Culinary Hong Kong: Spicy Minced Pork with Shanghai Noodles

Chris Johns takes a cooking lesson and goes beyond the Won Ton. Give this recipe a try.

1 lb (500 g) pork shoulder (hand-ground or -minced)
¼ cup (60 ml) sweet black bean paste
2 tbsp (30 ml) dark soy sauce
½ to ¾ cup (125 to 175 ml) chicken stock or water
1 tbsp (15 ml) Shaoxing or any good-quality Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp (15 ml) [1 tbsp? or perhaps 5 ml?] cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp (45 ml) water
2 tbsp (30 ml) canola oil, divided
½ lb (225 g) trimmed and rinsed bean sprouts
4 oz package of tofu puffs
2 tbsp (30 ml) Shaoxing or any good-quality Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp (30 ml) water
2 large eggs

Noodles: 1 lb (500g) thin Shanghai wheat noodles (uncooked)

Garnish: 1 English cucumber, cut into thin julienne strips

Sauce: In a non-stick wok over high heat, sauté pork until brown and any excess moisture has evaporated. Add bean paste, soy sauce, stock and wine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Stir in cornstarch mixture until thickened. Set aside; keep warm.

In a non-stick wok over medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp (15 ml) of the canola oil. Add bean sprouts and tofu puffs; stir-fry until soft-crisp, then add wine and water and continue stir-frying until crisp. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside.

Clean wok and add remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) oil. Scramble eggs and sauté to form a soft omelet. Remove and set aside.

Noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add noodles, breaking them up in the water. When it comes to a boil, add a rice bowl of cold water; stir until it boils again; repeat with another bowl of cold water. Test the texture of the noodle to desired taste; drain.

To serve, divide noodles into warm serving bowls and top with bean sprouts, tofu and omelet. Ladle sauce on top and garnish with cucumber. (Guests mix noodles with ingredients to eat.)