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Rice Noodles with Butternut Squash & Five-Spice Shrimp
“Noodle dishes like this one are often served as part of a Chinese New Year's celebration to symbolize a long, healthy life. In this easy recipe, butternut squash adds another layer of meaning with a golden color evocative of a prosperous year to come.”
18 raw shrimp (16-20 per pound; 1-1¼ pounds), peeled and deveined, tails left on if desired
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (see Tip)
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 cups cubed butternut squash (1-inch)
1 large orange bell pepper, chopped (1-inch)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger matchsticks
¼ cup water
8 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari plus 1 teaspoon, divided
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
4 scallions, trimmed and diagonally sliced ( ¼-inch), divided
1Combine shrimp, five-spice powder and crushed red pepper in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours.
2Heat 2 tablespoons canola oil in a large, flat-bottom carbon-steel wok or large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring, until just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
3Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons canola oil into the pan. Add squash; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown in spots and partially cooked, 6 to 8 minutes. Add bell pepper and ginger; cook, stirring, 2 minutes more. Stir in water, cover and cook until the squash is tender, about 5 minutes more.
4Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions. Remove with tongs to a colander. (Leave the hot water in the pot, covered.) Rinse the noodles and drain well.
5Return the shrimp and any accumulated juice to the pan. Stir in 2 tablespoons tamari and 1 teaspoon sesame oil; cook, gently tossing, until the shrimp are hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
6Briefly stir the noodles into the hot water to reheat. Drain well. Transfer to a bowl and toss with the remaining 1 teaspoon each tamari and sesame oil and half the scallions. Serve the shrimp over the noodles, sprinkled with the remaining scallions.
To make ahead: Marinate shrimp (Step 1) for up to 4 hours.
Tips: Chinese five-spice powder is a blend of cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. Look for it in the spice section of the supermarket or with other Asian ingredients.