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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pork Lo Mein

This dish is definitely a winner.  The standout element was buying and using the fresh lo mein noodles in the produce section of our grocery store.  In my store they are right near the refrigerated polenta and wonton/egg roll wrappers.  They were, I'm not kidding, revolutionary.  They are the square shaped noodles that you get in take out/restaurant lo mein.  I've made lo mein and other Chinese noodle dishes before and was never quite satisfied because the instructions would say to use regular spaghetti which isn't quite the same.  In fact this recipe also calls for regular spaghetti, but once i saw the fresh noodles in my store I knew I had to use them.  They make the dish more authentic and more like 'real' Chinese food.  Delicious.  If you have them available to you definitely use them.  I won't make stir fries or Chinese noodle dishes without them now.   

So I've established that the noodles are amazing, but so were the other elements of this dish.  It was easy to put together and the leftovers tasted great for lunch the next few days.  I did adapt the vegetables used in the dish to suit our tastes, snow peas, bean sprouts and baby corns are what we like.  The original called for shiitake mushrooms and napa cabbage, but otherwise we left the spices and seasonings the same and it was great.  Not too spicy and not too salty.

Pork Lo Mein
Serves 6

4 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder 
1 pound pork tenderloin, halved then sliced into 1/8 thick strips
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
12 ounces spaghetti or fresh chinese noodles
4 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
6 tablespoons chinese rice cooking wine or dry sherry
8 ounces snow peas
8 ounces fresh bean sprouts
15 ounce can of baby corn nuggets
8 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce


  • Mix the first 5 ingredients, through five-spice powder, together in a large bowl.  Measure 1/4 cup of the mixture into a separate bowl, then add the pork to the remaining mixture.  Stir to coat, then cover and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.  Use this time to prep your vegetables if needed.
  • Whisk the broth and cornstarch into the remaining soy sauce mixture, set aside.
  • Cook noodles according to package directions, drain and leave in colander.  
  • Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the canola oil in a large dutch oven over high heat, until barely smoking.  Add half the pork and cook until lightly browned (but not cooked through), about 3 minutes.  Stir in 3 tablespoons of the wine and cook until evaporated.  
  • Transfer pork to a bowl, then repeat the process with another 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, remaining pork and 3 tablespoons wine.  Add this to the bowl as well.
  • Wipe the dutch oven dry with paper towels.  Add the last 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and heat over high heat until shimmering.  Add the snow peas and cook, stirring constantly, until crisp tender.  Add the baby corn and cook, stirring constantly, until warmed through.  Stir in the bean sprouts, scallions, ginger and garlic and cook about 30 seconds.  
  • Rewhisk the soy sauce/cornstarch mixture to combine, then add to the veggies.  Add the pork and any juices as well.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly and the pork is reheated.  Add the cooked noodles and sriracha, mix until combined and serve.  

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