Crispy Shrimp or Calamari with Chinese Noodles and Spicy Garlic Sauce
- Oil for deep-frying
- 2 tablespoons peanut oil
- 3/4 cup (4 ounces) sliced Double-Blanched Garlic, recipe follows
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup rice wine
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
- 4 ounces carrots, peeled, trimmed, and cut into julienne (about 1 cup)
- 4 ounces haricots verts, trimmed, blanched, and refreshed (about 1 cup)
- 4 ounces green onions, trimmed and cut into strips (about 1 cup)
- 2 teaspoons Vietnamese chile sauce
- 12 ounces fresh Chinese egg noodles or thin spaghetti
- 1 pound large shrimp, cleaned and tails removed, or, 1 pound calamari, cleaned and cut into 1/4-inch rings
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- About 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- Double Blanched Garlic:
- 3 heads garlic
- Kosher salt
Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. In a wok or deep, heavy saucepan, heat about 3 inches of peanut oil. (The oil must be very hot, about 375 degrees F.)
Make the sauce: In a large skillet or saute pan, heat the 2 tablespoons of peanut oil. Over medium-high heat, saute the garlic just until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the sugar and continue to saute until the garlic begins to caramelize, 1 or 2 minutes longer. Deglaze the pan with the rice wine, rice wine vinegar, and soy sauce. Add the carrots, haricots verts, and 2 ounces of the green onion, reserving 1 ounce as garnish. Stir in the chili sauce and continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by half.
Meanwhile, add salt to the boiling water and cook the noodles until they are al dente. Drain the noodles well and stir them into the sauce until they are well coated.
Season the shrimp or calamari with salt and pepper and toss with the flour to coat lightly. Deep-fry the shrimp or calamari in small batches until golden, 1 or 2 minutes. (The easiest way to do this is to use a fine-mesh basket or strainer. Place the shrimp or calamari in the basket and gently ease the basket into the oil.) Drain on clean paper towels.
To serve, divide the noodles and vegetables among 4 large warm plates. Arrange the shrimp or calamari over and around each portion and garnish with the remaining green onions. Drizzle a little sesame oil over the noodles and serve immediately.Double Blanched Garlic:
Prepare an ice bath. Separate the garlic into cloves and remove the ends of each clove. Fill a small saucepan with water. Salt lightly and bring to a boil. Carefully drop the whole cloves into the water and blanch for 30 seconds. Remove with a slotted spoon and immediately plunge into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat the process. Drain the garlic and dry it well. The peels should slip off easily. Cut the garlic into slices and use as needed.
Yield: 3/4 to 1 cup