The highlight of this week’s French Fridays with Dorie assignment was playing with my stash of star anise and Szechuan peppercorns; toast and blend with fennel seeds, cloves and cinnamon, et voilà! “Chinese 5 Spice Powder”; one teaspoon of which gives depth to this simple stir fry of mung bean (“cellophane”) noodles and shrimp.
The mystery bag ingredient of this dish is the tomato puree Dorie calls for — something that seems a bit odd for Asian noodles. I hesitantly poured half the amount into my wok full of lovely shrimp, and in the end, it tasted pretty good (especially w/the fresh cilantro and spritz of lime…and spicy peanut sauce which found its way over from our chicken satay accompaniment), but I think the recipe would be way better without it. (Most of the FFwDorie’ers suspect a major editing error w/regard to this ingredient, “2 cups of tomato??? 2 tablespoons, maaaaaybe, but…what the???” being the general consensus.)
Recipe for Shrimp and Cellophane Noodles, pp. 322-323 from Around My French Table, by Dorie Greenspan