We normally prepare our own meals, or we might think it convenient (or social) to go out for the odd curry (or similar). We very rarely get a take-away and never get a pizza delivered. The only exception that occurs once every couple of months is that I walk up to the local Chinese Take-away restaurant and get a portion of stir-fried noodles. I suppose that option will stay with us if we can’t be asked to cook, but hey…
I am not a great friend of following recipes, but Exploring China is so mouth-watering and stimulating to watch that I couldn’t help myself, denied business for Hongkong Gardens and made my own double-cooked pork noodle stir-fry:
Cut belly of pork into 1.5 .. 2 inch thick slices. Fry skin and opposite side in a non-sticking frying pan (or a wok) until it begins to colour, then add water (about half the height of the pork), close the lid and simmer for 30 minutes. A bay leaf and a pinch of salt won’t be wasted.
Meanwhile, peel fresh peas (frozen also OK if must, just add straight from the freezer when I tell you to), clean, wash and dehydrate a good portion of Chestnut mushrooms.
Chop a thumb-sized piece of Ginger into very fine dice. Finely slice a red onion, crush a clove of garlic. Dice a hot red chilly, and crush a handful of Thai basil. (Do not substitute with Italian sweet basil! Just use another herb – for example, mint and Chinese cabbage could work, a small amount of fresh curry leaves could also be OK. I use a mix od Thai and Mexican basil.) Crush some black and Sichuan red pepper (if you like Sichuan red pepper. I don’t).
Wash and cut a handful of Swiss chard.
When the time is up, remove the meat and use the remaining water to boil some suitable noodles. Flat rice noodles would be the most authentic choice, but I prefer egg noodles. Whatever you like.
Cut the pork slices into little pieces, maybe 10mm thick.
Remove the noodles and keep the remaining liquid (there shouldn’t be much liquid left).
Now comes the stir-fry: heat the wok (or the same pan after a quick wipe) with a ladle of mild oil. Sunflower oil, ground nut oil, grape seed oil will all be OK, but olive oil is not. Quickly fry the pork pieces until they look nice, then remove the meat and set aside. Fry all the chopped-up and crushed vegetables, peas, herbs and spices, stirring almost constantly. Add a ladle of rice wine, another of rice vinegar, another one of dark soy sauce. Add the remaining noodle liquid, and a tablespoon or two of dark Oyster sauce, and season with salt. Stir for 2 or 3 minutes, then serve and enjoy.
You’ll never look back.
- Dan Dan Noodles (擔擔麵) (yangwithadashofyin.wordpress.com)
- Teriyaki Pork Stir Fry with Zucchini (todaysmama.com)
- Simple, yet decadent fish supper: pan-fried vendace (nami-nami.blogspot.com)
- Basil Meatballs in Tomato Sauce (annesfood.blogspot.com)