Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp, Chiles & Lime

This recipe is from Fine Cooking, which in my opinion, can give Cook's Illustrated a run for their money in having recipes that always work. I made this for Tom and me one evening when the girls were gone. The recipe says it serves two. I thought it could serve three or even four with additional dishes. Tom thought it was just right for two (so you can see he liked it!).

The only thing I changed was that I didn't have the chiles and they didn't seem to fit in my mind's palate, so I left them out.

3 ounces drive wide (pad thai) rice noodles

SAUCE:
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon chile-sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee brand)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
6 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (to yield 1 cup)
1 4-ounce can fire-roasted whole green chiles (such as Ortega brand), drained and sliced into long, very think slivers (to yield 1/2 cup)
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts

ACCOMPANIMENTS:
2 tablespoons crushed, unsalted, roasted peanuts
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
10 mint leaves, torn into small pieces.
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Soak dried rice noodles by submerging in a bowl of very warm water (I boil water and pour it over them) and soak until pliable but still rather firm, about 30 minutes. They will still have a fairly firm core but that is ok as they will cook more later in the recipe.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients.

Once noodles are drained, heat oil in a large (12-inch) skillet or stir-fry pan over high heat until very hot. Add the garlic, stir, and immediately add the shrimp. Stir-fry until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the sauce mixture. Stir to mix for about 20 seconds, then add the chile slivers and noodles. Stir-fry until the noodles are tender and the liquid is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. If the noodles are too firm, add 1 tablespoon of water and cook another minute.

Add the bean sprouts and stir-fry until they're slightly limp, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and garnish with the peanuts, cilantro and mint. Serve immediately, with lime wedges on the side.

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