Flavorful and not too hot
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus 2 cups for deep-frying
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in warm water and sliced
1 green chili, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
juice of 1 1/2 limes
1 1/2 tablespoons dark Chinese vinegar
4 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 pound finely shredded pork
4 scallions, cut into shreds
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 pound lump crabmeat
1/4 pound sen mee (very thin dried rice noodle)
1. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the onion, garlic, dried mushrooms, and chili. Sauté about 5 minutes, or until the onion is lightly browned.
2. Add soy sauce, lime juice, Chinese vinegar, 4 tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, and the tomato paste. Bring mixture to a boil, remove from heat, and reserve.
3. In a small bowl, beat the egg with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of fish sauce and with the sesame oil. Pour into a wide nonstick skillet set over low heat, and tilt the skillet until a wide, thin omelet is formed. Cook egg for about 10 minutes, turning several times, until it's dry and Firm. Remove egg from skillet, roll up, and cut into thin 1/4-inch strips. Reserve.
4. Place a tablespoon of oil in a wok over high heat. Add the pork, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the scallions, bean sprouts, crabmeat, and reserved strips of egg. Sprinkle the mixture with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Stir-fry 30 seconds, remove, and reserve.
5. When ready to serve, heat the remaining 2 cups oil in a deep-fryer or a wok. Tear the sen mee into halves (it's easiest to do this in a large shopping bag). When the oil reaches 375 degrees, put one eighth of the noodles in the oil; within a few seconds, they will puff up. Turn noodles over once, and remove. They should be golden, and this should have taken no more than 30 seconds. Repeat with remaining noodles, an eighth at a time. Each time the noodles are done, place the cooked noodles on paper towels on a baking pan, and keep warm in 200 degrees oven.
6. When all of the noodles are cooked, place one eighth of them on a serving platter. Heat the bean sprout mixture. Spread one eighth of the bean sprout mixture evenly over the noodles. Continue with eighths until all of the noodles and all of the bean sprout mixture are used. Heat sauce, pour over the mee krob, and mix together gently to distribute the sauce. Serve immediately.