I'm usually leery of recipes that advertise their spiciness. They tend to be either way too hot, or about as fierce as mild salsa. But I figured I'd give this a shot, considering it came from Simply Ming by Ming Tsai. The source of all the "craziness" here is sambal, a fiery condiment most often found in Southeast Asia.
To be completely honest, this dish is right in middle of my spice tolerance. But perhaps that's just because every other ingredient here is fighting against that heat, from the sugar to the lime juice. The result is a smartly balanced dish that feels intense one second, and rounded and sweet the next. This sensory delusion will make you dig in again and again. Perhaps that's the crazy part.
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sambal
- 3 tablespoons canola or grapeseed oil
- 3 shallots, sliced thinly
- 1 pound ground chicken
- 1/2 cup scallions, green and white parts, sliced
- 1/4 cup basil (Thai or sweet), thinly sliced plus more for garnish
- 1 lime, quartered
Add the noodles to a large bowl. Cover with warm water. Set aside for 20 minutes, until the noodles are tender. Drain them in a colander.
While the noodles are soaking, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and sambal.
Place a work or a large skillet over high heat. Pour in the oil. When hot, add the shallots and stir-fry for one minute. Dump in the ground chicken, and, stir constantly, cook for 3 minutes.
Add the drained noodles and the sauce to the wok. Stir until they are warm. Then toss in the basil and scallions, stir again and serve.
Garnish with the lime wedges and basil.