Sunday, June 26, 2011


At my grocery store, fresh Chinese noodles come in one pound packages, which is too much for two people.  So if I make noodles, I've always got half a pack sitting around.  This recipe from Harumi's Japanese Cooking is specifically described as a way to use up left over noodles, so I had to try it! Harumi's yakisoba recipe has a mild sauce, though you can spice it up by adding a splash or two of rice vinegar and a spoonful of Japanese or Chinese mustard.  Don't use yellow or Dijon mustard, it'll taste weird.

The noodles are supposed to be cooked until they're crispy, which takes a long time, at least it did for me.  The bok choy adds some extra crunch if the noodles don't cooperate.  I used baby bok choy, it comes in bunches of three and it was enough for two people.  Aside from cooking the noodles until crunchy, this dish is pretty quick!

From Harumi's Japanese Cooking
Serves 2
2 inches fresh, peeled ginger
4 oz pork, cut into bite sized pieces (I used an organic boneless pork chop)
3 baby bok choy
1.5 c hot water
1 tsp chicken stock (the original recipe calls for Chinese soup paste, which I don't have)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp shokoshu or Shaoxing wine (aka Chinese cooking wine)
1 tsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 oz cooked Chinese noodles
1.5 Tbsp corn starch mixed with 1.5 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sesame oil
salt and pepper
rice vinegar
Japanese or Chinese style mustard

1)  Prepare the ingredients.  Lightly crush the ginger with the side of your knife or a meat tenderizer.  It gets taken out later on the process, so try to keep it in one piece. Chop the baby bok choy stems into 2 inch juliennes and separate them from the leaves.  The stems and leaves get added to the pot at different times. Season the pork with salt and pepper and cut into small strips.
4) Prepare the sauce: mix hot water, stock, soy sauce, shokoshu, and oyster sauce in a bowl and set aside. 
5) Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok over medium heat.  Add the Chinese noodles to the pan and press them into the bottom.  Wait until they are crispy and then turn them over and cook until crispy on the other side as well.  (Be patient, it takes a while).  Divide them in half and place them on plates.  Keep warm in a warming drawer or put a tent of tin foil over them.
6) Add a little more oil to the wok and add the ginger.  Cook the ginger until it becomes fragrant.  Then add the pork and press it into the bottom of the wok.  I let it sit for about 30 seconds, since the rest of the meal doesn't take very long and I wanted to be certain that the pork was cooked.
7) Add the bok choy stems and stir fry for 1 minute.  Then add the leaves and stir in the sauce.
8) Bring the sauce to a simmer and then add the corn starch/water mixture.  I did this in small increments because a little bit goes a long way.
9) Fish out the piece of ginger and toss it.  Pour the bok choy, pork, and sauce mixture over the noodles.  Serve with rice vinegar and mustard for diners to add on their own.

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