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这是最美味的泰式炒河粉吗?

更新时间:2018-3-21 20:41:59 来源:华尔街日报中文网 作者:佚名

Is this Thailand's best pad Thai?
这是最美味的泰式炒河粉吗?

It was 16:00 on Maha Chai Road in Bangkok’s Old City. And although Thipsamai Pad Thai didn’t open for another hour, the queue for it was already snaking down the street. Sixty minutes in the stifling heat of Thailand’s capital, it seems, is a small price to pay for the chance to taste an original version of Thailand’s most famous dish: a sweet and spicy egg-wrapped combination of noodles, prawns and prawn-oil sauce.

下午4点,在曼谷老城区的玛哈猜路(Maha Chai Road),有一家叫提沙麦泰式炒河粉(Thipsamai Pad Thai)的餐馆,尽管离开门还有一个小时,顾客已经在门外排起了长队。对这些人来说,在酷热的天气下排队60分钟似乎完全可以忍受,就是为了尝一尝这家餐馆最出名的正宗泰式炒河粉:一种甜甜辣辣,有大虾和虾油调料烹制的鸡蛋炒河粉。

Narrowly avoiding being hit by a tuk tuk full of tourists as I stepped out of my taxi, I guiltily negotiated my way to the front of the line to see if the owner, Sikarachat Baisamut, had arrived. In hindsight, given the almost military levels of precision with which he runs his restaurant, I shouldn’t have been surprised that he was right on time and ready to launch straight into his tale.

我从出租车上下来,差点儿被载满游客的电动三轮车撞上,我跟排队的人不停道歉,终于挤到餐馆门口,我想知道老板Sikarachat Baisamut是否已经到了。其实我不应该着急,因为我听说他经营自己的餐馆犹如指挥军队一样精确。果然,他已经准时到来。

It all started during World War II, he began, as we took our seats inside. Due to the high cost of rice production, Prime Minister Phibunsongkhram decided to encourage the Thai people to eat noodles and other local ingredients by creating not only a national dish, kway teow pad Thai (Thai-style stir-fried rice noodles) but even the noodles that went into it (sen Chan, named after Thailand’s Chanthaburi province). The dish’s exact contents depended on regional availability of ingredients, but generally included some combination of radish, beansprouts, peanuts, dried shrimp and egg, seasoned with palm sugar and chillies.

在餐馆里,老板告诉我,一切都始于二战时期。当时由于生产稻米成本昂贵,总理銮披汶·颂堪(Plaek Phibunsongkhram)鼓励泰国人多吃米粉,于是这种著名的泰式炒河粉(Pad Thai)就诞生了。虽然这种炒河粉的食材根据不同地区而有区别,但大都有小萝卜、豆芽、花生米、虾米和鸡蛋,调料有糖和辣椒。

Over time, the dish’s name was shortened to ‘pad Thai’, and Baisamut’s grandmother started selling her version of it from a boat on Phasi Charoen Canal in Samut Sakhon Province, just west of Bangkok, with help from her daughter – Baisamut’s mother – Samai.

老板Baisamut的外祖母在外省河道上的小船上开始烹调和售卖自制的泰式炒河粉,后来她的生意发展到曼谷,和她的女儿Samai也就是Baisamut的母亲一起经营他们的小餐馆。

The recipe was passed down from mother to daughter, and when Samai later moved to Bangkok, she opened one of the capital’s first pad Thai stalls with one small charcoal stove and a handful of old tables, which, according to Samai, was declared by Phibunsongkhram himself to sell the authentic version of his beloved national dish. Sales soared, the stall became a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, and today under Baisamut’s leadership (he took over in 2012), Thipsamai Pad Thai is unrecognisable from the simple road-side operation of the 1950s – apart from one very important element.

她的传统泰式炒河粉的菜谱也传了下来。他们的餐馆是曼谷第一家经营泰式炒河粉的小摊,当时只有一个火炉和几张旧桌子。据Samai说,总理颂堪极力推荐这种正宗炒河粉,小餐馆的生意蒸蒸日上,小摊位也变成了今天的正经餐馆。Baisamut在2012年成为餐馆的新老板, 提沙麦泰式炒河粉早已与上世纪50年代的路边小食摊不可同日而语了,不过只有一个因素没有改变。

“Our mission is to preserve the original pad Thai recipe that my mother and grandmother cooked, using only the highest quality ingredients and the original cooking technique,” Baisamut told me, pressing a paper cup of iced coconut – a cool complement to the pad Thai’s tang, I was later to discover – into my hand.

"我们的使命是传承老一辈传下来的正宗泰式炒河粉的味道,食材只采用精品,按照古法烹调。" Baisamut一边说,一边递给我一杯冰椰汁。

Nowadays, pad Thais tend to be a stir-fried mixture of rice noodles, prawns, tofu, garlic and egg, flavoured with fish sauce, chillies and palm sugar and served with lime, coriander, beansprouts and peanuts. Thipsamai’s original or ‘superb’ version as it’s called on the menu, though, has three special, signature ingredients: sen Chan noodles, the longer, softer and more tender the better; the family’s secret prawn-oil recipe, made from fat from the heads of river and deep-sea prawns combined with Thai spices and organic herbs; and an egg-wrap so thin that customers get a sneak peek of the unique concoction inside.

如今,泰式炒河粉大多是煸炒的河粉、虾、豆腐、蒜和鸡蛋,加上鱼露、辣椒汁、棕榈糖,最后以青柠檬、豆芽和花生碎点缀。不过,这家的经典炒河粉有三种口味,它们的特色食材是一种长而绵软的“sen Chan”米粉,而家族的秘制虾油做法极为复杂,有河虾和深海虾的虾头,还有各种泰国香料以及有机香草,鸡蛋卷皮极薄,食客可以看到里面包裹的食材。

Nothing is allowed into the dish until Baisamut has verified its quality, a process that usually involves several visits to the supplier, as well as switching suppliers on a seasonal basis. It was the prawns – pink, plump and juicy – that caught my eye; they’re delivered fresh daily from fishing ports in a range of coastal provinces, I was assured.

为了保证食材的新鲜和安全,所有的食材都必须经过老板的挑选和批准,有时他一天要跑市场好几趟,还要根据不同季节使用不同的供应商。那些粉红、丰满而新鲜的大虾首先吸引了我的眼球,我被告知,这些虾都是不久前刚刚从海里捕捞上来的。

Leading me out to the kitchen, which remains on the roadside, a nod to Thipsamai’s street-food roots, Baisamut informed me that the family’s original pad Thai must be cooked on a searing hot charcoal stove, fired with wood from mangrove trees sourced from a distant province that can’t be harvested until they’re at least 12 years old. The size of the wood chunks is equally important (they must be of arm’s length) – and the fact that the high-quality iron woks need to be replaced every two weeks due to the intense heat of the charcoal-fired flames is a necessary sacrifice to preserve his grandmother’s original cooking technique.

餐馆的厨房仍然在路边,也许是为了保存路边摊食品的传统, Baisamut对我说,他们家传的泰式炒河粉必须在火热的红树木柴烧的炉子上烹制,这些红树木柴来自外省,只有12年树龄以上的木材才能用。由于旺火,炒饭的铁锅两个星期就得更换,这些都是为了传承当年外祖母使用的烹调方法。

Baisamut has also maintained the rigorous training regime he remembers from his childhood.

Baisamut仍然保留着少年学徒时的严格要求。

“When I was a little boy, my mother asked me if I wanted to be the owner of the restaurant one day, and I said ‘yes, of course!’. She told me that I needed to know how to do everything from scratch. First I had to clean the toilets, then I could step up to be a waiter and eventually I was allowed to cook pad Thai with our original prawn-oil recipe.”

"我小时候,母亲问我长大后是否愿意继承这份家业来经营餐馆,我说,当然啦。她说,那你就应该一切从头学起。我首先学的是如何清洁厕所,然后当跑堂,最后才开始学习用我们自己的虾油烹制家传泰式炒河粉。"

Thipsamai’s five-strong team of chefs have been spared loo-cleaning duties, but they did have to undertake a seven-step training programme before they were let loose on the restaurant’s signature dish.

现在这家餐馆有5位大厨,他们不必打扫厕所了,但是仍然需要做7个基础步骤后才能开始烹调餐馆著名的泰式炒河粉菜肴。

Step one – cleaning and waiting tables – is followed by preparing the noodles, both getting used to the heat in front of the charcoal stove and understanding the correct noodle texture. The third phase consists of transferring the pad Thai from the pan to the plate, before it’s time to learn about all the other ingredients that go into the dish – from bean sprouts to chives to tofu – and how to prepare them.

第一步是清洁和整理餐桌,然后开始准备河粉,这两个步骤使得他们习惯柴炉的热度并了解河粉质地。第三步包括将炒河粉完美地从锅里盛到餐盘里,然后准备其他食材——豆芽、韭菜和豆腐等,并练习如何备菜。

Step five – the egg-wrapping – is the trickiest. Chefs must practise for more than three months to reach the point where they can wrap four pad Thais with one layer of egg in the space of 30 seconds. Only after that do they progress to cooking the basic version of pad Thai, which Thipsamai also serves, and finally the ‘superb’ prawn oil recipe that goes inside the egg wrap.

第五步最难搞——鸡蛋卷。厨师必须至少练习三个月以上才能做到在30秒钟内做出4份用鸡蛋薄皮卷包裹的炒河粉。这时,他们才能开始学习最基础的泰式炒河粉,最后他们才能学做经典的虾油泰式炒河粉。

Bravely, Baisamut asked me if I’d like to have a go on the egg-wrapping station. I agreed; at the very least it would provide a bit of entertainment for the queue, which by this time was moving quickly, a testament to the speed of the pad Thai production line. I’m pretty sure though that the sloppy globules of scrambled egg I managed to produce would have had me immediately kicked off the course. I certainly couldn’t imagine being able to keep up with the eight-a-minute pace of that evening’s veteran egg-wrapper, who was creating perfect transparent parcels of pad Thai with just a few expert flicks of the spatula.

Baisamut问我是否愿意尝试一下鸡蛋卷技术,我同意了。我想至少我的参与将为那些排队等候的人提供一点娱乐。我知道我绝对不可能像那些厨师一样在一分钟内卷出8个炒河粉。

Watching the bright orange, prawn oil-flavoured noodles being flung into the wok, flames licking at its sides, before swiftly being transferred, now egg-wrapped, to a spotlessly clean plate and whisked off to the next hungry customer was both a feast for the senses and a lesson in how to efficiently run a restaurant.

观看橘黄色带虾油味的河粉被扔进锅里,热腾腾的火苗舔着锅边,然后迅速被蛋卷裹上并盛到盘子里,送到下一位食客的桌上,这一系列动作令人眼花缭乱,并深切感觉到餐馆经营的高效率。

The Michelin inspectors clearly agree. When the guide launched in Thailand in late 2017, Thipsamai Pad Thai might not have earned a star like Raan Jay Fai a few shophouses down the road, which is known for its crab omelette and drunken noodles, but it was awarded a Bib Gourmand for offering exceptionally good food at a moderate price. When my pad Thai was placed in front of me, I understood why.

2017年当米其林餐馆指南在泰国发起时,这家提沙麦泰式炒河粉餐馆并未入选,但获得物美价廉餐馆的 Bib Gourmand 奖励。当我终于开始享用我的泰式炒河粉,我完全理解了这一奖励的意义。

After spearing one of the two enormous deep-sea prawns that accompanied the dish, my fork slid smoothly through the impossibly thin egg wrap, before picking up – in one go – a mouthful of tofu, chives, dried shrimp, beansprouts, coriander and those signature long, soft, tender prawn-oil flavoured noodles. Having been instructed not to add any of the condiments that typically flavour pad Thai (except a squeeze of lime, which I insisted on), I was able to appreciate the rich flavour of the prawn oil; part sweet, part spicy, part sour. Combined with the smooth tofu, the juicy prawns and the crunchy beansprouts, and washed down with what remained of my refreshing iced coconut, this truly was pad Thai at its best.

我的这份炒河粉有两粒大大的深海虾,纤薄的蛋卷皮里裹着豆腐、韭菜、虾米、豆芽、香菜和那美味软糯而纤长的河粉。听从他们的建议,不添加通常炒河粉的调味料,我更加品尝出河粉的浓郁虾油香味,酸甜而微辣,加上润滑的豆腐,多汁的鲜虾和爽脆的豆芽,伴着冰凉的椰子水,这的的确确是最美味的泰式炒河粉!

And although Baisamut had two PhDs under his belt before taking the reins of the family restaurant, it’s invoking that delight in his customers, rather than the business side of things, that gets him out of bed every morning.

在掌管家庭餐馆之前 Baisamut 已经拥有两个博士学位,他说,每天来到餐馆更多是为了顾客的笑容,而不是纯粹为了商业利益。

“My mother built up and established this restaurant for her whole life, and before she passed away she asked me to take care of it and continue the business instead of her,” he told me, his eyes gleaming. “It’s not about the money – it’s our duty as Thai people to preserve the original pad Thai and share it with the world.”

"我母亲投入毕生精力经营这家餐馆,她临终前希望我把她的事业继承下去。 这跟挣钱无关,传承并与世界人民分享最正宗的泰式炒河粉是我们泰国人的责任。"

Dusk had fallen by the time I’d cleared my plate and reluctantly headed back out to the street to hail a taxi home. The coloured lights of the Thipsamai sign flashed and the queue continued to move. There were several hours of pad Thai making still to come that night.

当我离开餐馆时,夜幕已经降临。 提沙麦泰式炒河粉餐馆的霓虹灯闪闪烁烁,外面排队的人仍然耐心等候着。夜未央,餐馆要一直开门营业到深夜……

本文版权归道琼斯公司所有,未经许可不得翻译或转载。

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