Monday, October 15, 2007
Hot and Sour Rhubarb and crispy pork with noodles
1kg Pork belly, boned, rind removed, cut into 3-4 cm cubes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Groundnut or vegetable oil
375g medium egg noodles
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
2 punnets of interesting cresses (such as coriander, shiso, or basil cress)
a bunch of coriander
For the Marinade:
4Tbsp runny honey
4 Tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh chillies, halved and deseeded
1 heaped tsp five spice
a thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
Preheat to 180c/350f
Place the pork pieces in a roasting tray and put to one side. Chuck all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste, then pour this all over the pork, adding a large wine glass of water. Mix it all up, then tightly cover the tray with tin foil and place in the preheated oven for about an hour and thirty minutes.
Pick the pieces of pork out of the pan and put to one side. The sauce left in the pan will be tasty and pretty much perfect, but if you feel it needs to be thickened slightly, simmer on a gentle heat for a bit until it is reduced to the consistency of ketchup. Season to taste, adding extra soy sauce if necessary, and put to one side.
Put a pan of salted water on to boil.
Add a good drizzle of oil to a pan or wok. Add your pieces of pork to the wok and fry for a few minutes till crisp and golden. You might need to do this in two batches. At the same time, drop your noodles into boiling water and cook for a few minutes, then drain most of the water away. Divide the noodles into four warmed bowls immediately, while they are still moist.
To finish, spoon over a good amount of the rhubarb sauce. Divide the crispy pork on top, and add a good sprinkling of spring onions, chili, cresses and coriander. Serve with half a lime each.
I had to try this one because I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rhubarb recipe that wasn’t a dessert before. Rhubarb is so much fun to have around, it’s so pretty and I always believed that there should be other uses for it. It was also my first opportunity to use my brand new meat cleaver. I’m very excited to have one. I’ve been thinking about getting one for a while, and I found one at a good price. It’s really a lot more helpful then I thought it would be, I love it.
So this recipe is from Jamie at Home. It’s not the lowest maintenance recipe in the world, but it is totally worth it. This is so good! The use of rhubarb here is really wonderfully creative. It is all pureed into the sauce, so you don’t see it anywhere, but it adds the greatest tangy-ness to it. The mix of flavors is really amazing. This was my husband’s favorite out of all the Chinese or Chinese style dishes that I’ve made. It’s the tail end of the rhubarb season right now as far as I can tell, but every time it comes back in season, I’ll be pulling out this recipe. I may even grow some myself.
I did the final steps of pulling out the pieces of pork and frying them and reducing the sauce, and it really did add a nice finishing touch, but I think it would be worth trying it without those steps if, like me, those moments right before dinner are a little hectic. Also, I had no interesting cress. I can’t really get that. It would have been nice, but omitting it is not going to kill the dish by any stretch of the imagination.