Read the recipe all the way through to get a general idea. It seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not hard or complicated. The prep takes 20 minutes, the cooking takes 10 minutes. It’s a fast meal really–but the key is to have everything ready before you start the wok. If you don’t have a wok, use a large skillet- turning the heat down a bit.
The first step is to soak the rice noodles. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, break the noodles in half and soak the noodles for 20 minutes. They will be bendy but not soft. Don’t worry that they are not soft, they will get soft in the wok. While the noodles are soaking get your other ingredients ready.
In this version, I added tofu and shrimp. But feel free to use one or the other. Cut extra firm tofu, and pat down hard with paper towels to release some of the moisture, into strips or cubes.
Heat peanut oil (or vegetable oil), on high heat. Swirl it around the edges of the wok, coating it. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and stir until just golden. Crack the egg in the center. It will bubble and spatter. Add the tofu, radish and dried shrimp, around the edges of egg, stirring them constantly with a metal spatula, careful to keep the egg intact, for a minute, until they get golden. When the edges of the egg are golden brown, flip, and break it apart into a few pieces with the metal spatula, and then stir it all together, letting it brown up a bit, for another minute.
Add the noodles and bean sprouts –constantly stirring and flipping for a minute or more- until the noodles begin to soften. Add the prawns, peas, asparagus and tamarind-fish sauce. Stir until the prawns are cooked through, the noodles are soft, and the liquid has evaporated about 5 minutes. Add the scallions ( or garlic chives) and ½ of the peanuts.
And serve immediately, garnishing with lime, more peanuts, scallions ( or chives) , fresh bean sprouts and chili flakes.