Friday, April 18, 2008

Szechuan Hot and Sour Noodles

This is one dish which I would cook when we need something to stir up our appetite. The spiciness and sourness is in the Szechuan style. Please kindly be reminded that this is different from the Szechuan spicy noodle (Ma Lak) mien.

250 gm to 300gm of 5 flower pork cut or any other tender cut for stir frying
1 small piece of szechuan perserved vegetables, washed and soak really well and sliced to thin strips
1 medium piece of winter bamboo, sliced to thin strips
4-5 pieces of medium dried shitake mushroom, soaked and sliced to thin strips
1/2 tbsp of chopped garlic
1 stalk of spring onion
2 tbsp of oil

Meat seasoning:
1/2 teasp of salt and pepper
1 tbsp of cornstarch + 1 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of chicken powder seasoning
1/2 tbsp of sugar

2 tbsp of szechuan hot bean paste
3 tbsp of dark vineger
1 tbsp of sugar
1 tbsp of dark soya
1 tsbp of sesame oil
500gm of superior chicken stock (or 500 gm of water with 1/2 tbsp of chicken seasoning powder)
pepper and sugar to taste, no more salt please.

1) Clean the pork and slice to thin strips. Season with the meat seasoning and set aside for 1/2 hour. Coating with cornflour will give the meat a smooth, tender texture upon cooking and becasue of this, you wont need to use too much cornflour to thicken the sauce later.

2) Soak the szechuan vegies well before cutting to get rid of the saltiness. But don't over do it as it can become bland.

3) Heat up wok with oil. Add garlic and stir fry till golden brown. Add pork meat and stir fry till the outer part of meat turns a little white. Add mushrooms, winter bamboo, and szechuan vegies. Add hot bean paste. Stir fry all ingredients until well mixed and coated with oil and hot bean paste.

4) Add rest of sauce ingredients including the 500 ml of chicken stock. And boil. Turn to simmer till meat is tender and cooked. Add 1 1/2 tablespoon of cornflour with 1 tbsp water to thicken the sauce. If you like the soup version, omit the cornflour but add 1 to 1.2 litre of superior chicken stock to boil.

5)Place the meat & sauce generously on top fresh homemade noodles (taiwanese style or la mien) and serve with green vegies like chai sim or xioa bai chai.

You have to use Szechuan style hot bean paste. There is no substitute except for maybe the Taiwan Hot Bean Paste, which comes in a small jar. Both are available at Tabuan Laru UNACO.

Even though my noodle making skills are not exactly there, it is difficult to resort back to eating/buying commercial made noodles. So I always insist on making my own noodles if I cook dishes such as this. The only noodle that comes close is available at Petanak Market in Kuching. Their noodles are made daily and they supply to Ting's Noodles in Kuching. Look for the plump lady.

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