Saturday, August 14, 2010

Penang-Style Stir-Fried Kuey Teow Noodles

It's sad to say, but I haven't had nearly enough time to cook lately. At least I finally got around to trying my first recipe out of Cradle of Flavor. This one is simple and a definite success. I may have roughly doubled the recipe because the shrimp I bought was 340g instead of 200g and I didn't feel like scaling down. If you do something similar, be careful not to make the dish too spicy. The chiles go a long way. My flavour paste never really became paste-like either, but I'm going to blame that on my poor quality food processor. Make sure you get everything ready to go for this dish while the chili peppers are soaking, because it cooks up fairly quickly once it gets started. This makes 2 servings.

Penang-Style Stir-Fried Kuey Teow Noodles (from Cradle of Flavor)

225g fresh flat rice noodles, rinsed and drained, or dried hor fun noodles
3 small dried red chiles such as arbol, stemmed and broken in half
1 tsp dried shrimp paste
3 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp double-black soy sauce (she recommends Pearl River)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp water
2 cloves garlic, chopped
200g medium-sized shrimp, peeled, heads removed, and deveined
1 large egg, cracked into a bowl or cup
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
7 Chinese chives or 5 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
Kosher salt to taste

1. Place the chiles in a bowl. Add warm water to cover and soak for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, if you're using dried noodles, cook and set aside (30 seconds to 2 minutes in boiling water, toss with oil to prevent clumping). Chop veggies and prepare all other ingredients.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl or cup, combine soy sauce, sugar, and 1 tsp water. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, place the shrimp paste in the center of a square of aluminum foil. Fold the foil over the paste to make a parcel. Press down with the heel of your hand to flatten into a 1/4 inch thick disk. Heat a gas burner to medium-low or an electric burner to medium-high. Place the parcel directly on the heat source. Toast until it begins to smoke and release a shrimpy smell, about 90 seconds. With tongs or other creative grasping device, flip the parcel and toast the other side for 90 seconds. Turn off burner and let cool for a minute. Unwrap the parcel, transfer to a small bowl and cool for another 30 seconds.
5. Remove the chiles from the water and add chiles and shrimp paste to a small food processor. Pulse until smooth and the consistency of creamy mashed potatoes. You can add up to 2 tbsp of water to help you.
6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the paste and saute until the paste begins to separate from the oil, 4 - 6 minutes. Transfer paste to bowl and set aside.
7. Add 2 tbsp oil over medium-high heat to the skillet. Saute garlic until golden, about 2 minutes. Add the paste and stir well to combine.
8. Add the shrimp and raise heat to high. Stir-fry until shrimp are pink, about 2 minutes.
9. Add rice noodles and soy sauce mixture. Stir-fry until noodles are heated and have soaked up most of the liquid, about 2 minutes.
10. Make a well in the center of the noodles and pour in the egg. Scramble the egg in the well. Let rest until it begins to set, about 30 seconds. Mix the noodles and egg together.
11. Add bean sprouts and chives/scallions. Stir-fry until they begin to wilt, about 30 seconds. Add salt if desired.
12. Divide onto 2 plates and serve.

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