paad thai pailin

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Servs: 2

(Stir-Fried Rice Noodles)

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  • add   1 cup fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • add   2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce* (preferably <I>naam pla</I>), or to taste
  • add   a 1/4-pound piece firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry, and hard edges trimmed
  • add   1/4 cup dried small shrimp*
  • add   1 lime, cut into wedges
  • add   1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • add   1/2 pound dried flat rice noodles* (<I>sen lek</I> or <I>kway tio</I>, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide)
  • add   1 tablespoon chopped roasted peanuts
  • add   1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • add   1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • add   1/4 cup vegetable oil plus about 2 1/2 cups for frying tofu
  • add   1/4 cup cornstarch for dredging
  • add   2 large eggs, beaten lightly
  • add   <B>Accompaniments</B>
  • add   (<I>hau pak kad khem</I>, usually sold in plastic packages)
  • add   *available at some Asian markets, and specialty foods shops
  • add   1 teaspoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • add   4 garlic cloves, minced
  • add   1 cup fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • add   1 tablespoon tamarind* (from a pliable block)
  • add   1 tablespoon chopped pickled salted radish*

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl cover rice noodles with cold water and soak 30 minutes, or until softened. Drain noodles.
  2. While noodles are soaking, wrap tofu in paper towels and put a heavy weight, such as a skillet, on top. Let tofu stand 30 minutes to press out any excess liquid.
  3. In a small bowl combine tamarind and 1/4 cup hot water and let stand, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. Strain tamarind mixture through a fine sieve into another bowl, pressing hard on solids and scraping bottom of sieve, and discard solids. Stir in brown sugar until dissolved.
  4. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch dice. Put cornstarch and half of egg in separate bowls. In a heavy saucepan at least 4 inches deep heat 2 1/2 cups oil (about 1 inch) over moderately high heat to 360°F. on a deep-fat thermometer. Dredge a small batch of tofu in cornstarch, shaking off excess, and dip in egg, letting excess drip off. Carefully drop coated tofu, 1 piece at a time, into hot oil and fry until golden. Transfer tofu with a slotted spoon as fried to paper towels to drain. Coat and fry remaining tofu in the same manner.
  5. In a 12-inch heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking and stir-fry garlic until fragrant, about a few seconds. Add shrimp, radish, and fried tofu and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add remaining egg and stir-fry until egg sets. Add noodles, tamarind mixture, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and fish sauce, tossing. Cook mixture, stirring, until noodles are al dente and most of cooking liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add bean sprouts, chives, and red pepper flakes, tossing to combine well.
  6. Mound noodles on a serving plate and sprinkle with peanuts and chives. Arrange bean sprouts and lime wedges around noodles.

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