Pad Thai Noodles

The Japones Chile (Capsicum Annuum) is similar in appearance to the De Arbol. Though the walls of the Japones are thicker. Dried Japones Chiles are medium hot and good with Asian dishes. On the heat scale, this chile is 5-6. Scoville heat units 15,000 to 35,000.

Suggested Use:
Japones Chiles are medium hot and frequently found in spicier Asian and Oriental dishes. Used in Thai Basil Curry dishes and Hot Peanut Sauces. Crush a few pods and add them to your next stir fry.

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For the Noodles:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 oz. dried wide rice noodles, softened in warm water
1/3 cup slivered dried tofu
2 Tbsp. distilled rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. dried baby shrimp
1 Tbsp. salted Tien Jing cabbage or salt-packed capers, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. nam pla (fish sauce)
2 Tbsp. unsalted dry roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
1/2 tsp. roasted dried chile powder (recipe below)
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 oz. fresh bean sprouts (1 cup), plus more for garnish
12 blades Chinese chives or 2 whole scallions, cut into 1
1 large egg
1/2 head Belgian endive, sliced into 2 to 3 pieces
1 fresh lime, sliced into wedges

Roasted Fried Chile Powder:

1 cup dried chiles de árbol or Japonés chiles
sea salt

Roasted Fried Chile Powder:

In a 12″ skillet, dry-roast the dried chiles over medium heat, shaking the skillet or tossing and stirring with a wooden spatula to ensure even heating, until blackened. To reduce the fumes, add a pinch of sea salt to the skillet. Transfer to a plate to cool completely.

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the chiles until they turn to powder. Let the powder settle in the machine for at least 2 minutes. When you remove the food processor lid, do so at arm’s length, and do not inhale the powder. Carefully transfer the powder to a glass jar, and seal with a tight-fitting lid. Store at room temperature for up to a year.

For the noodles:

Heat a 12″ nonstick skillet or flat-bottomed wok over high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. To test for readiness, put your hand 2 to 3″ above the skillet. If you can feel the heat, the skillet is hot enough. Add 3 Tbsp. of the oil and the garlic, and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is golden brown. Reduce the heat to medium, add the noodles and cook, stirring with two spatulas to separate the noodles. If the noodles start to clump, lower the heat and add 1 Tbsp. water, stirring and tossing. Continuing to add water 1 Tbsp. at a time if necessary, stir-fry until the noodles are cooked but not soggy.

Add tofu, vinegar, dried shrimp, salted cabbage and nam pla, and continue to cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Sprinkle the peanuts, dried chile powder, and sugar on top of the noodle mixture, and stir to combine; quickly mix in bean sprouts and Chinese chives.

Push noodle mixture to one side of skillet, and add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to the center of the skillet. Break egg directly into oil and scramble it lightly. When egg begins to set, push noodle mixture back on top of egg, then slide onto a serving platter.

Garnish with bean sprouts, Chinese chives, banana blossom, and lime wedges. Serve immediately.

Serves 2-4.

Recipe from The Living Cookbook.