1/2 lb dried rice noodles 1/8 wide warm wa; ter
1/2 lb shrimp, chicken or pork or- a combi; nation
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup granulated sugar; plus:
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar; plus:
2 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
4 green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil (more if needed)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
3/4 lb bean sprouts
1 ground roasted chiles (see note at; end)
1 unsalted roasted peanuts ground
1 lime wedges
1. 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.
2. Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails intact(or remove if preferred) Slice chicken, pork into 1/8 inch strips 1-2 inches long.
3. 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 aside.
4. 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).
5. 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 step).
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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 tender.
9. 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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