Photo Evan Sung NYT
If some of you only knew how easy Chinese and Thai dishes are to cook at home, you wouldn't think of ordering out. Yes, I know, Chinese is for take out or dining out, at least that's the way it used to be for me when I lived In NYC where there was a wonderful Chinese takeout named Pink Heaven. But not all of us live in a major city in close proximity to good Chinese or Thai food. If this is the case, I guarantee that whatever you cook at home is going to be ten times better than bad takeout, particularly if you use a good recipe. Get everything chopped and ready, that's the worst part, 'cause the cooking is fast!
Just this week, Mark Bittman of the New York Times published this recipe with an accompanying video which I am going to share with you to prove a point. After you make it, let me know what you think!
Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
4 ounces fettuccine-width rice stick noodles
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/4 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 cup chopped scallions
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 pound peeled shrimp, pressed tofu or a combination
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, quartered.
Directions1. Put noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit until noodles are just tender; check every 5 minutes or so to make sure they do not get too soft. Drain, drizzle with one tablespoon peanut oil to keep from sticking and set aside. Meanwhile, put tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.
2. Put remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add scallions and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp or tofu (or both).
3. When shrimp begin to turn pink and tofu begins to brown, add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges.