Sauteed Shrimp with Tamarind-Thai Basil Glaze:
- 3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 3 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup fresh Thai basil leaves
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1 pound shrimp (21-25) size, shelled and deveined
- 12 ounces dried flat rice noodles (1/4-inch wide; sometimes called pad Thai or banh pho)
- 3 tablespoons tamarind (from a pliable block)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup packed Muscavado light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (recommended: Sriracha)
- 1 1/2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
- 4 large shallots, sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 (14 to 16-ounce) package firm tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 4 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoons salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 bunch scallions, green and pale green parts, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups bean sprouts (1/4 pound)
- Thai basil leaves
- Cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Lime wedges
For the shrimp:
Place tamarind in a bowl, cover with the boiling water and let sit until softened. Press the pulp through a sieve into a bowl and discard seeds and solids.
Combine orange juice, tamarind pulp, vinegar, honey, basil and salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a mesh strainer. Return to the blender, with the motor running, slowly add 6 tablespoons of the oil and blend until emulsified.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick saute pan over high heat. Season shrimp on both sides with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Stir in the tamarind glaze, turn the shrimp over and continue cooking until shrimp is cooked through and glazed.
For the Pad Thai:
Place the tamarind in a bowl and cover with the boiling water, let sit until soft, about 10 minutes. Force the mixture through a sieve (including the water) into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and hot sauce to the tamarind, stirring until sugar has dissolved, set aside.
Heat the oil in a wok or a large saute pan over medium heat until hot, then fry half of the shallots over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove the shallots with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels.
Reheat shallot oil in wok over high heat until hot. Fry tofu in 1 layer, gently turning occasionally, until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Transfer the frying oil to a heatproof glass and reserve.
Lightly beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper and a tablespoon of water. Heat 2 tablespoons of the shallot oil in a wok or saute pan over high heat until it shimmers. Add eggs and swirl to coat the side of the wok, then cook, stirring gently with a spatula, until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula and transfer to a plate.
Heat wok over medium heat, add 6 tablespoons of the shallot oil, then swirl to coat side of wok. Stir-fry scallions, garlic, and remaining uncooked shallots until softened, about 1 minute.
Add noodles and stir-fry over medium for about 2 minutes. Add tofu, bean sprouts, and 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in additional sauce, if desired, then stir in the eggs. Transfer to a large shallow serving dish and top with the shrimp, crispy shallots, Thai basil, cilantro and peanuts. Serve lime wedges on the side.