If you were to ask a Thai person what is the national Thai dish? The answer is probably not pad Thai but Mackerel with Chili Sauce! This the dish that defines Thai food and Thai culture for Thai people.
Mackerel with Chili Sauce is one of the most common Thai dishes that Thai people eat in their homes and is, in stature, equivalent to meatloaf in the US. It is a simple peasant food that you rarely find in restaurants.
This dish has one very exotic ingredient: waterbugs. While I think the dish stands on its own without the waterbugs, my husband does not get too excited about the bugless version. He loves it with the waterbugs.