Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chinese Takeout? I Don't Think So!

Ever since I started experiencing more authentic Chinese food through some of the new restaurants that have opened up, I decided that I dislike the Americanized dishes that they always serve at your everyday Chinese restaurants. Regardless, I decided to make this Lo Mein dish anyways because I wanted to use the cabbage that my father-in-law grew in his garden. (Needless to say, I waited too long and it had gone bad so I had to leave it out.)  Oops. Also, my grocery store didn't have fresh chinese noodles so I had to buy the packaged type. It didn't seem to make much of a difference.

I really really liked this dish. Fresh Lo Mein is much better than the stuff you get at the mall foodcourts for sure. And I may or may not have been an expert on those places in my college days...yuck. So, next time you are craving some Chinese food, try this at home! It's even more delicious with some Sriracha mixed in. It made more servings than I care to admit that I ate for both of us with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Pork Lo Mein with Seared Scallions & Shiitakes
Source: Fine Cooking magazine

3/4 lb. boneless pork ribs, cut into 1/4 in strips
2 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp. dry sherry
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt
9 oz. fresh Chinese noodles
5 Tbsp. canola oil
14 to 16 scallions, cut into 1 in. pieces
4 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
3 cups thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 cups mung bean sprouts, rinsed
2 tsp. sesame oil
Optional: Sriracha sauce

In a bowl, toss the pork with 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of the sherry, the cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 tablespoons of the salt and cook the noodles, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water until the noodles cool to about room temperature. Turn the noodles out onto a baking sheet lined with paper towels to dry.

Heat 1.5 tablespoons of the canola oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the noodles and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden and slightly crisp, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, replace the damp paper towels on the baking sheet with dry ones. When golden, transfer the noodles to the dry towels.

Heat another 1.5 tablespoons of the canola oil in the nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the pork and cook, tossing often, until browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate or bowl.

Pour the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil into the skillet and then add the scallions, mushrooms, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the cabbage, bean sprouts, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the cabbage just starts to soften, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the noodles and pork to the pan and cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon sherry, and the sesame oil and cook, tossing the ingredients, for 1 minute more. Serve immediately. Add Sriracha to taste.

1 comment:

Janet said...

Sounds wonderful! I'm going to try it this weekend. I may use chicken instead of pork. I wonder if that will work?