I made a promise to myself that I'd take more prep pictures. I think I went a bit overboard.
Using the foolproof recipe from Chez Pim
I set out to make a not-so-quick dinner. I hadn't made this in 3 years (2 kitchens ago) and the amount of ingredients was rather daunting for my tiny kitchen, but here goes.
First up is the sauce. It's basically fish sauce (stinky & salty), tamarind pulp (sour and smooth), and palm sugar (bitch to get out of the jar, but sweet and tasty).
Pim says to use 1/2 a cup each. Apparently the fish sauce I got from Bangkok down on Moscoe is extra skrong (yes, skrong it's the big ugly mutant brother of strong), because the sauce was way too salty when I first tried it.
So I kept adding more tamarind and palm sugar and think it came out ok. Just let it come to a simmer and make sure all the palm sugar's melted then add your chili/paprika.
Pim mentions using paprika or spicy chili. The boy doesn't like spicy things so I decided to go the smoky route.
I used two paprikas from Penzeys. The smoked one is Spanish and the sweet one is Hungarian.
These things are retarded to grind when your hand hurts and mine did... so I put a bunch in hoping that at least half would get "fluffy" after pounding in the mortar. I wasn't disappointed.
They're like hard rocks at first, but after patient coaxing and a whole lot of thwump noises you come out with something like this (ok I know there are still some whole ones left, but ise tired so I picked em out and used the fluffies):
The dude at the store told me to soak them for a half hour. They got soaked longer than that because I plopped them in water before I even started the sauce. I've also included a picture of the brand, not that it really matters.
Ok so there's the shrimp, scallions, regular chives (eh I didn't get the garlic ones) and garlic pieces.
Next up ground peanuts and bean sprouts
Don't forget the sauce you lovingly stunk up the house with
and the brand
Ok so then you heat up your wok, slug some oil in, remember you don't have a wok utensil, curse for a moment, use a silicone slotted spatula and some tongs instead.
Throw the tofu in there with the scallions and the garlic. Get em nice and toasty brown.
Add noodles, a generous glug of sauce... cook till almost done.
Push to the side, add an egg or two and let sit till halfway set. Mix them all up.
Add the shrimp, peanuts, dried shrimp and pickled turnips if you're using them (I didn't use turnips)
DON'T take pictures in the middle of this because you will end up with burnt noodles in a spot like I did. =/
Cook shrimp through and turn off the heat.
Wait... get something skrong to drink that hopefully doesn't smell like fish sauce... eat... and then pass out.