I was getting bored with my cooking, so I decided to bust open a cook book and just see how it went. I had never heard of the book “How to Cook Everything” until I got a box set of it and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for Hannukah. I have done a couple of other things from this book, and it has never lead me wrong. This recipe can be made with either/or chicken, pork, or tofu. Certainly use the shrimp.
I wanted to do something Asian, so I turned to the Asian noodles section. Ben and I love rice noodles, and this recipe looked interesting. It is a recipe based on a traditional dish from Singapore. He said that this is a bit more extravagant than what you would get there, but it’s still delicious.
Rice noodles are traditionally made from rice flour and water only, but now some makers add in corn starch and tapioca to make the texture a bit different. Rice noodles were first noted in a cookbook during the Song Dynasty in China (960-1279 AD), so they have been around for a very long time. They are still extensively used in Chinese cooking.
Fish sauce is derived from fermented fish. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and all southeast Asian cooking. It is very salty and has a definite umami flavor. Kind of sour, kind of bitter, hard to describe. But it is great for Asian cooking and sauces. It adds salt to your dish plus even more flavor.
- 12 oz thin rice noodles (I used thick b/c that is what I had)
- 1/4 c veggie or peanut oil
- 1 chicken breast, or 2 small boneless porkchops, diced
- 1/2 lb raw shrimp
- 4 oz tofu (optional, I just had some left over, but it was great)
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, chopped small
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 or 2 small hot red dried chilis, chopped, or up to 1 tsp hot pepper flakes. I used 3/4 tsp dry hot pepper flakes, and it was perfect.
- 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (I only had 1 Tbsp left, so I used 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce too)
- 2.5 Tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce) or more soy sauce (I recommend using the fish sauce, it’s inexpensive and you will use it frequently enough.)
- 2 eggs (optional)
- 2 tsp lime juice
- Veggies as you like (broccoli, snow peas, etc, we didn’t have any)
- Water as needed (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 c torn fresh basil leaves
- Salt if necessary
- Chopped peanuts
- Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Prepare the other ingredients while the noodles sit.
- Put half of the oil in a large skillet. When it’s hot, put in meat (chicken/pork) and cook, stirring frequently. It will loose its color in 3-4 minutes. I seasoned it with a bit of onion and garlic powder. Make sure that your meat is diced into small pieces (1 cm squareish). This is not about big meat pieces. Take the meat out with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl. There should be oil left.
- Do the same thing to the shrimp.
- Do the same thing to the tofu. But don’t dice the tofu, make it into decent size pieces.
- Add the remaining oil, wait for it to get hot, and put in the onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger, and chilis and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
- Drain and add the noodles, plus a bit of water. Add any veggies if you are going to put them in (make sure you have steamed them first). The water allows it to stay nice and soft and flexible and stops it from getting too dry. Add the curry and sugar and mix together. Stir in the soy sauce and nam pla. Stir well and return the meat to the pan. Stir to coat. Let cook for several minutes until the noodles start to turn brown.
- (Optional) Egg: do this as you would for a stir fry. Put 2 eggs in a separate small bowl. Beat with a fork or whisk until “scrambled”. Push aside the noodles on one side of the pan. I give myself about a 1/4ish of the pan. Put in the eggs and scramble. Once cooked, mix in with the noodles.
- Put in the lime juice and mix. Put on plate and top with chopped peanuts and basil.