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Peanuts shine in this stir-fry dish

Peanuts often are included in the popular Thai dish “Pad Thai,” which is Thailand’s variation on a traditional Chinese stir-fry. It’s salty, sweet and often spicy.
Photo from Metro Creative

Peanuts shine in this stir-fry dish

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Peanuts work well in sweet desserts and are commonly found in the form of peanut butter swirled with jelly atop bread for lunchtime sandwiches. However, peanuts can be an ingredient in savory dishes as well. In fact, peanuts often are included in the popular Thai dish “Pad Thai,” which is Thailand’s variation on a traditional Chinese stir-fry. It’s salty, sweet and often spicy. Try this version, courtesy of “300 Best Stir-Fry Recipes” (Robert Rose) by Nancie McDermott.

Pad Thai

Serves 2 to 4

4 ounces dry rice noodles 1⁄4 cup chicken stock or water 3 tablespoons fish sauce 2 tablespoons soy sauce 2 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 teaspoon hot pepper flakes 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 4 ounces boneless pork (such as loin or tenderloin) or skinless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced 8 to 10 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 egg, beaten 1⁄2 cup chopped garlic chives or green onions 2 cups bean sprouts, divided 1⁄3 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 4 lime wedges

1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add noodles and remove from heat. Let stand for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until noodles are softened but still firm. Drain, rinse well in cold water. Drain and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, combine chicken stock, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and hot pepper flakes and stir well. Set aside.

3. Heat a wok or a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic and toss well, until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

4. Add pork, spreading into a single layer. Cook, undisturbed, until edges change color, about 1 minute. Toss well. Add shrimp and toss well. Cook, tossing often until shrimp are pink and firm and pork is cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add noodles and cook, tossing often and pulling to separate noodles, for 1 minute.

5. Add chicken stock mixture, pouring in around sides of pan. Cook, tossing often, turning and scraping noodles to heat and soften them, until noodles curl up and are tender and shrimp are cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons of chicken stock or water as needed to keep noodles from sticking or burning.

6. Push the noodles to one side and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add egg and swirl to expose to hot pan. Cook, undisturbed, until edges have begun to set, about 15 seconds. Cook, stirring often, until egg is softly scrambled but still very moist, about 1 minute.

7. Add garlic, chives and 1 cup of the bean sprouts and cook, tossing often, until they have begun to wilt, about 1 minute more. Add peanuts and lime juice and toss well. Transfer to a serving platter. Place the remaining bean sprouts and lime wedges on one side. Serve hot or warm, mixing in the raw bean sprouts and squeezing a little lime juice over the noodles just before eating.

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