Rice Noodles with Shrimp Prawns and Asparagus

Mother Teresa allegedly said: "It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy". All generalisations are slightly suspect, perhaps - well, almost all, anyway :-)! Nevertheless, Mother Teresa's words point to a fundamental aspect of our humanity that we tend to overlook: when you feel good in your skin, you simply can't feel nearly as miserable as you otherwise might. Mind and body are intimately connected. If one feels even halfway good, the other is bound to feel better as a result.

So, while I'm the first to acknowledge my smallness in the great scheme of things, I'd like to offer my own take on this idea of connection and well-being. "It is impossible to eat good Thai green curry and be unhappy." When your lips are tingling with the perkiness of Thai chillies and your palate is still resonating with the clear, fragrant, harmonious flavours, it's impossible not to feel a sense of visceral contentment. Serves 3 - 4 225 g/ 8 oz rice noodles 2 tbs vegetable oil 2 or 3 garlic cloves 1 green bird chilli, seeded and finely chopped 125 g/ 4 oz thin asparagus (heads intact, stalks chopped into 1cm/ inch pieces) 1 tbs Thai green curry paste 1 stalk lemon grass (outer layer removed and chopped fine) 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped 3 tbs Thai fish sauce 2 tsp sugar (palm sugar) 225 g/ 8 oz small, cooked, peeled shrimp (prawns) Method Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for the time specified on the packet while preparing the sauce.

Drain. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and as soon as it starts to turn golden, add the chillies, then the green curry paste, stirring constantly.

When the curry paste starts to smell fragrant, throw in the asparagus and keep stirring for another minute or two. Once the asparagus turn a brighter green and begin to soften, add the lime leaves, Thai sauce and sugar. Add the prawns and cook stirring for a minute or so, until the prawns heat up and the asparagus are cooked through but still slightly crisp under your teeth. Now, throw in the noodles and keep tossing and turning everything until the noodles are impregnated with all the flavours of the sauce. Turn into a serving dish and either serve immediately, or serve later at room temperature. This dish is delicious hot and possibly even better the next day at room temperature.

If you ever want to curry favour with a loved one by providing him/her with a delicious lunch box, you can be sure of doing so with this noodle dish. Note: There are different qualities of rice noodles, just as there are different qualities of pasta. If you are fortunate enough to have the choice, experiment with different brands until you come up with one that you particularly like.

(C) 2005 Annie Kaszina Annie's e-cookbook "Gloriously Gluten Free" and Gina Gardiner's handbook for Celiacs "Live Well - Eat Well With Celiac Disease" are available through their website: .

By: Annie Kaszina

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