Pork and Noodles
Minced Pork & Noodles

This tasty Chinese noodle dish has a rich flavor, reminiscent of Hunan dishes -- garlicky and gingery.  It's quite easy for the home cook, and so worth it.

14-16 oz. lean pork, such as pork chops or tenderloin

12 oz. udon or whole wheat spaghetti noodles

3 tablespoon soy sauce (I use regular, but you can use low sodium if you wish)

2 tablespoons dry sherry*

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder, available in most grocery stores

1/2 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon fresh gingerroot**

1 clove garlic (optional)

1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil

1 - 1 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Olive Oil

3 cups baby spinach

1 1/2 teaspoon corn starch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

2 green onions, thinly sliced at an angle.

Pork should be very cold so it's easier to slice.  Trim the fat and bone from the pork and slice very thinly.  Then chop the slices into smaller than 1/2 inch chunks.  Set aside.  

In a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, sherry, five spice powder, sugar, gingerroot, garlic, pepper and water.  Set aside.

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Add noodles and salt, and cook according to package directions.  When noodles are done, scoop out the noodles, retaining the cooking water.  Drain, rinse and drain again.  Place in your serving bowl.

Add the spinach to the noodle water and cook until limp, about 2 minutes.  Drain and place on top of noodles.

Meanwhile, heat a wok or skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic oil and then the pork.  Let it sit about a minute and then toss occasionally until it's halfway cooked, about 3 minutes.  Pour in the sauce mixture and cook 3-4 minutes until the sauce is somewhat reduced and glossy.  Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir.  Let it cook about a minute.  Pour over the noodles and spinach. 


Top with the green onions and serve. 

* Dry sherry (not cooking sherry) is a staple in stir fry dishes. To make meat or veggies taste Asian, mix up a combination of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 teaspoons dry sherry and 1 teaspoon corn starch.  Once poured on your stir fried meat or veggies, let cook at least 30 seconds; then add 1/2 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil.  Voila, Asian!

** The easiest way to grate gingerroot is to first scrape the peel off with a spoon and then freeze it.  It's much easier to grate when it's frozen and it keeps in the freezer for a month or two.