Prep 45 mins
Cook 15 mins
For this recipe, we prefer fresh Chinese noodles with a width between linguine and fettuccine. If you are using Asian sesame paste that has a pourable rather than spreadable consistency, use only 1 cup of chicken broth. Don't hesitate over this dish because of the list of ingredients. Just follow the all-important basic drill which streamlines all Chinese recipes. They always have several clusters of ingredients. You mix each of them together and end up with maybe three or four little bowls that will come together in literally minutes. First, read through the recipe. Then gather all the ingredients in one place. Mix together the different elements. Finally, when you are ready, cook. From The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2009: The Year's Best Recipes, Equipment Reviews, and Tastings (America's Test Kitchen, Brookline, MA, 2008). Copyright 2008 by the Editors at America's Test Kitchen.
- 8 ounces ground pork
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons chinese rice wine or 2 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1⁄4 cup asian sesame paste or 1⁄4 cup smooth peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 -1 1⁄4 cup low sodium chicken broth (see head note above)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (minced or grated)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 lb fresh Chinese noodles or 12 ounces dried linguine
- 3 scallions, sliced thin on the bias
- 2 cups bean sprouts (optional)
- 1 tablespoon szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground (optional)
- Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot for the noodles.
- Meanwhile, toss the pork with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, rice wine, and a pinch of pepper to combine and set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame paste, vinegar, and a pinch of pepper together until smooth, then whisk in the broth; set aside.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the pork mixture and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the pork is in small, well-browned bits, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth mixture, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the sesame oil; cover and set aside.
- While the sauce simmers, stir the noodles into the boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, until the noodles are tender, about 4 minutes for fresh noodles or 10 minutes for dried linguine. Drain the noodles, divide them among individual bowls, then ladle a portion of the sauce over the top. Sprinkle with the scallions, the bean sprouts and ground Szechuan peppercorns, if using, and serve.
The recipe as written is delicious! We liked it so much that it has become a regular; however, I found that it is easy to customize by following the basic steps, but adding or subtracting certain ingredients. Just prep the pork to marinate, and, in the main sauce bowl, throw in whatever you would like. I've used hoisin, apricot preserves, fish sauce, jerk seasoning, curry, 5-spice, etc. Those additions are certainly not authentic, but they are great flavor variations. Also, when I didn't have bean sprouts, I very thinly sliced and roughly chopped cabbage for a little crunch. Raw chopped jumbo shrimp added to the pork sauce as it is cooking is delicious. Most importantly, I have found I enjoy the noodles more when I stir all of the sauce into all of the noodles. As it melds together, the texture and flavors improve.