shanghai noodles with pork mince

shanghai noodles with pork minceWinter is well and truly upon us, and oh! how the days grow short and the nights cold. And on such days (which are destined to continue for at least the next couple of months) the thought of trudging home to cook up a meal after a long day and a stinkin' bus trip does not hold quite the same appeal as it did back in Summer. The upside? Winter comfort food, and quick qinter comfort food at that. Don't reach for the phone and call for take out noodles, because in 25 or so minutes (15 if you have an assistant handy), you can be plated and ready for a quick, tasty and nutritionally balanced(ish) dinner in front of whatever you deem worthy of watching.

Enter Shanghai Noodles with a beany minced pork topping and lashings of crunchy cucumber. More texturally interesting than your average microwave meal and twice as good for you. Also tasty. Did I mention how tasty these were? The family went fairly nuts for it (and, I'm proud to say, ate the lot - which is not bad at all).

noodles & spring onion
noodles & spring onion

Note: Shanghai noodles are long, thin eggless noodles with a flour base. You should be able to find a packet in most asian grocery stores. If not, you can substitute with udon noodles (which will be thicker, but equally tasty).

shanghai noodles with pork mince

ingredients:

for the sauce:

2 tbsp brown bean sauce
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
375 ml (1½ cups)chicken stock

for the rest of it:

80 ml (1/3 cup) vegetable oil
5 green onions, finely chopped, white and green parts separated
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
300g minced pork
1 tsp white sugar, or to taste
1 tsp tapioca starch
500gm fresh Shanghai noodles
1 Lebanese cucumber

method:

1. First things first. Take off your coat, shake your umbrella out and get into a pair of slippers. Turn the heating on and rouse the family. "We're having noodles for dinner!" you will say. "Oh, ok." they will reply. Don't worry about the lack of reaction. They'll come around once they start to smell it.

mix the sauce up
mix the sauce up

2. Now get to sauce making. Dump it all in whatever is deemed worthy and stir around. It can be tricky measuring out some of the ingredients, mainly because the lid of your jar will be this big and your tablespoon measure will be just that little bit wider. No matter. Guess-timate. Use your sense of smell to see what you think it should be like.

chop the spring onion & cucumber
chop the spring onion & cucumber

3. Hopefully by now you will have found a hungry hovering hippo to give you a hand. If not, you can do it yourself. It's not so bad, truly. Chop up the spring onion and cucumber. Three bowls please. One for the white part of the spring onion, one for the green, and another for the cucumber. I've done my spring onion in rounds (straight across it) and my cucumber in little matchsticky pieces.

4. While they're at it, get them to chop the garlic. That way their fingers will smell of garlic all night, and not yours.

cooking it all up
cooking it all up

5. We're almost there! Truly! Tip the oil in a wok and wait til it gets hot. Toss the white part of the spring onion and the garlic in and fry until fragrant (but not brown). About half a minute will do nicely.

6. Toss the mince in and stir fry it until it becomes opaque and each bit of meat separates from the others.

7. Now toss your sauce mix in and simmer. After about five minutes, mix your starch with about 3 tablespoons of water and toss that in too. Bring it to the boil, then back to a simmer for another five minutes. Toss the green part of the spring onion in and stir just before serving.

8. In the meantime, cook your noodles in a separate pot of boiling water for about 3 minutes.

9. All done? Ladle a serve of noodles into a bowl, top with your nicely thickened meaty sauce, a good handful of cucumber and you're good to go. Now, where was that remote...

good to go
good to go

9 bites more:

Belle@OohLook said...

Fabulous recipe! But does your family mind being called 'hungry hippo'?

Ellie said...

I love a good bowl of shanghai noodle but haven't found a good recipe for the pork mince sauce. Yours sound good, I am eager to try it soon.

Betty said...

Oh, I love a good bowl of noodles! Perfect for this weather too!

Arwen from Hoglet K said...

Sounds quick and tasty. It's great to have a hungry helper around when you're cooking!

Stephcookie said...

Yum, you are far too good at feeding people! It looks so easy, I think I'll be making it soon :) I want to get a mandoline so I can have matchsticky chopped things in seconds...but I'm scared of chopping my fingers off in the process!

stef said...

wow Shez this looks so yummy!

howard said...

classic dish, I love the sauce I could eat it by itself.

shez said...

Belle: Many thanks! The family do not mind so much seeing as their colective skinniness makes the description semi-ironic :)

Ellie: Hope you enjoy it. I made it for lunch/dinner again on Saturday to much glee.

Betty: You betcha! Carb me up in cold weather and I'm stoked.

Arwen: I haven't had to chop very much recently, and I'm liking it :)

Stephcookie: Oh! Me too! (And me too... I'm terrible with things that are even vaguely sharp.)

stef: Thanks girlie :)

howard: I imagine you could. (Though I don't know it'd be particularly filling?)

Y said...

Looks great! I love quick meals like these :)

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