Thai-Style Noodles with Shrimp


If you like pad thai, you’ll love this.
TIME 30 to 40 minutes
MAKES 4 servings
Salt
12 ounces dried flat rice noodles, about ¼ inch wide
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ cup coconut milk (reduced fat is okay)
2 tablespoons soy sauce, or more to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
3 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups shredded Napa cabbage
½ pound medium shrimp, peeled
¼ cup chopped peanuts for garnish
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish


Method
1 Bring a stockpot of water to a boil and salt it. When the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and stir in the noodles. Soak until they are softened but not mushy; start checking after 5 minutes. Then drain the noodles, rinse them in cold water, and toss them with 1 tablespoon of the oil.

2 Whisk together the coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and red pepper if you’re using it in a small bowl.

3 Put the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When it’s hot, add the garlic and scallions and cook, stirring once or twice, until they’re fragrant and turning golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the eggs and cook without stirring for 30 seconds or so; when they begin to set, stir them and scrape the sides of the pan until they’re pale yellow and opaque.

4 Add the cabbage and cook, stirring, until it begins to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Then add the shrimp and stir until it turns a little pink, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the coconut milk mixture and the noodles and toss with tongs or spoons until the noodles are warmed through and coated with the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt or soy sauce as you like. Transfer the noodles to serving plates, top with the peanuts and cilantro, and serve.

Variations
  • Vary the Vegetables Instead of the cabbage, try mung bean sprouts, grated carrots, broccoli florets, or green beans—alone or in combination, up to 4 cups total.
  • Almost Pad Thai Use mung bean or soybean sprouts instead of the cabbage and cubes of tofu for some of the shrimp. Instead of making the sauce with coconut milk and soy sauce, try combining fish sauce (nam pla, which is available at most supermarkets or Asian groceries) and tamarind paste (a sour concentrate, available in Asian markets and some supermarkets). Start with 2 tablespoons tamarind and ¼ cup fish sauce; add the sugar, lime juice, and crushed red pepper, then taste and go from there.

Tips
  • Have all your ingredients prepared, measured, and within reach when you begin stir-frying—the cooking process will take only about 10 minutes, so you won’t have time to mess with anything once the skillet gets hot.
  • Coconut milk is widely available in both full- and reduced-fat types. Either is fine, but the dish will obviously be richer if you go for the former.

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