Paht thai (15)

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
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Paht Thai is a noodle dish almost everyone seems to like. A tangle of slender rice noodles is sauteed with garlic, shallots, and an orchestra of sweet, sour, and salty ingredients that play a piquant symphony of Thai flavors. A handful of fresh bean sprouts provides a cooling contrast to the hot, seasoned noodles, and circles of lime invite you to bring sourness to center stage as you begin to eat.

Traditional ingredients are salty dried shrimp; crispy pieces of fried, pressed bean curd; sweet-sour nuggets of pickled white radish; chopped peanuts; flat, green garlic chives; and a balanced chorus -- sweet, sour, salty, hot -- of palm sugar, tamarind, vinegar, lime, brown bean sauce, and crushed dried red chilies.

Thai cooks blithely tinker with the classic formula to create signature versions, and you can, too. Siriluk Williams, owner of Sukothai Restaurant in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, gave me her recipe for home-style paht Thai. I love its accessible ingredients, simple steps, and delicious results.


¼ lb dried rice stick noodles 2 tblsp vegetable oil 1 tblsp coarsely chopped garlic 8 shrimps, peeled and deveined 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 tblsp fish sauce 2 tsp sugar 2 tblsp coarsely chopped, dry-roasted peanuts 1 cup bean sprouts 4 slender green onions, sliced in 1 inch lengths 1 lime, quartered lengthwise Soak rice noodles in warm water to cover for 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare all the remaining ingredients and place them next to the stove, along with a small serving platter. When the noodles are very limp and white, drain and measure out 2½ cups. Set these by the stove as well.

Heat a wok or large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the surface. When the oil is very hot, drop a piece of the garlic into the pan. If it sizzles immediately, the oil is ready. Add the garlic and toss until golden, about 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and toss until they turn pink and are opaque, no more than 1 minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the egg to the pan and tilt the pan to spread it into a thin sheet. As soon as it begins to set and is opaque, scramble it to break it into small lumps. Remove from the pan and set aside with the shrimp.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, heat for 30 seconds, and add the softened noodles. Using a spatula, spread and pull the noodles into a thin layer covering the surface of the pan. Then scrape them into a clump again and gently turn them over. Hook loops of noodles with the edge of the spatula and pull them up the sides, spreading them out into a layer again. Repeat this process several times as the stiff, white noodles soften and curl into ivory ringlets. Add the fish sauce and turn the noodles so they are evenly seasoned. Add the sugar and peanuts, turning the noodles a few more times.

Reserving a small handful for garnish, add the bean sprouts, along with the green onions and shrimp-egg mixture. Cook for 1 minute, turning often. Transfer the noodles to the serving platter and squeeze the juice of 2 lime wedges over the top. Garnish with remaining bean sprouts and lime wedges and serve at once.

Serves 1 as a main course, 2 as an appetizer.

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From: twain@... (Barbara Hlavin) Converted by MMCONV vers. 1⅖

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