Serves 3 or 4
½ pound dried flat rice noodles
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup Oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
⅓ pound ground pork
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, toasted and chopped
1 fresh red chile pepper, sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced, white and green parts
Place the noodles in a bowl and add warm water to cover; let stand until soft, about 15 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and tomato paste and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Drain the noodles and set aside. In a wok or deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 1 minute. Add the shrimp and pork and stir-fry briefly until they lose their raw color. Add the tomato paste mixture and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook, stirring, until the noodles have absorbed the sauce.
Push the noodles from the center of the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the center of the pan and heat briefly. Add the eggs, allow to cook for 10 to 15 seconds, and then cover with the noodles. Fold the eggs into the noodles until the eggs are set. Stir in the bean sprouts.
Transfer to a warm serving plate and top with the peanuts, chile, and scallions, in that order.
When cooking with nuts, it's always good to have more than the recipe calls for on hand. Some are bound to be eaten during the preparation. Delicious in their natural state, nuts are irresistible when toasted. Their flavors are enhanced and deepened with just a few minutes under the heat. To toast nuts, spread them on a baking sheet in a single layer and place them in a 350° oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. How quickly they toast will depend on the nut. Check them after 3 minutes and enjoy the aroma. Shake the pan, and see if they are beginning to change color. As soon as they turn golden, remove the nuts from the oven or they will burn.