I love love the unique peppery tanginess of sichuan pepper corns in this Sichuan Pork. 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 pepper, 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.
Spicy Sichuan Pork & Noodles
- 2 medium zucchini or hokkien noodles
- 450 g 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)
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.
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.
Add tomatoes, soy sauce, chilli and butter. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce has reduced a little.
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 for Spicy Sichuan Pork & Noodles
vegetarian – replace the pork with lentils.
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 – hokkien noodles or roast sweet potato !
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 (low carb) / crunchier – serve with roast peanuts, roast macadamias 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.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.
hokkien noodles / can tomatoes / soy sauce / Sichuan pepper – keep them in the pantry.
red chills – will keep for months in the fridge. Can be frozen or left unwrapped in the fridge they will slowly turn into dried chillies and still be edible.
minced (ground) pork – freeze it.
butter – will keep in the fridge for weeks.
coriander – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.
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.
More Recipes Similar to Spicy Sichuan Pork & Noodles
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- Chinese Noodle Not-Bolognese