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Somphet’s Springrolls

2 tablespoons salad oil
½ cup round onion, sliced
¾ cup celery, sliced
¾ cup carrots, sliced to match stick size
¾ cup shiitake mushrooms, sliced
¼ bundle long rice, soaked in water for 45 minutes
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 pieces spring roll wrappers
1 egg
Oil for deep frying

Dipping Sauce:
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped fine
3 stems mint leaves, chopped fine
1/3 cup sweet chili sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 Thai or Hawaiian chili pepper, minced
Salt, to taste

Make the dipping sauce by combining all ingredients and mix well.  Heat a medium sauté pan and add salad oil.  Quickly sauté vegetables until translucent.  Season with salt and pepper.  Cool before rolling.  Make individual spring rolls by using wrappers and sealing with egg wash.  Heat frying oil.  Fry spring rolls until golden brown and very crispy.


Pad Thai

8 ounces dried wide rice noodles
¼ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons peanut oil
12 ounces diced chicken thigh meat
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
½ cup round onion, sliced
1 fresh red chili pepper, sliced
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 lime, cut into small wedges
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
¼ cup fresh chives, 1-inch cut

Soak the dried rice noodles in cool or lukewarm water for 30 minutes, or until they are limp but still firm to touch; later cooking in the wok will soften them more.  Drain noodles thoroughly in a colander and set aside while preparing other ingredients.

In a small bowl, mix fish sauce, tamarind juice and sugar.  Stir well to melt sugar.  Taste and adjust flavors to the desired combination of salty, sour and sweet.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat until it is smoking hot.  Add 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the chicken thoroughly.  When the chicken is done put it aside.  Add remaining oil to the wok and toss in the garlic, round onion and chili.  Stir fry for 30 seconds.  Push the garlic and onion to one side of the wok and pour the egg into the center.  Scramble the egg lightly until set, breaking into pieces with a spatula.  Add drained noodles to the wok, stirring and tossing quickly with 2 spatulas to separate the strands.  Pour in the fish sauce mixture, tossing well to coat the noodles and keep them from sticking (if the noodles are still too firm, drizzle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water to help them cook).

When the noodles are cooked, toss in ½ cup of the bean sprouts and chives.  Continue to stir fry until combined.  Return cooked chicken to the wok and toss the pad Thai together to heat through.  Serve on a platter and top with the remaining bean sprouts and cilantro leaves.  Garnish with lime wedges and squeeze lime juice over each portion before serving.