Sunday, January 29, 2006

Stir-Fried Noodley Goodness

Last night the Sommeliertrix and I went on a culinary adventure to SUPER H in Wheaton, Maryland. Super H is an Asian Supermarket. But it's much more than that. It's really an international supermarket. They have an amazing produce section, and just awesome products all around. We pretty much kept ourselves to produce and few other items. Our plan: get some items for dinner and move on back to my place where we'll join up with J-lo for some yum yum delights!

Before departing for our adventure I grabbed my most recent issue of Fine Cooking, as there was a recipe I thought would be fun for our adventure....and it WAS! So, here it is in the magazine, then with our notes at the end. WE LOVED IT! I think there were tears of joy at one point!!!!

Stir-Fried Noodles with Shrimp, Chiles & Lime
Serves 2 (we doubled)

3 oz dried wide (pad thai) rice noodles
2 TB fish sauce
2 TB granulated sugar
1 TB soy sauce
1 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp chile-garlic sauce
1 TB vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic
6 oz medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 4 oz can fire roasted whole green chiles, drained and sliced
1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
2 TB crushed unsalted roasted peanuts
1/3 cup coarsley chopped cilantro
10 mint leaves, torn into small bits
1 lime, cut into wedges for serving

Soak the dried rice noodles.
*submerge in a large bowl in warm water for 30 minutes until they're pliable but still rather firm, about 30 minutes. Take a bit, it's the only way to know how they will taste. Ours weren't right, so we drained them, then poured over boiling water from the teapot for a minute and they were perfect! Al dente.

While the noodles soak for the 30 minutes, prep your ingredients.

In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and chile-garlic sauce.

Once the noodles are done and drained, heat the oil in a large skillet or stir fry pain over high heat until very hot! Ad the garlic and stir--immediately add the shrimp. Stir-fry until the shrimp turn pink and firm, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fish sauce mixture. Stir to combine for 20 seconds, then add the chiles and the noodles. Stir-fry until the noodles are tender the liquid is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. If the noodles are too firm yet, add 1 TB of water and cook for another minute. Add the sprouts and stir-fry until they are slightly limp, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in the cilantro.

Transfer to a large bowl or serving platter. Garnish with peanuts, mint and lime wedges!

*Our noodles were not labelled exactly as the reciped called, so here is what we used: Bahn Pho Thuong Hang, Size M.
*Frankly, we wanted to save time, so we cheated on the shrimp. We got some pre-cleaned and (sheepishly) cooked shrimp. Not worth it. If you use shrimp, get fresh shrimp, clean them yourself and do all this yourself! BUT....we really didn't even want the shrimp...the noodles without the shrimp were AWESOME!!! So really, I'm going to file this under a veggie friendly recipes!
*I added about a tsp or TB of grated ginger, just because.
*We used 4-6 garlic cloves, just because.
*We think there are sooooooo many different options you could add to this dish....I don't think I could even list them all here....shredded carrots, peapods, broccoli (blech), 'shrooms (blech), and who knows what else???!?!!!!
*Oh, the chiles...we couldn't find the canned fire roasted green I grabbed green fresh chiles and just fire roasted them myself at home...but they were sweet and not hot...still great...but we think hot would have been better! If you use sweet instead of hot...add a tsp or so of red pepper flake to your fish sauce mixture!
*The mint is amazing...don't skip it....this is what caused the tears in J-lo's eyes while eating dinner! Same for the cilantro. It just brighten's the flavors!!!

Action Shot!
Serving up the noodles with the mint, limes and peanuts on the side!

Pay no mind to the SAME bowl as the last foodie picture I posted (they are my favorite bowls)...and pay no mind to the stray noodle next to the lime!
It was YUM YUM in my TUM TUM.

And for dessert, we had fresh, homemade mixed berry ice cream,
garnished with fresh mixed berries and amaretti cookies!
Sorry for the bite that was already taken out of the bottom of the photo-couldn't help myself!

BTW: I do not work for FINE COOKING. As I've said many many times before, it is my favorite cooking magazine and I strongly encourage anyone who wants to enjoy cooking more and learn more and explore more in the kitchen to get a subscription to this fine magazine! Try picking up an issue first!! Currently, it is the only magazine subscription I have...I've cancelled or not maintained any other! Period.


Dancer in DC said...

This dish was really divine, and I agree that if I were to have it again, I'd prefer it with no meat. The noodles are hearty enough, and the peanuts give you that crunch and protein you might be craving. Vegetarians - take note!

The mint leaves were really essential, so don't skimp on those. Also a tip I learned about mint from the lovely Nigella - dry mint makes a dish hot, fresh mint makes it cool.

I agree that a little fire to this dish would totally be called for.

And I think I mentioned this in a previous comment, but don't be wary of fish sauce. By itself it smells rather alarming (and sometimes does cooking, also), but it adds a rich depth of flavor to your dish when you get to the end. I bought a bottle recently, and will never be without it again - a must have for stir fry.

As for extra veggies in this dish, I think a little bok choy would be nice for added crunch. Julienned/shredded carrots would be great. I also wonder about some julienned gingerroot?

DC Food Blog said...

I agree with your deep depp love of Fine Cooking. It's the best out there. The pictures are great. The information is clear. And the instructions are easy to follow. I've been itching to try their noodle recipes because I' e had trouble making rice noodle at home. They've always been a touch too claggy. I'm glad it worked for you.

ScottE. said...

DC Food Blog: with regards to the noodles and the recipe, we soaked the noodles for 30 minutes in warm water, per the recipe, but they were still too firm, that's when I drained them and poured on boiling water from the teapot...perfect!! They were wonderful!!!

And J-lo is right...with no meat they were perfect...100% satisfying. And must use fresh mint and cilantro!

Em said...

Just have to say how much I enjoy the "Action Shot!" photo. And the berries dessert looks absolutely divine!

Demetrius said...

Is there anywhere in Washington,DC or close to Reston, VA where I can purchase the noodles? Thank you.

ScottE. said...

Demetrius: I'd start with your local safeway or Giant to see if there is something there. Rice noodles. I saw some at my Giant last night which is a good sign. Slightly different label, but still called Bahn Pho, Size M. If you can't get them there, I'm sure a Whole Foods would carry well as I know there are a few other Super H's in the area, and in VA!

ScottE. said...

I made this again last night and it is awesome! STILL. I followed some of the notes from last time. No shrimp, this was fully vegetarian. We double the recipe for four and it was just enough.

The chilis I used this time were poblanos that I roasted over the gas flame on my stove. YUM.

The one other addition this go 'round was the addition of shredded carrots. For this double recipe I used two larger carrots, peeled and shredded on the large hole side of the box grater. I add the carrots with the bean sprouts. As they are shredded that was just the right amount of time to cook them. They kept a great crunch and added a wonderful sweetness.

The fresh mint and cilantro ARE VITAL for this recipe. I wouldn't make it if I didn't have either. Serious!

A note on preparing the dish. Make sure you have everything prepared in advance and ready. Once you start, the heat on the skillet, you have have five minutes until you sit down to eat. Make sure the noodles are ready to go, your herbs are chopped, your sauce complete and ready to go.

Speaking of..since I didn't use the shrimp, I pour in a little oil, over high heat added the garlic and the minute it started to release it's aroma from the heat, I poured in the sauce and stirred it all together until it was at a full boil, toss in the noodles to coat and have them absorb the goodness. Add the peppers. Add the sprouts and carrots, cook for a minute or so, again tossing to incorporate. Sprinkle in cilantro, toss and plate. Garnish with mint, peanuts and lime wedges. OH MY GOD!

A clarification on my original notes. I said that I added ginger "just because." Still recommend that, but should tell you wear. I put the grated ginger in the sauce.

Once you have all the sauce ingredients in your pantry, this dish costs about $6-8 to make, that's for the peppers, sprouts, herbs, noodles. A really great way to feed friends when you are going for affordability.