I have to stop listening to the Splendid Table podcast when I drive. Not really. When I heard Lynne talking about this one I wanted to point the car in the direction of the nearest Asian grocery store and make a beeline for home.
Serves 4 as a main dish
15 minutes prep time; 10 minutes stove time
This dish is best cooked and served immediately
The Four Flavors:
1-1/2 cups thin-sliced radishes
1-1/2 cups bean sprouts
1-1/2 cups peeled, seeded, and diced cucumbers
1-1/2 cups thin-sliced fresh spinach leaves
5 quarts salted water in a 6-quart pot
3/4 pound narrow Chinese egg noodles or imported spaghetti
1 pound ground pork butt
3 tablespoons dry sherry
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 teaspoon hot chile paste or hot chile powder (use more or less to taste)
3 tablespoons expeller-pressed canola oil or other neutral-tasting oil
Heaping 1/2 cup thin-sliced whole scallions (about 4)
1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts
3/4 cup Cheater’s Homemade Chicken Broth (recipe follows) or canned chicken broth
1. Place each of the “four flavors” in a separate small serving bowl.
2. Bring the salted water to a boil. Drop the noodles into the boiling water and boil, stirring often, until tender but still firm to the bite. Drain them in a colander and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, use a fork to blend the pork with the sherry, garlic, and sugar. Let stand while prepping the rest of the dish.
4. In a small bowl, blend together the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and chile paste.
5. Heat a wok or a large skillet over high heat. Swirl in the oil. When it is hot, add the pork and stir-fry for 3 minutes, breaking up any chunks. The meat is ready when it is no longer pink and most of its liquid has cooked off. Add the scallions and water chestnuts. Stir-fry for 45 seconds more.
6. Stir in the soy sauce mixture, and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the broth and heat quickly. Then cook, stirring, for 2-1/2 minutes over high heat.
7. Add the noodles and stir-fry for 1 minute to permeate the noodles with the sauce. Turn the noodles into a large bowl. Serve them immediately, with the bowls of the four flavors.
Makes about 4 cups; doubles and triples easily.
10 minutes prep time; 12 minutes stove time
This is good warm and cool and keeps in the refrigerator for a day or two.
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed (leave unpeeled if organic)
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 canned tomato
- 1 bay leaf, broken
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
- Three 14-ounce cans chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 medium to large onion, coarse chopped (if organic, trim away root but leave skin)
- 1/2 large celery stalk with leaves, coarse chopped
- 1/2 medium carrot, coarse chopped (leave unpeeled if organic)
1. In a 4-quart pot, combine all the ingredients. Bring to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
2. Strain the broth into a bowl or a storage container. Either use it right away, refrigerate it, or freeze it.