Thai Shrimp and Cabbage Noodle Pot
It's hard to believe you can get such a complex combination of smoky, salty, sweet and spicy elements in one dish that's so simple to prepare. This mix of Napa cabbage, bacon, shrimp and cellophane noodles makes for a satisfying one-dish meal. Choose good quality, thick-cut bacon so the delicious smoky flavor balances the pungent garlic and fish sauce and the heat of the chili.
- 6 ounces cellophane noodles
- 3/4 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 Thai bird chilis, seeded and halved lengthwise
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3 cups Napa cabbage, roughly chopped
- 1 cup baby corn, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
- Place the cellophane noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water and let stand until soft, but still somewhat resilient. Drain and set aside.
- Fry the bacon until crisp in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Remove and drain on paper towels, leaving about 2 tablespoons of fat in the pan.
- Add the garlic, shallots and chilis and sauté over medium-high heat until soft and fragrant, about 1-1/2 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and add the chicken broth, fish sauce and sugar. Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes to allow the broth to absorb all the flavors.
- Remove the chili and add the Napa cabbage and baby corn. Continue cooking until the cabbage starts to wilt, 1-1/2 minutes.
- Add the noodles and toss to combine. Arrange the shrimp on top of the noodles, cover and continue cooking until the remaining liquid is absorbed and the shrimp is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cilantro, mix well and serve immediately.
Cooking time for the cellophane noodles will vary by brand, so check them after 2 minutes and keep checking every minute or so until the texture is soft but still offers a little resistance to the tooth. They'll continue to soften when added to the seasoned broth mixture.