Shrimp Pad Thai

For a spicier version of this dish, sprinkle in crushed red pepper flakes when you add in the chili sauce.  If you can’t find rice noodles in your local grocery store, substitute 8 ounces of fettuccine or linguine, cooked according to package directions and drained.  Stir in with bean sprouts.

16 ounces rice noodles
½ cup unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
Zest of 2 limes
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons brown sugar
9 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons mild Thai chili sauce
4 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
1 shallot, chopped
2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
½ cup sliced green onions
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Place rice noodles in a large bowl.  Add enough hot tap water to cover; let stand 10 to 15 minutes (or according to package directions) until pliable, but not soft.  Drain well in a colander; set aside. In a small bowl combine peanuts, sugar and lime zest; set aside.  In another small bowl combine the lime juice, brown sugar, vinegar, fish sauce and chili sauce; stir until smooth and set aside.  Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add shallot and cook for 2 minutes until softened and lightly browned.  Add shrimp and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes until shrimp turns pink.  Transfer to a bowl.  Add eggs to the hot skillet and cook for 30 seconds.  Turn eggs with spatula and cook 30 to 60 seconds more, just until set.  Remove and chop; set aside.  Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over high heat for 30 seconds.  Add drained noodles and sprouts; stir-fry for 2 minutes.  Add fish sauce mixture and shrimp mixture; cook 1 to 2 minutes more until heated through. Place in a serving dish.  Top with chopped eggs and peanut topping.  Garnish with green onions and cilantro.  Serves 8.