Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Rice Noodle Pancakes

And a happy new year to you!

Was your revelry as over the top as mine? (I sat home with a good friend and an even better bottle of bubbly. Shamefully understated and perfectly delightful. Wait, did I just imply the booze was better than my friends company? Doh! I didn’t mean that!)

But now that the holidays are over its time to get cooking, right?


And this here, lemme tell ya, is the perfect dish to get you back in the swing. Symbolic (I do simple adore the food symbolism - and noodles are a new-year must in many Asian cultures) as it is delectably tasty, you will go mad, mad, mad for it after just one bite.

It's all good with this easy to create, simple scrumptious appetizer.

I concocted it after rifling through the cupboards of the-man-who-works-too-much's kitchen. All the boy had on hand was some rice noodles and four extremely large bottles of fish sauce.

Suspicious pantry choices for a 30 something Latin man who doesn't cook. Anything. Ever.

Then again, it's really not at all suspicious when one realizes he inheirited the apartment from a outrageous woman (and one of my dearest and most revered friends. Because anyone who can describe herself as fabulous and lazy, without sounding the least bit off, will always have a place in my world) with an penchant for kimchee and a weakness for fermented fish juice...well, it just starts to make sense.

So with just those two items to start with, and a tum calling out for vittles, these became a reality in a jiff. And yes indeedy, they are good stuff.

The trick to making the dish beyond compare is to serve them h-o-t from the pan. Waste no time in getting them right onto your guests waiting plates, then its up to them to decide how hot is too hot to bite into...a tricky decision, but one they will just have to make on their own...they are crunchy and spicy and may just become your new favorite food...

Try this, and ENJOY!

1 medium package dried rice noodles (aka rice sticks)
Hot water
2 teaspoons fish sauce (0ptional)
1 scallion, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
1 small Thai bird chile, deseeded and minced
2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted peanuts
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1/2 carrot, peeled and minced
1/2 small red bell pepper, minced
minced cilantro to taste (optional)
1 large egg
1 heaping teaspoon curry powder
Vegetable oil
Fresh herbs (mint, cilantro) for garnish

Place the rice noodles in a bowl. Add enough boiling water to cover, add the fish sauce and let sit until softened, about 15 minutes. When soft, drain completely and pat dry with a paper towel. (Adding the fish sauce now allows the noodles to absorb the saltiness, much like adding salt to pasta water.)

In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients - except the oil and garnish. Stir to combine. Add the noodles and let rest 3 mintues or so. Just to let the flavors meld.

Heat a large saute pan and add enough oil to coat the bottom.

Working quickly, scoop out enough noodles to form a 2-inch pancake. Do this by pinching the noodles between your index finger and thumb and twisting as if winding a watch. Add to the pan and crisp 2-3 minutes per side. Repeat with all the noodles.

As mentioned previously, serve hot.

Makes about 10 pancakes.


In many cultures long noodles symbolize long life

Pastries and other foods sold at half of Starbucks U.S. outlets will be free of artery-clogging trans fats starting this week, a spokesman for the coffee shop chain said on Tuesday. Starbucks has been working on cutting trans fats from its products for about two years. - Reuters

Garum is a condiment or sauce made of fermented fish that was widely used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. There are several modern versions of this, including pissalat from Nice and nuoc-mam in Vietnam

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Yay, your first post of 2007 and I'm mentioned, what an honor! As for your recipe, how can fish sauce be optional? It's a must! At least in all my cooking (what little I do, LOL).

Your pancakes look fabulous (was there any doubt?) and I'm glad to see the food I left behind did not go to waste (you would think he would have eventually thrown it away, LOL).

BTW, I just turned some people on to some korean food and kimchee this past weekend and they loved it!
I always get a kick at how fast those noodles cook :)
I've never cooked (and could it be true...never eaten?) rice noodles like this. Another inspiration from Miss Rachael!
Rachael--Was it you, dearest one, who nominated me for the Blog Award? I'm very flattered and sending you a big thank you hug.
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