Hot and Sour Shrimp with Noodles
Fresh tomatoes, lime juice, seasoned rice vinegar and a generous dose of hot sauce combine to make a pungent, spicy sauce for shrimp served over cellophane noodles. Only the shrimp and the noodles are cooked so the dish is a medley of contrasting flavors, textures and temperatures.
- 1-1/4 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 12 ounces cellophane noodles (see notes)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 clove garlic, very finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sriracha or your favorite hot sauce (use more or less to taste)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 to 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch matchstick pieces
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
- 4 scallions, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer, remove from the heat and add the cellophane noodles. Soak just until the noodles are clear and tender, anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes depending on the brand ~ check frequently.
- Drain, rinse with cool water, drain again and set aside. While in the strainer you can snip them here and there with a pair of kitchen shears so they'll be a little easier to portion out.
- Combine the lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, garlic, sriracha and sugar in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add 1 tablespoon of the tomato paste and stir until well blended. Add the chopped tomatoes, let stand for 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thin after standing, add a little more tomato paste. The consistency should be similar to ketchup. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add the vegetable oil and shrimp and stir-fry just until the shrimp turns pink and opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, bell pepper and reserved sauce. Remove from the heat, toss to coat the shrimp, then add the scallions.
- To serve, make a bed of cellophane noodles on each of 4 plates. Add a portion of shrimp, spoon some sauce over the top and sprinkle with chopped cilantro.
If you don't want to use cellophane (bean thread) noodles, substitute thin rice noodles, angel hair or steamed white rice.