Crispy Fried Thai Noodles


4 oz dried rice vermicelli noodles
3 tablespoons peanut oil, plus extra, for deep-frying
1½ oz palm sugar or dark brown sugar
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small shallot, finely chopped
3 oz pork tenderloin, finely chopped
6 uncooked shrimp, peeled, deveined,
1 teaspoon ground chili
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 cake firm tofu (5 oz.), cubed and fried until crisp in 2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
2 pickled garlic bulbs, finely sliced crosswise into rings (optional)
1 hot chili, cored and finely chopped
2 oz fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and dried
4 scallions, chopped


  1. Fill a sturdy wok or wide, heavy-bottomed saucepan one-third full of peanut oil. Heat the oil to 375°F. Drop in a piece of noodle to test the temperature—it should puff up immediately. When the oil is hot enough, add a bundle of noodles and deep-fry until crisp and barely golden, about 30 seconds. Turn over for a few more seconds.
  2. Remove and drain on crumpled paper towels. Transfer the oil to a large saucepan to cool.
  3. Put the palm sugar or dark brown sugar in a mortar and pound to a paste with a pestle.
  4. Reheat the wok or saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil, add the garlic and shallots, and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the pork and shrimp and stir-fry until the pork is done.
  5. Add the ground chili and toss for 30 seconds.
  6. Put the vinegar, fish sauce, and sugar into a small saucepan and dissolve over a low heat. Stir into the wok, let bubble, then add the lime juice. Blend and taste, correcting the seasoning to create a sweet, sour, salty flavor.
  7. Roughly break up the fried noodles. Reduce the heat and add to the syrup, turning until the noodles are evenly coated and start to stick together. Add the tofu.
  8. Serve with the pickled garlic, fresh cilantro, chili, bean sprouts, and scallions.

Source: Noodles and Pasta

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The CAN Approach to Healthier Eating

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If you want to know the secrets of healthier eating, think of the kitchen fruit bowl. A fruit bowl makes fruit more convenient, attractive, and normal to eat than if the same fruit were in the bottom of the refrigerator.

A new Cornell study analyzed 112 studies that collected information about healthy eating behaviors and found that most healthy eaters did so because a restaurant, grocery store, school cafeteria, or spouse made foods like fruits and vegetables visible and easy to reach (convenient), enticingly displayed (attractive), and appear like an obvious choice (normal). “A healthy diet can be as easy as making the healthiest choice the most convenient, attractive, and normal,” said Brian Wansink, Ph.D. author of Slim by Design and Director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab.

The study, published in Psychology and Marketing, shows that when fruit is put in a nice bowl next to your car keys – or when a cafeteria puts it next to a well-lit cash register — it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to grab a banana than the chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in the far back of the freezer. When restaurants give the high-profit shrimp salad appetizer an enticing name, highlight it on the menu, and have the waitress point it out as a special, it becomes more convenient, attractive, and normal to order that than the deep-fried onion rings on the back of the menu.

“With these three principles, there are endless changes that can be made to lead people – including ourselves – to eat healthier,” said Wansink. For instance, if a school wants children to drink more white milk than chocolate milk, they can make white milk more convenient (put it in the front of the cooler), more attractive (sell it in a shapely bottle), or more normal (give it half of the cooler space instead of a small corner of the cooler). In previous studies conducted by Dr. Wansink each of these changes increased white milk consumption by 30-60% in schools.

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Source: Cornell Food and Brand Lab

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