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Crisp Fried Noodles

ingredients

serves 6 - 8
6 shallots, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
oil for frying
100 g (4 oz) finely chopped raw chicken breast
50 g (2 oz) cooked pork, sliced
100 g (4 oz) cooked, shelled prawns
1 square tofu
150 g (6 oz) canned salted soya beans, drained
4 beaten eggs
25 ml (1 fl oz) cider or wine vinegar
15 - 30 g (1 - 2 tbsp) icing sugar
fish sauce to taste (optional)
350 g (12 oz) rice vermicelli
deep fat for frying
pinch chilli powder
spring onions
2 - 3 red chillies, seeded and finely sliced
fresh coriander leaves chopped
pickled garlic or fried garlic flakes
rind of lime or a strip of grapefruit peel, cut into fine shreds
175 g (6 oz) bean sprouts, tails removed for best effect

method

1. For the sauce, fry the shallots and garlic in hot oil in a wok; do not colour.

2. Add the chicken and stir for 3 - 4 minutes, then stir in the pork and prawns. Turn the ingredients all the time.

3. Add the tofu cubes and salted soya beans and cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

4. Then add the beaten eggs little by little, stirring throughout and adding extra oil if necessary to the sauce.

5. At this stage stir in the vinegar, icing sugar and fish sauce if used. Toss in the pan for 1-2 minutes, then check the flavour. It should have a sweet, salty taste. Set aside.

6. Heat fat in a large pan and deep fry the noodles for just a few seconds.

7. This is best done in several stages in a frying basket or wok. The noodles will become puffy and crisp. Remove them from the fat, drain and keep warm.

8. Just before serving, put half the sauce and a sprinkling of the chilli powder in a large wok or pan with half the noodles.

9. Toss together without breaking up the noodles too much. Repeat with the remaining sauce, chilli powder and noodles.

10. Pile onto a large serving platter and garnish attractively with spring onions, chillies, coriander leaves, garlic and lime rind or grapefruit shreds.

11. Arrange the bean sprouts all around the base.

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