January 24, 2009
Reprinted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter Publishers, 2008). Copyright 2008 by American Public Media.
Serves 4 as a main dish
15 minutes prep time; 10 minutes stove time
This dish is best cooked and served immediately
A favorite dish from an old teacher, this is a Chinese pasta with meat sauce. It evolved from two of my favorite recipes by Chinese cookbook author Gloria Bley Miller.
There's a curious juxtaposition in Chinese food. Marrying flavors into a complex whole is a technique the Chinese do best, yet no other cuisine plays opposing textures with the precision that they do. You'll taste it all in this suave hoisin-scented pork with slippery noodles and crunchy water chestnuts, all finished with crisp raw vegetables.
Before there were cooking schools and Chinese food experts on television, there were the books. Through her writing, author Gloria Bley Miller was one of my first teachers. Her Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook was a classroom in itself. She stayed at my bedside for years.
The Four Flavors:
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.
Reprinted from The Splendid Table's How to Eat Supper: Recipes, Stories, and Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2008). Copyright 2008 by American Public Media
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. 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.
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