These noodles from the July/August 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated are absolutely delicious. Stir curry powder and cayenne pepper in oil to “bloom” the flavours and then toss with softened rice vermicelli noodles, soy sauce and sugar. Cook shrimp, egg, and vegetables and place in a separate bowl. Add the noodles to some stock to finish cooking them and then toss them in with the shrimp, egg and vegetables. Add bean sprouts, lime juice and scallions and serve. Cutting the softened noodles into thirds makes them easier to eat.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Curry powder may contain colour, so I make my own; the recipe is below. Check the cayenne to make sure it does not contain colour or anti-caking agents. Use tamari instead of soy sauce and frozen shrimp that use only salt as a preservative. I use Imagine brand chicken stock, which is free of preservatives. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice.
Warm the spices in oil to bloom their flavours
Cut the softened noodles in thirds to make them easier to eat
Toss the noodles with the curry-oil mixture
Cook the egg and shrimp
4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons curry powder (see recipe below)
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
6 ounces rice vermicelli
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
12 ounces large shrimp (26 to 30 per pound), peeled, deveined, tails removed, and cut into ½ -inch pieces
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 garlic cloves, minced to paste
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 2-inch-long matchsticks
2 large shallots, sliced thin
2/3 cup chicken broth
4 ounces (2 cups) bean sprouts
4 scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 teaspoons lime juice, plus lime wedges for serving
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp crushed or ground fenugreek seed
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp crushed dried dill
¼ tsp ground mace
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp dried mustard
1/8 tsp ground turmeric
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Mix ingredients together.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil, curry powder, and cayenne, if using, in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 4 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
Bring 1 ½ quarts water to boil. Place noodles in large bowl. Pour boiling water over noodles and stir briefly. Soak noodles until flexible, but not soft, about 2 ½ minutes, stirring once halfway through soaking. Drain noodles briefly. Transfer noodles to cutting board. Using chef’s knife, cut pile of noodles roughly into thirds. Return noodles to bowl, add curry mixture, soy sauce, and sugar; using tongs, toss until well combined. Set aside.
Wipe out skillet with paper towels. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add shrimp in even layer and cook without moving them until bottoms are browned, about 90 seconds. Stir and continue to cook until just cooked through, about 90 seconds longer. Push shrimp to 1 side of skillet. Add 1 teaspoon oil to cleared side of skillet. Add eggs to clearing and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. Using rubber spatula, stir eggs gently until set but still wet, about 1 minute. Stir eggs into shrimp and continue to cook, breaking up large pieces of egg, until eggs are fully cooked, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer shrimp-egg mixture to second large bowl.
Reduce heat to medium. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in now-empty skillet until shimmering. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add bell pepper and shallots. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to bowl with shrimp.
Return skillet to medium-high heat, add broth to skillet, and bring to simmer. Add noodles and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add noodles to bowl with shrimp and vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Add bean sprouts, scallions, and lime juice and toss to combine. Transfer to warmed platter and serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately. Serves 4 to 6.
From the July/August 2014 issue of Cook’s Illustrated