The heatwave finally broke here in NY, but a freak thunderstorm last night made it very humid. This is the kind of weather that makes me crave something refreshing that doesn't require much fuss (or heat) to prepare. I decided to make use of some rice noodles I picked up at a Thai market over the weekend, stopping by Whole Foods to pick up some nice looking shrimp.
I've had a container of tamarind concentrate in my pantry that's been crying out to be used and I figured its intensely tart sweetness would make the perfect base for my marinade. Making a separate marinade and sauce for the noodles seemed like too much work for my languid mood so, I just made extra marinade to use as a sauce for the noodles.
The grilled shrimp had a smokey sweet glaze that caramelized under the broiler and the noodles tasted a bit like pad Thai. As a whole, the dish was a perfect melding of sweet, sour, savoury and spicy with just a touch of creaminess coming from the avocado's to smooth over the sharpness of the tamarind.I served this with some mint pickled summer squash that made last night. It added just the right amount of crunch, a vibrant yellow color and it's own complimentary sweet tartness.
For shrimp marinade
- Soak the rice noodles in warm water for about 20 minutes until they are no longer stiff then drain.
- Using a negi cutter, or sharp knife, cut the green onion lengthwise into thin strips. Soak the onions in a bowl of cold water then put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes. This will neutralize the strong (make your eyes water) oniony taste and make them curl up as if you gave them a perm.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together except the shrimp. Because of the acidity of the tamarind, the marinade will cook your shrimp (like ceviche) if you put the shrimp in too early. Put them in the marinade about 5 minutes before you're ready to cook them.
- If you're grilling the shrimp, skewer them, otherwise get a pan with some oil in it nice and hot. Grill or fry the shrimp for a few minutes on each side until they're cooked. Keep the marinade for the noodles.
- Meanwhile, get another pan very hot (a wok would work nicely if you have a burner that puts out enough heat). Add a tablespoon of oil. Break an egg into the hot oil and stir around vigorously to scramble. When the egg is cooked, add the drained noodles and fry until they are well coated with oil. Add the tamarind marinade to the noodles and toss with 2 wooden spoons to coat and cook through.
- If you've timed it all right the noodles and shrimp should be done around the same time. Put down a layer of noodles, slice some avocado and layer on top along with the shrimp. Top with some curled green onions and serve.