Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Stir Fry Pork & Noodles

One of the few omissions at Borough Market is a supplier of Asian ingredients, or indeed any non European basics. French, Italian, Spanish, Polish are all well represented and catered for but the wider world isn't really. You can of course buy chillies and ginger and coriander and any cut of meat you need but it's the other bits - fresh slithery egg noodles, shaoxing wine, delicate grains of basmati rice, treacly dark soy that are indispensable to the process of making Asian dishes.

I tend to shop for what I need either in Chinatown on the edge of Soho where the choice is huge to the point of overwhelming or else in the Chinese supermarket in Atlantic Road on the edge of Brixton market. I love roaming the aisles of Lee Ho Fook and New Moon because there are always so many things I have never tried and have maybe heard of and many more that I have never even heard of - so I'll have new things to look for in recipes, to make other connections. And then my cooking and food knowledge evolves. I was in Brixton Saturday afternoon so I spent a happy half hour browsing, then bought a few essentials, as well as tofu and noodles for some dishes I was planning for the week.

I love eating Asian food - it has a whole other range of perfumes and textures and flavours and is somehow delicate and robust simultaneously. I enjoy cooking Asian dishes - they are different to most European dishes with so much preparation being able to be done first then often really quick cooking times with flavour coming from marinades and aromatics rather than slow cooking making it an easy option mid week after work and a treat always.

Stir Fry Pork & Noodles

350g/12oz pork fillet, thinly sliced
1 tbspn shoaxing wine
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, chopped finely
1 tbspn ginger, grated
2 tbspn groundnut oil
1 tbspn dark soy
2 tbspn fish sauce
1/2 cup water
500g packet of fresh egg noodles
500g pak choi
1 tbspn oyster sauce
3 spring onions, green part chopped
Handful fresh coriander, chopped

Soak the sliced pork in the rice wine while you chop the rest of the ingredients. Rinse the noodles in a colander to separate them. Separate the leaves of the bok choy and rinse. It is best to prepare everything before you start cooking. Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat till very hot, briefly stir fry the chilli, ginger and garlic then add the pork and stir fry till the meat changes colour. Add the noodles, soy and fish sauce, stir to coat everything, then add the water. When it simmers, reduce the heat, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Uncover the noodles, return the heat to high and add the pak choi and the oyster sauce. Stir fry till the leaves wilt then toss through the spring onions and coriander and serve immediately.

Fabulous supper with less than 10 minutes cooking.

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