On hot, humid evenings in Chicago, when my mother was too tired to cook, she would send me out to one of our local Chinese restaurants for a take-away meal. Our favourite place was the Kai-Kai, a small diner that specialized in Chinese-American standards but also prepared quick and popular Chinese dishes for those who knew what to order. The Kai-Kai’s range of authentic Chinese foods was limited, but what they did they did well. We loved their barbecue. Actually, it was in my uncle’s kitchen that the barbecue meats were roasted for the take-away service. The Kai-Kai Coffee Shop would then stir-fry the meat with soft, billowy fresh rice noodles. The outside of the meat was slightly crusty and crunchy, the inside tender and succulent. The combination of fresh Chinese bok choy, slices of barbecued pork and rice noodles was delicious – comfort food at its best. Fresh rice noodles are available from Chinese grocers or supermarkets.
Cut the pork shoulder into
The next day, preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6).
Lay the pork on a wire rack in a shallow roasting tin filled with
Trim the bok choy. Remove the stalks and cut them into 5 cm (
Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the garlic and salt and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the rice noodles and stir-fry for 2 minutes, until they begin to brown slightly. Add the pork and bok choy and continue to stir-fry for 3 minutes. Finally, add the stock and oyster sauce and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a large platter and serve at once.
© 1998 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.