We have 100 reasons to love spectacular, starchy pasta.
Photo: Levi Brown
Pad Thai is the chop suey of Thai takeout, the "safe" choice. But it's also a delicious version of a real Thai dish. Its flavors are complex—salty, slightly fishy-fermenty, a tad sweet. The main nutrition killer here is sodium (well over a full-day's worth in a single serving), found mostly in the fish sauce that's key to the flavor. But a small amount of this fragrant staple provides the right notes without overpowering the American palate. We keep the palate intrigued with an interesting interplay of textures: silky noodles, crisp bean sprouts, and crunchy nuts.