Adventures in Szechuan Cuisine.
This is a familiar dish to most, but with a little foray into the Szechuan way turns the familiar into the exceptional with some fiery Szechuan flare.
The recipes in this series on Szechuan Cuisine are somewhat tempered for the chili adverse, but I do encourage you to ramp up the chili factor for some sensational taste bites.
For additional general information, including seasoning a wok, go to Szechuan Beef (see here)
Szechuan Pork Lo Mein: serves 2 or double for 4
- 6 oz/ 175g fresh Chinese egg noodles (or 4oz/125g dry)
- 6oz/175g pork loin, sliced into thin bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoons cold pressed peanut oil
- 2-3 dried red chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 inch knob ginger root; peeled, thinly sliced, and finely diced
- 6 green onions; white parts halved and cut into batons. Green stalks thinly sliced.
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into thin bite size strips
- 2 small fresh green chilies, seeded and thinly sliced on the diagonal
- 1 heaping teaspoon crushed Szechuan peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing Chinese cooking wine
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 4 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce (or 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce + 1 teaspoon mushroom sauce)
- Â½ cup hot stock
- 1 Â½ teaspoons corn starch mixed with equal part water (optional)
- 2 small cucumbers, peeled and cut into bite sized batons
- sea salt to taste
- fresh coriander leaves for garnish
As mentioned before, preparing all the stir fry Â ingredients placed into individual bowls arranged in succession of their addition to the stir fry makes for stress free stir frying.
Before you begin stir frying bring an ample amount of water to a boil, salt, and add the noodles. Stir now and again as you are stir frying and drain once you have finished the stir frying. Fresh noodles will take about 4 minutes and dry noodles about 6 minutes. The noodles can also be boiled after the stir frying is completed if that is easier. Simply reheat the stir fry before serving.
Step 1:Heat the wok over medium high flame and when hot add 1 tablespoon peanut oil and swirl the wok to distribute the oil. Promptly add the pork pieces and red chili pieces and stir fry while continually moving and flipping the pork and chilies until the pork just begins to color. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Add 1 teaspoons peanut oil to the wok and when nearly smoking add the ginger, white part of the onions, garlic, red bell pepper, green chilies, and Szechuan pepper and stir fry until the ingredients wilt, about 1 to 1 Â½ minutes.
Step 3: Add the Shaoxing cooking wine and stir fry until the wine has nearly evaporated. Add the sesame oil, reserved stir fried pork, and mushrooms. Continue to stir fry for a minute while tossing the ingredients.
Step 4: Push the stir fried ingredients up the sides of the wok and add the hot stock into the center. Once the stock is boiling add the cornstarch mixture (if using) to thicken the sauce. Stir until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Otherwise toss the ingredients into the unthickened pan sauce.
Step 5: Finally, add the cucumbers and sliced green onions and toss into the stir fry until just warmed. Season with sea salt to taste.
Serving:Â Place the hot drained noodles into individual serving plates or bowls and top with the stir fry. Spoon pan sauce over the stir fry and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve promptly.
Suggested: Serve with red chili oil Â at the table for adding additional heat.