Noodles with Meat Sauce

Shaoz Mian

Preparation info

    Appears in

    Mrs. Chiang’s Szechwan Cookbook

    By Ellen Schrecker

    Published 1976

    • About

    Flavor: Reddish-Brown: Red-cookedMeal: Easy, Made in AdvanceMeal: One-Dish

    “My mother always boiled two eggs for a child’s birthday,” says Mrs. Chiang. “The birthday child ate the eggs and tossed the shells into the canal beside our house. As they floated downstream they carried bad luck away with them. After the eggs came a bowl of very long noodles to ensure a long life. These birthday noodles would usually be boiled and covered with a highly seasoned meat sauce; we loved food cooked this way, and my mother would often cook bean curd, eggplant, and fish the same way.”

    The most time-consuming part of preparing this dish is boiling the noodles. The sauce itself literally takes only 15 minutes to prepare from scratch and, with the exception of such canned and bottled condiments as sesame oil, soy sauce, and hot pepper paste, every other ingredient in the recipe comes straight off the supermarket shelf. It is the perfect dish for a family which loves the food of Szechwan.

    Method

    Preparation

    4 cloves garlic Smash each garlic clove with the flat side of your cleaver, then peel. Mince the garlic as fine as you can, until it almost reaches the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
    4 scallions Clean the scallions, then chop them, both green part and white, into small pieces, about the size of a match head.

    ¾ pound ground pork

    2 tablespoons soy sauce

    1 teaspoon sesame oil

    ½ teaspoon ground roasted Szechwan peppercorns (optional)

    Add 1 tablespoon of the chopped scallions to the pork, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and ground roasted Szechwan peppercorns. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

    Cooking

    1 pound noodles, fresh Chinese or fettucine Prepare the noodles according to the directions on the package. While they are boiling, you should begin to cook the meat sauce. It will only take about 4 minutes to make the sauce, so begin to cook the noodles far enough ahead of time.
    3-½ tablespoons peanut oil Heat your wok or pan over a high flame for about 15 seconds, then add the oil. It will be hot enough to cook with when the first tiny bubbles form and a few small wisps of smoke appear.

    (garlic)

    (1 teaspoon of the scallions)

    1 tablespoon hot pepper paste

    When the oil is ready, quickly toss in the chopped garlic, 1 teaspoonful of the chopped scallions, and the hot pepper paste. Stir-fry for about 5 seconds, using your cooking shovel or spoon to scoop the ingredients off the sides of the pan and then stir them around in the bottom, to make sure nothing sticks or burns.
    (meat mixture) Add the meat mixture to the pan and continue to stir-fry for about 1 minute. While you are stirring, try to break the meat up into small pieces.
    (the remaining scallions) Throw in the rest of the chopped scallions and continue to stir-fry vigorously for another 30 seconds.

    3 tablespoons soy sauce

    1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

    Now add the soy sauce and the salt. Taste the mixture carefully before you add the salt, as the amount you will need can vary quite a bit depending on your personal taste and the saltiness of the soy sauce.

    Reduce the heat and let the meat sauce simmer for 1 minute more before you serve it.

    Serving

    This dish is served exactly like spaghetti and meat sauce. Each person is given a portion of noodles on his plate. The sauce is ladled out separately and everyone then has to mix the noodles and sauce together for himself.

    This recipe will serve three or four people as a main dish.