Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Quick Dish - Thai Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Calamari

Although the flavors in this quick dish are resolutely Thai, I’m a big fan of using kishimen noodles – a Japanese wheat noodle that’s slightly thicker and wider than udon. (I buy my kishimen at Daruma, a great little Japanese market in Bethesda that also has wonderful takeout. Check out Sietsema’s review of Daruma here). You can use whatever rice pasta you prefer; just be sure to check the cooking instructions on the package, as some noodles just need a quick soak rather than boiling.

3 garlic cloves
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup sweet chili sauce
Scant 1/3 cup fish sauce
½ cup lime juice
1 large tomato, rough chopped
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
8 oz rice noodles
1 lb medium shrimp (shelled and deveined)
1 lb calamari rings, thawed
½ cup unsalted dry roasted almond slivers
Extra cilantro for garnish

Bring a large pot of water to boil (do not add salt).

In a large bowl, add first five ingredients; stir to dissolve sugar. Toss in tomatoes, red onion and cilantro. Set aside to let flavors combine.

Add the rice noodles to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove noodles from pot and transfer to bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Add the shrimp to the boiling water and cook just until firm, about 1 minute. Remove and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Add the calamari and cook just until firm, only about 45 seconds (be careful not to overcook – tough calamari is the worst). Transfer the calamari to the cold water bowl with the shrimp.

Drain the noodles and add them to the sauce. Add the seafood and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the slivered almonds and cilantro and serve.

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