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Pad Thai

1/2 pound dried rice noodles 1/8 inch wide
1/2 pound shrimp, chicken, pork or combination
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
4 green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil (more if needed for step six)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 eggs
3/4 pound bean sprouts
ground roasted chiles (see note at bottom)
ground unsalted roasted peanuts
Lime wedges

Soak noodles for 20-25 minutes in enough warm water to cover them.
They should be flexible and soft, but not so soft that they can be
mashed easily with the fingers. Later cooking in liquid will soften
them more. Drain them throughly in a colander while preparing the
other ingredients. Traditionally they are left in full-length
strands, but you may cut them into 8 inch lengths if you find it
easier to stir-fry then that way.

Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails intact(or remove if
preferred) Slice chicken, pork into 1/8 inch strips 1-2 inches

Mix the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and paprika in a bowl and stir
until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Slice green onions both the
green and white parts, diagonally into 1-1/2 inch long pieces. Set

Heat a wok, add the oil and swirl over the surface. Add the garlic
and stir fry until light golden. Add the meat and stir-fry until
shrimp is pink. If using chicken or pork stir-fry until pink
disappears. Add the noodles and toss lightly to coat with oil and
the distribute meat and garlic( I often do this in a larger pot
since things tend to come out of the wok).

Add the liquid from step 3 and bring it to a boil rapidly, gently
folding the noodles without breaking them. Reduce heat to medium
and boil the mixture, folding frequently until the noodles have
absorbed the liquid (I find a pasta server works great for this

Lift the noodles gently from one side of the wok. Pour a little
oil along the side of the wok, then break the egg ad slip it into
the oil. Break the yolk and cover the egg with the noodles
immediately. Repeat this on the opposite side with the other egg.
Allow eggs to cook undisturbed, over moderate heat until they are
set and almost dry. Additional oil may by added if the eggs or
the noodles begin to stick to the wok.

When the eggs are set and almost dry, fold them gently but rapidly
into the noodles. Try not to break the noodles, which will be soft
and fragile at this point. An effective way is to insert the scoop
under the eggs, lift it through, and fold the mixtureover. Continue
the lifting and folding motion until the eggs are broken up and
well distributed.

Add the green onions (and bean sprouts if you prefer them mixed
in) and toss the entire mixture quickly and gently, stll avoiding
breaking the noodles. Cook for about 2 minutes or until onions are

Take a large platter spread with bean sprouts(if you left them out
above). Spread Pud Thai from wok over top. Sprinkle ground chilies(see
note) and ground peanuts over the top and squeeze lime over the
top. Or serve toppings seperatly for each diner to add according
to taste.

Note on chilies: Buy whole dried chiles and grind since pre-ground
often lack the "bite" of whole ones. Thai chilies may be used
(_VERY_ hot), or milder American chiles may be used. The Thai
chilies are know as Prig hang. They may also be found in Mexican
food sections under the name "Chiles Arbol". Use sparing if you
aren't used to them they are quite potent.


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