When my husband and I lived in St. Louis, we had a favorite corner Chinese restaurant. They served fried rice that couldn't be beat. We figured out early on that the rice was even better when ordered with a heavy helping of bean sprouts. When served fresh, the sprouts add an incredible crunch - but they are used surprisingly sparingly in most cuisine. Since moving to California over 7 years ago, we have yet to find a Chinese restaurant quite as good. But, I would be remiss if the memory of crunchy bean sprouts was left in the grand Midwest. My Thai shrimp pasta is heavy on bean sprouts and light on pasta. Oh, and the flavor is out of this world. The shrimp can easily be replaced with chicken or tofu.
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons red curry paste
3 tablespoons brown sugar substitute (such as Splenda)
2 tablespoons chopped lemongrass (or bottled such as Gourmet Garden)
2 teaspoons hot chili oil
1 julienne-cut red bell pepper (2 x 1/4-inch slices)
1 bunch green onions sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 package fresh bean sprouts (16 oz)
1/2 pound uncooked short pasta (penne or rotini)
1/4 cup Thai basil leaves
2 tablespoons Siracha
1. Combine lime rind and next 6 ingredients (lime rind through chili oil); stir well. Combine 1/3 cup marinade with shrimp in a large zip-top plastic bag; seal bag, and marinate shrimp in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. Prepare noodles per package instructions.
3. Combine bell pepper, and next 4 ingredients (bell pepper through noodles) in a large bowl.
4. Place a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add shrimp; sauté 3-4 minutes or until done. Combine shrimp with pasta mixture and remaining marinade, tossing gently to coat.
5. Stir in Siracha. Serve warm or chilled topped with Thai basil.