Crispy deep-fried rice noodles coated with a sweet-and-sour sauce. An easy, tasty Thai dish with interesting textures and flavors. Add pork, chicken, shrimp, or fried tofu, or a combination -- your choice.
- 6 ounces dried rice vermicelli
- 1 1⁄2 inches tamarind pulp
- 3 cups peanut oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with a
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chile, sliced
- 4 ounces boneless pork or 4 ounces chicken, finely chopped (optional)
- 4 ounces shrimp, peeled,deveined and finely chopped (optional)
- 4 tablespoons tamarind juice (see steps 2 and 3)
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 4 tablespoons palm sugar or 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons lime zest (preferably kaffir)
- 2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1 cup bean sprouts, rinsed
- 1⁄2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 fresh red chile, sliced
- 1⁄2-1 cup firm tofu, diced (optional)
- Gather all ingredients together before commencing to cook.
- Cover tamarind pulp with 2/3 cup hot water, and crush and break up pulp with a fork.
- Let stand for 20 minutes, then pour mixture through a strainer and press to extract the liquid.
- Reserve 4 tablespoons of tamarind liquid for the sauce.
- Place rice vermicelli inside a large paper or plastic bag, and break into pieces.
- Heat peanut oil until very hot (between 375 deg F and 400 deg F).
- Fry noodles in small batches until they puff up and turn light to golden brown each batch will only take a few seconds (allow oil to get hot again between batches).
- Remove at once with a slotted spoon, or wire strainer, and drain immediately on paper towels.
- Next, deep fry the diced tofu until golden brown, drain and keep warm in a low oven.
- Lastly, drizzle the egg into the oil in a circular fashion, and cook for around 30 seconds until golden brown and crisp on both sides.
- Remove egg from oil, break or slice into pieces, and keep warm in a low oven with the tofu.
- Combine the sauce ingredients, including the reserved tamarind liquid, in a saucepan, and bring to boil, stirring constantly.
- Allow to simmer a few minutes until the liquid reduces in volume by about one third and starts to turn syrupy, then remove from heat and set aside.
- Pour oil from wok, reserving one tablespoon, and stir-fry the garlic, green onion, and one of the chilies until they start to color, about one minute.
- Add the meat and/or shrimp and stir-fry until just cooked, about one minute.
- Add the prepared sauce to the wok and toss all ingredients together until steaming hot.
- Mound the crisp fried noodles on a serving platter and spoon the sauce over.
- Scatter with bean sprouts, cilantro, the remaining sliced chilli, the deep-fried tofu, and the chopped egg.
- Serve immediately, as the noodles will soften after about 10 minutes.
totally agree with rangapeach. Great recipe, but I forgot to follow my usual mis en place routine for Asian cooking. As a result, I was chopping and prepping while I was cooking. Not the end of the world, but a little annoying. Dinner still tasted great. Hubby says it was delicious, but he doesn't typically like seafood or fish sauce. Next time, I might try reducing the fish sauce and adding some lite soy sauce -- the shrimp stay! So much fun to cook the rice noodles this way! Served with a Thai cucumber salad. Very nice. As rangapeach said, read and reread the directions, but most of all do ALL your prep before you begin to heat your oil.
This is really delicious with wonderful contrasts of flavours and textures. The prep, however, is something else...Think of it as performance art requiring skill and dexterity. Mis en place. Make sure you read the recipe through several times and do everything ahead that requires doing ahead. Also make sure your diners are seated and ready. Preferably in the kitchen where they can witness your performance and eat the results immediately so they can have the full effect of crispy noodles, garnish and veggies. Perhaps serve a lemony shrimp soup first and fruit dessert or green tea ice cream to follow. I love this festive food!