Anyhow, this recipe tricked me. I thought it might taste like one of my favorite Thai dishes, vaguely entitled Spicy Noodle. The sauce smelled good, the recipe came together quickly but when I tasted it something was missing. I tried several modifications to individual servings before arriving at a good hot combination. I tried the dish cold after some modification and it was great that way. If eaten hot, it required a little something else. While others may disagree, I didn't enjoy this dish as written so I'm posting the modified version for your tasting enjoyment. Don't expect to be eating Spicy Noodle though. The recipe reminds me distantly of pad thai but I don't know what I'd call it otherwise.
Tab's Thai Noodles with Peanut Sauce (adapted from the original on p. 282, somewhat recognizable)
1 c. fresh sugar snap peas
1/2 lb uncooked wide rice stick noodles
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion or 1/2 medium onion or 1/4 large onion, chopped (roughly 3/4 c. chopped)
3/4 c. lite or regular coconut milk
3/8 c. crunchy peanut butter
1/2 c. chopped, roasted peanuts, divided in half
1/2 c. vegetable oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp dried crushed red pepper
1 c. bean sprouts, divided
3/4 c. firmly packed basil leaves, shredded and divided (can substitute 3/8 c. dried basil leaves)
condiments: chopped dry roasted peanuts or lime wedges
*Optional: If eating this hot, add 1 tsp of tamarind chutney, tamarind sauce, or hoisin sauce.
Trim the peas and cut them in half diagonally. Bring water to a boil, add the peas to a large heavy sauce pan and cook the peas 45 seconds. Drain them, plunge them into ice water to stop the cooking process, drain them again and set them aside.
Place noodles in a bowl of warm water and let soak for 10 minutes. Remove and drain.
Place 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in sauce pot or wok. Once heated (sprinkle water off finger tips and hear a sizzle), add garlic and onions. Cook at medium heat for 5-7 minutes until lightly changing color.
Add and whisk together coconut milk and next seven ingredients in a large saucepan/sauce pot/wok. Cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally 5 min or til thoroughly heated.
Add peas, noodles, 3/4 c. bean sprouts, 3/4 c. of basil. Toss and sprinkle with the remaining bean sprouts and peanuts.
I left my book at my sister's house over the Thanksgiving holiday. As a result my sister kindly has been reading the recipes to me over the phone. Tif thought this would be like fettucine alfredo with a topping. Not really. Pad Thai is the closest thing I could compare this with but even at that, its not the same. This dish is best cold. If you eat it hot, it tastes like its missing something. After a variety of changes, I found that a teaspoon of tamarind chutney (could easily use tamarind sauce or probably hoisin sauce) add to the mixture seemed to fix the "What's missing" feeling. I wouldn't call this my favorite Thai dish but I would call it ok and even good with the added tamarind chutney. Its very good cold. The servings worked out to about 6 and there's not a simple way to halve the recipe so that's a downside if you don't have others to help you eat it. A couple people at work helped me with this one and they enjoyed it.
Hungry for more? Check out Mel's comments at Fabulously Fun Food.