- 2 tbsp. tamarind paste
- 3/4 cup water (boiling)
- 3 tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 4 tbsp. peanut oil or vegetable oil
- 8 ounces dried rice noodles
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 tsp. table salt
- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into thin strips (or 12 oz. shrimp or tofu)
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 medium shallot , minced
- 6 tbsp. chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
- 3 cups bean sprouts
- 5 medium scallions , green parts only, sliced thin on sharp bias
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
1. Soak tamarind paste in 3/4 cup boiling water for about 10 minutes, then push it through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds and fibers and extract as much pulp as possible.
2. Stir fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons oil into tamarind liquid and set aside.
3. Cover rice sticks with hot tap water in large bowl; soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 20 minutes. Drain noodles and set aside.
4. Beat eggs and 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.
5. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over high heat until just beginning to smoke, about 2 minutes.
6. Add chicken and sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, tossing occasionally, until completed cooked though, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate and set aside.
7. Off heat, add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and swirl to coat; add garlic and shallot, set skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.
8. Add eggs to skillet and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until scrambled and barely moist, about 20 seconds.
9. Add noodles to eggs; toss with 2 wooden spoons to combine.
10. Pour fish sauce mixture over noodles, increase heat to high, and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are evenly coated.
11. Scatter 1/4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, all but 1/4 cup scallions, and cooked shrimp over noodles; continue to cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are tender, about 2 1/2 minutes.
12. Transfer noodles to serving platter, sprinkle with remaining scallions, 2 tablespoons peanuts, and cilantro; serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.
Source adapted from Cook’s Illustrated