This recipe for the classic Thai noodle dish calls for shrimp, but you could also substitute sliced chicken breast or beef or even cubed extra-firm tofu.
3/4 pound dried flat rice noodles (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide)
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
3 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large eggs, beaten lightly
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup)
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and spun dry
4 scallions, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
3/4 cup water
1/3 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
Chopped fresh cilantro
In a large bowl, soak the noodles in cold water to cover for 30 minutes, or until they are softened; then drain well. In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce, the ketchup, the vinegar, the brown sugar and the cayenne.
In a wok or non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the eggs, and cook them, stirring until they are scrambled and just cooked through. Transfer the eggs to a bowl and break them into pieces with a spoon.
In the wok, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until it just begins to smoke, and in it, stir-fry the garlic and the shallots until mixture is golden. Add the shrimp and stir-fry the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are just cooked through. Add the ketchup mixture, the noodles, 2 cups of the bean sprouts, the scallions and the water and cook the mixture, stirring, until the noodles are tender and the excess liquid is evaporated. Add the egg; toss the mixture well, and mound it on to a platter.
Sprinkle the noodle mixture with the peanuts and the red pepper flakes and arrange the remaining 1 cup bean sprouts around it. Garnish it with the cilantro and the lime wedges. Serves 6.