Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Thailand by way of France

  • One can never have enough prep bowls. Here Lou used 16 for his pad thai. FOR THE GAZETTE/LOU GROCCIA—

Published: 9/7/2019 1:00:18 AM
Modified: 9/7/2019 1:00:06 AM

Whenever I get the urge to make pad thai, I travel in my mind to France. Stay with me for this one.

One of the most well-known food dishes of Thailand is pad thai, a stir-fried noodle dish of the utmost sublimity. It is also one of those Asian dishes that requires quite a few ingredients.

As I soar over France in my mind, I zoom in on ”mise en place.”

Mise en place is a French term for having all your ingredients measured, cut, peeled, sliced, grated, etc. before you start cooking. Real chefs use this technique all the time. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me.

As you can see in the picture I took of my mise en place for the pad thai, there were 16 glass bowls of various sizes that I used to measure out all the ingredients.

I took the liberty of timing the creation of the mise en place and the timing of actually cooking the pad thai.

The mise en place took me 30 minutes to prepare. The cooking of the pad thai, 11 minutes.

So in under 45 minutes, I was able to deliver a quite tasty pad thai for a recent night’s dinner. That’s even faster than takeout if I do say so myself. Which I just did.

P.S. It also helps to have a dishwasher so all those bowls can get cleaned at once. It was either that or have my dog lick them. (I’m kidding!)


I have a recipe for “Easy Shrimp Pad Thai.” It is quite good and is relatively easy if you have the ingredients. And, as you say, if you have your ingredients all ready to go. If you don’t your pad thai will go down the tubes, faster than you can say mise en place!


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