Spicy Sichuan Pork & Noodles
[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] I[/dropcap] love love the unique peppery tanginess of sichuan pepper corns. It’s like a savoury version of sherbert. Some fun for your taste buds!
This is essentially a Chinese take on good old ‘spag bol’ given a flavour boost with the sichuan, soy sauce and chilli. If you don’t have any sichuan peppercorns, it’s still a really lovely dish without them!
I’ve made it low carb by using sprialized zucchini. Of course, if I’m dishing this up for my little carb-lovers I skip the chilli and serve with hokkien noodles (soaked in hot water from the tap for 10 minutes or so) instead of the zucchini.
enough for: 2
takes: 20 minutes
2 medium zucchini or hokkien noodles
450g (1lb) minced (ground) pork
1 can tomatoes (400g / 14oz)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2-4 red chillies
3-4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper (optional)
1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked (optional)
1. If using zucchini, spiralize into noodles and toss with a little salt. If using hokkien noodles cover with hot water from the tap. Stand while you prepare the sauce.
2. Heat a large frying pan on a very high heat. Add a little oil and cook pork, stirring as you go until pork is cooked through and browned.
3. Add tomatoes, soy sauce, chilli and butter. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced a little.
4. Divide zucchini / drained noodles between two bowls. Top with meat sauce, sprinkle over Sichuan pepper (if using) and finish with coriander (cilantro), if using.
WINE MATCH: Sichuan pepper can be funny with wine so an icy cold beer works best. If you’re a big wine lover, like me, just choose something you feel like drinking and have a sip of water between the food and you wine.
Variations & Substitutions
different meat – any ground or minced meat will work. Beef is good as is lamb, chicken or turkey.
different noodles – spiralized carrot or sweet potato are good. Or any cooked noodle or even spaghetti (remember where Marco Polo got it from in the first place!). Just prepare according to the packed then toss in at the end.
less meaty / smaller servings – double the zucchini / noodles and divide between 4 serves. Top with some roast cashews or peanuts if you want to make it more substantial.
carb-lovers – more noodles!
soy-free / paleo– you can skip the soy sauce and season with salt instead. Or use 2 tablespoons fish or oyster sauce instead.
sweeter – lovely with Indonesian sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) instead of the regular soy.
more substantial / crunchier – serve with roast peanuts or cashews.
no noodles – serve with cauliflower rice, steamed rice, cooked asian greens (like boy choy) or just pile the meat onto a bed of baby spinach leaves.
dairy-free – just skip the butter and simmer the sauce for longer to cook down.
vegetarian – replace the pork with some crumbled tofu or some chickpeas.
The sauce can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and refrigerated. Or frozen for months. The noodles are best prepared fresh, but you could keep them in the fridge for a few days and allow to come to room temp before serving. Add Sichuan pepper and coriander / cilantro at the last minute for maximum zest and freshness.
Also see 16 Tasty Ideas for Zucchini.
Have fun in the kitchen!
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