My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life is Ruth Reichl’s memoir about the year after her beloved Gourmet magazine abruptly ceased publication. Set mostly in her country house, Reichl mourns her loss, ponders her future — and cooks. In the book, Reichl makes these Americanized Thai noodles during the winter, but they are delicious at any time of year.
Avoiding Additives and Preservatives
Look for a brand of fish sauce without MSG and shrimp without preservatives added. I used Tabasco sauce instead of sriracha.
Cook shrimp until they change colour
Stir fry scallions with ground pork
Add soaked rice noodles
Add sauce and combine
Thai American Noodles
½ pound (250 g) very thin rice noodles, preferably Thai rice sticks
¼ cup (60 ml) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) fish sauce
¼ cup (60 ml) white vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) peanut oil
½ pound (250 g) medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ pound (250 g) ground pork
4 scallions, white and tender green parts, sliced into ½ -inch (1.27 cm) lengths
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 limes (juice only)
½ cup (125 ml) salted peanuts, finely chopped
1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for garnish
Sriracha Chili sauce
In a large bowl, soak the noodles in hot water to cover for about 20 minutes or until soft, then drain and set aside.
Combine the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar. Set aside.
In a wok, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is very hot. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, just until they change color, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
Add the garlic to the wok, and as soon as it starts to color and get fragrant, about 30 seconds, add the pork and half of the scallions. Cook just until the pork loses its redness, 2 to 3 minutes, then add drained noodles and mix quickly. Add the fish sauce mixture, reduce the heat to medium and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed all the liquid.
Clear an area of the wok and crack 1 egg into it, breaking the yolk. Tilt the wok to get as thin a sheet of egg as possible and scramble just until set, about 1 minute. Then mix the egg into the noodles. Repeat with the remaining egg. Add the shrimp, remaining scallions and red pepper flakes and mix thoroughly. Add the lime juice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Transfer the noodles to a platter and top with a sprinkling of peanuts. Serve with lime wedges, the remaining peanuts and lots of Sriracha. Serves 3.
From My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes that Saved My Life by Ruth Reichl