Monday, November 5, 2007

Thai Lime Shrimp with Rice Noodles

This exotic recipe is actually pretty quick (around 30 mins with prep & cooking), easy and healthy. Most if not all the ingredients are available at your better grocery stores in large cities, or at natural foods stores. Otherwise, you can definitely find the more exotic ingredients at Asian markets. This recipe feeds up to 4 people (or two really hungry ones, which is often the case in my house!)

2 Tbs canola oil
2 Garlic cloves, peeled
1 Lemongrass stalk (found in the fresh herbs section, or Asian markets)
2 Kaffir lime leaves (found in the Asian section of your supermarket, or Asian markets)
1 Small/medium red onion
1 Fresh hot red chile pepper, preferably an Asian variety (remove seeds to reduce the heat level)
1 1/2 inch Fresh gingerroot, peeled
1 lb Large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 oz Fresh snowpeas (you can use frozen - thaw first)
8 oz Bok choy, torn into pieces
2 Tbs Thai fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 Package of rice noodles, soaked according to package instructions (be careful not to oversoak, or they turn to mush!) and drained
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Lime wedges as garnish

Using a very sharp knife, very thinly slice the garlic cloves, red onion and chile pepper, and place in a bowl. Then cut the lemongrass stalk in half lengthwise, bruise with the flat side of the knife (this helps release the volatile oils), and place in the bowl. Use the knife to carefully shred the kaffir lime leaves into long, thin strips, and place in the bowl. Also cut the gingerroot into long thin strands and add to the bowl. Heat the oil to medium-high in a large pan or wok. You know the oil is hot enough when a slice of garlic sizzles as soon as it's dropped in. When the oil is ready, add the garlic, onions, pepper, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and gingerroot, and stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the shrimp, snowpeas and bok choy, and stir-fry until the shrimp is cooked through and the vegetables are just starting to soften but are still crisp. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes - be careful not to overcook the shrimp (you can remove into a separate bowl if they finish cooking before the vegetables soften, and then add the shrimp back in when you're ready to continue with the recipe). Remove the lemongrass pieces and discard. Add the fish sauce, and the lime juice to taste (some folks like 1/2 lime, I personally like the juice of the whole lime), and stir-fry for one minute to heat everything through. Add the drained rice noodles and cilantro. Stir-fry for another minute to combine and to heat everything through. Serve with lime wedges, and a bottle of Thai hot sauce such as A Taste of Thai Garlic Chile Pepper Sauce or Dave's Gourmet Garlic Chile Sauce, for folks to add to their taste.

Zestfully yours,

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