It seems that every region in China is chauvinistic about its version of pork and vegetable noodle soup. Sichuan prefers to use preserved vegetables with chillies; in the north, red-in-snow cabbage, another style of preserved vegetables, is used. Whatever the variation, it is a dish common to many food stalls. Once the pork and vegetables are stir-fried, it is a simple matter to place them on the blanched noodles, then to quickly ladle clear broth over all. Of the many versions I tasted throughout China, I prefer the Sichuan version. It’s easy to make for a delightful lunch or light supper dish.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the minced pork with the rice wine or sherry, soy sauces, and sesame oil and set aside.
Rinse the Sichuan preserved vegetables in cold running water and finely chop.
Blanch the noodles in a large pot of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.
In a large pot, bring the stock to a simmer.
Heat a wok or large frying pan until hot. Add the oil, garlic, and ginger, and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Then add the minced pork and preserved vegetables. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, then add the chilli bean sauce, chilli powder, and sugar. Continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes, mixing well.
Place the noodles in a large bowl or in individual bowls. Add the contents of the wok or pan and then ladle over the soup. Garnish with the spring onions and serve at once.
© 1990 Ken Hom. All rights reserved.