Some time ago I wrote a couple of recipes using some Char Siu pork (a Chinese preparation of pork which is covered in a spicy, sweet glaze and then roasted). The first can be found here: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/2-ways-with-char-siu-pork-1-char-siu.html. The second, here: http://snigskitchen.blogspot.com/2011/06/2-ways-with-char-siu-pork-2-char-siu.html . Well, I've been back to the Chinese supermarket, and dreamt up some new creations using this wonderfully tasty ingredient, which is really beginning to surprise me with its versatility.
Many of us commonly cook stir fries as a weekday supper. Easy to prepare, quick to cook and easy on the pocket, they fit the post-work meal bill perfectly. I used to be guilty of buying those sachets and jars of Sharwood's or Blue Dragon sauces from Tescos and the like, and was often disappointed by how bland and oversweet they often were. It was not until seeing street chefs in Cambodia and Thailand use a combination of Chinese style condiments that I realised that there is life beyond a jar of sweet and sour sauce. I've not been brave enough to ask any of them for their recipes, but definitely noted that the use of a fresh base of aromatics (ginger, garlic and chili) made the shop bought ingredients sing with vitality.
I used a combination of sugar snap peas, beans, pepper and mushroom here. Partly because they were the veggies I had left in my fridge at home. You will have noted from a previous 'Waste Not, Want Not' post that I don't approve of food wastage. However, you could substitute for mange tout, asparagus, tender stem broccoli, ung choi, or choi sum. More exotic mushrooms than the organic chestnut ones I used would work well. Spring onions would have gone in to the dish if I had them in the house, but they never last very long, being a favourite ingredient for salads. All that you need to do is make sure that whatever veg you put in is no bigger than 2-2½” so that they cook quickly and can be eaten with chopsticks easily.
1 Thai red chili, very finely chopped (1-2mm squares)
3 cloves garlic, grated or very finely chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled then grated or very finely chopped
7-9 sugar snap peas, cut in half
7-9 french fine beans, cut in half
½ red pepper, cut into small batons
3 mushrooms, cut into thin slices
1 head pak choi, cut into small chunks
200g char sui pork, cut into thin slices
2 nests medium egg noodles
2 tbsp groundnut oil
|Ingredients all prepared and good to go!|
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp hoi sin sauce
1-2 tbsp water (enough to loosen up the sauce so it coats the noodles)
- Cook the noodles according to the pack instructions. Mine required being boiled for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to wash away the excess starch. Leave to one side. If it is going to be a while before you cook the stir fry, lightly dress in some extra groundnut oil to prevent them sticking.
- Meanwhile, blend the sauce ingredients together in a jug until of uniform consistency.
- Heat the groundnut oil in a wok until hot, but not smoking. If you heat up the oil too highly, your aromatics will burn and stick to the bottom of the wok. Add the aromatics and stir around for 30 seconds. Now add the pak choi and stir for another 1 min - 30 seconds.
- Add the fine beans and stir fry for two minutes.
- Now add the mushrooms and peppers. You may need to turn up the heat to keep the wok hot, now that you have quite a few ingredients on the go. You don't want the wok to cool or the veg will start steaming in its own juice rather than stir fry. Stir fry for two minutes.
- Add the sugar snaps. Stir fry for one minute.
- Add the sliced char siu pork. This will need 1-2 minutes depending on how thinly you have sliced it up. It needs to be thoroughly heated through.
- Add the noodles. You will now need to stir through very thoroughly to ensure all of the noodles don't clump together and they absorb the heat. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add the sauce and mix up so that it coats all of the meat, veggies and noodles. Cook for 1 minute. Check the meat and noodles are piping hot.
- Serve immediately.