I apologise for the lateness of this post, breaking my Monday-recipe-write ups, but you must excuse my tardiness because laziness played a key part in discovering this recipe. Plus, I’d like to consider myself to be fairly busy revising – and education is always a valid excuse…?
Anyhow, coming back yesterday a day later than planned from my Oxford excursion, plus the inability to summon motivation to walk to supermarket, caused said culinary discovery. I wanted noodles. When I was younger, my family and I used to eat them all the time, and they were somewhat a staple store cupboard ingredient, but now they are rarely eaten; left only as the a treat of a take away Chinese. I’ve always thought that the reasoning behind never making ‘proper’ noodles myself was because the sauces were too fiddly to recreate. Those brilliant little packets of chili, ginger, or sesame delight do the job perfectly – and I was content to let them continue (and this is where my revision induced supermarket-laziness comes into play), until I discovered how easy it is to make for yourself.
Thanks to idle googling and BBC Good Food, I found this nifty sauce. In adding the ground ginger and fresh chili to the pork early on, it is coated in the spices and absorbs their flavours. The brilliant thing about this sauce which enables it to lubricate the noodles so well, is the addition of the water to the ground ginger. Whereas ground ginger would naturally burn to the bottom of the pan without liquid, the drips of water essentially form a ‘roux’, to which the rest of the ingredients are added. The ‘ginger-y’ sauce is then further loosened with the addition of more liquid – the water, and soy sauce, the classic Chinese component. These flavours are combined over a long period of time, and their consistency as a sauce is constantly played with, meaning they interact with other components in a variety of ways: firstly coating the meat similarly to a spice rub; then nestling alongside the meat, as it absorbs the flavoured liquid.
Moreover, I found this sauce has very little difference in its taste to a shop bought sachet. And after consulting the back of such a sachet, the ingredients also bear very little difference. So I would be fairly confident to describe this sauce as authentic! In future, I intend to experiment further with the flavours; ginger and chili is a common (and perhaps basic, in the context of what is actually available) combination, and so much more can be made from these humble beginnings! So watch this space…after trying the sauce for yourself, naturally.
- Egg noodles
- Olive oil
- Diced pork (can be bought ready-diced, or from a chop/steak)
- 1 garlic glove, finely sliced
- Sprinkling of ground ginger, to taste
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2:1 soy sauce and water (2:1 = for a single portion)
- Fresh chili, deseeded and finely sliced
- Separate the egg noodles in a bowl. Heat oil in a frying pan, and fry the pork until it is sealed. Add the chili and ginger, and stir to coat the pork in the spices.
- Add the onion, garlic and stir. Run the tap, turn it off, and allow the drips of water to fall into the pan. Stir, and this should ensure the ginger doesn’t burn onto the bottom of the pan, forming the ‘roux’ for the basis of the sauce.
- Stir in the sliced pepper, and fry until beginning to soften. Transfer the noodles from the bowl into the pan, and gently toss the ingredients to combine.
- In whatever quantity, to taste or size of the dish, add soy sauce and cold water in the ratio 2:1. Turn the heat down to low, and fry gently until everything is warmed through.
- Season, and serve in a bowl, topping with some more finely sliced chili, if you wish.