A 6’5″ Caucasian guy taught me how to cook Asian food. A guy who learned to love Southeast Asian food while he was stationed in the military. A vet turned cooking teacher. I met him in San Francisco when I began my culinary education twenty years ago.
Authentic Asian cooking uses lots and lots of fresh produce. The only purchased condiments in this recipe are Chinese black vinegar and soy sauce. Add fresh ginger, garlic, and chiles and you’ve got a spicy shrimp dish that’ll surprise you with its complexity. Adapted from Bill McCarthy who adapted from Kasma Loha-uchit, a cooking teacher and author of Thai cookbook, It Rains Fishes.
This dish is served over “glass noodles” (aka “cellphane noodles”), a catch-all phrase for all sorts of dried Asian noodles that become translucent after cooking. If you live near an Asian grocery, you will probably find different formats available–everything from threads (very thin noodles) to sheets (large pieces you can custom cut). Bozeman is currently slim on Asian grocery options, but I was happy to find bean threads (Saifun, below) as well as sweet potato starch noodles (Korean package, below). (No luck with the black vinegar, but thank you Amazon!)
- 6 oz. package mung bean thread or other "glass noodle"
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce (Kikkoman or Lee Kum Kee brand) or tamari
- 1 pound medium white shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat cooking oil like olive, coconut, or peanut), divided
- 1/2 cup Japanese soy sauce or tamari
- 1/4 Chinkiang vinegar (Chinese "black vinegar")
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-heat cooking oil like olive oil, coconut, or peanut oil)
- 4" fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 4 thai chiles, aka "bird's eye chiles" (manage the heat by leaving whole, if you like hot, slice thinly and add, seeds and all; I did 2 sliced, 2 whole and it was plenty hot for me!)
- 8 green onions, sliced
- 1" thick bundle of cilantro stems, leaves roughly chopped
- optional: bean sprouts
- garnish: additional cilantro leaves
- Prepare the mung bean threads per package instructions. I usually bring a pot of water to boil, add the dried noodles, remove from heat and let stand 30 seconds. Taste and the noodle should be tender all the way through. If not, cook an additional 30 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water. Put in bowl and toss with sesame oil and soy sauce. Arrange on serving platter.
- Mix sauce ingredients in glass measuring cup and set aside.
- Heat oil in wok or skillet. Add 1 tablespoon avocado oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until just cooked and pink. Remove from wok and arrange on top of noodles on serving platter.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in wok or skillet, and add the garlic, ginger, and chiles. Stir-fry 30 seconds. Add the green onions, cilantro, and optional bean sprouts and stir- fry for a minute longer.
- Add the sauce and bring to boil. Pour over noodles and shrimp. Sprinkle with additional cilantro leaves and serve.