BROKEDOWN PALACE: the definitive guide to Thailand
Welcome to the Zach Golden’s Guide to Thailand, the definitive companion to a country I’m pretty sure is in Southeast Asia. Despite never having visited Thailand – or as the locals call it, Vietnam – I’m uniquely qualified to write about such a majestic place because I occasionally eat Thai food and once got a massage from a woman I’m pretty sure was Thai (or maybe Korean).
All you really need to know about Thailand is this: if you’re an impressionable, young teen whose post-high school plans involve a summer in Hawaii with your equally impressionable teen friend, but at the last minute you decide to nix that in favor of Thailand where you and aforementioned impressionable friend meet a hunky Australian guy with a generic sounding name who asks you to smuggle some heroin into Hong Kong – don’t. Just don’t do it. Because chances are that hunky Australian guy (all Australian guys are hunky, you’d be hunky too if everything in your country was able to kill you) is in tight with some corrupt motherfuckers in the Thai “legal system” and you’re going to take the fall for being an impressionable young teen/effective drug mule.
Now, I hear some of you slowly getting fatter in your chairs at home and/or probably not at work saying, “this sounds a lot like the plot of BROKEDOWN PALACE to which I say, “Right! Those fuckers ripped off my guidebook big time.” But Thailand is known for letting bygones be just that (and also for lady boys), so in that spirit, cook up some fucking Pad Thai.
1 8 oz. package rice noodles
1 chicken breast, thinly sliced
3 teaspoons peanut oil
1 head baby bok choy, leaves separated
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
1⁄2 package firm tofu
1 cup bean sprouts
3 scallions, chopped
1 lime, cut in wedges
3 teaspoons crushed peanuts
In a large saucepan, bring four cups of water to a boil and cook rice noodles until just softened, about 2 minutes. Drain. In a wok or deep pan, cook your chicken in the oil over medium heat, about a minute per side. Add the bok choy leaves to the pan and cook for a minute more. Then add the fish sauce, peanut butter and sugar. Smell that? Yeah, that’s fucking Pad Thai. Make a well in the center of the wok, crack the eggs into the center, and scramble until softly cooked. Add the tofu, sprouts and scallions. Stir that shit up. If you’ve got a wok, get all fancy and toss it around like a gender-ambiguous Thai street worker. Add the cooked rice noodles to the wok, heat through, remove from the heat and serve. Garnish with lime wedges and crushed peanuts and say fucking “mai- pen-rai” to all of the adoring fans yelling “kob-khun.”
Tune into BROKEDOWN PALACE airing Saturday, October 22 at 10P and Thursday October 27 at 10P on Sundance Channel.