one in Khaosan road 3 yrs ago. so tasty, so fresh and so affordable!

Last edited by Blueskyheaven; Aug 1, 15 at 6:09 pm
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Old Aug 1, 15, 5:56 pm
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Usually with Thai cuisine the sugar and chili are added as condiments. if you visited Khao San and went to a "take away" then the sugar was probably added by the vendor but very little if any as they would have expected you to add to what your palate enjoyed.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by benzemalyonnais View Post
There's a big difference between the Thai food made by Chinese in the US and Thai food made by Thais.

And also if you happen to have a restaurant with real Thais that 'Americanize' the menu, you can always ask them to make it authentic like it is in Thailand.

I would say that a good majority of the 'Asian' restaurants are Chinese owned and operated, and that can make a difference when I'm looking for authentic Japanese or Thai food.

This is easily avoidable in big cities.
I am not sure you can call PF Chang's Chinese. Its American version of Chinese (heck, one half of PF Changs - PF - is not even Chinese!)

Originally Posted by whimike View Post
There are authentic Thai restaurants all over the place in the US. There is absolutely nothing Thai about PF Changs. Look up your local Thai restaurant and try it out.
This

Asian food tries to balance sweet flavors with savory or spicy. American palates tend to prefer sweet.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 7:49 pm
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I rarely eat Thai food in the US. One main reason is most of it is way too sweet for my tastes, even at Mom and Pop Thai owned restaurants after I ask them for authentic Thai style. The other main reason is the substitution of ingredients, especially chiles. Jalapenos, serranos, and bell peppers have no place in Thai cooking IMO.

All that said, Pad Thai does tend to be a bit on the sweet side even in Thailand. Not something I order anymore.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Tony10s View Post
Americans love sugary food
So catering to perceived American "taste"?
+1.

Everything in America tastes sweet to me.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post

Everything in America tastes sweet to me.
Me too. I find the food in most chain restaurants there to be inedibly sweet.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 9:25 pm
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Having just watched "The Search for General Tso" on Netflix, the short answer is that the American palette prefers a sweeter taste, and in response Asian restaurants add sugar to their food.
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Old Aug 1, 15, 10:20 pm
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Just a bit off topic, as an American of German descent who has spent 15 years in Germany, I am always amused by Americans who complain about German cakes and pastries tasting bland.

To me they have a delicate sweetness that is far better than the sugar bombs we have here in the US.
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