Rice Noodles with Spicy Pork and Herbs

by Susan Hanna

I received a subscription to the New York Times cooking website for my birthday and I’m enjoying its many offerings, including this dish of rice noodles topped with spicy pork and herbs. Cook the noodles, drain and rinse, make the dressing and cook the pork, aromatics and vegetables. To serve, top the noodles with the dressing, pork vegetables, herbs, nuts and radishes. If you can’t find black vinegar, use balsamic instead. Instead of chile oil, I used canola and addes some hot pepper flakes.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Marukan rice vinegar, a balsamic vinegar with no sulfites added and tamari instead of soy sauce. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound (454 g) thin, round rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) black vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chile oil
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola or other neutral oil
  • ½ pound (227 g) ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 1-inch (2.5 cm) piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 scallions, light parts chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) yacai (Sichuan preserved vegetables, optional)
  • Handful of herbs like mint, basil and cilantro leaves, washed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
  • 4 radishes, sliced (optional)

 

Preparation:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles while running under cold water, until they are cool to the touch. Set aside. Mix dressing by whisking rice vinegar, soy sauce, black vinegar, chile oil and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  2. Cook the pork topping: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, and add ground pork and salt. Pan-fry, breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink parts and no liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites, and stir occasionally until the raw smell has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes. Add the vegetables, if using, along with a tablespoon of water, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, or until mixture is darkened and thick. Set aside.
  3. When you’re ready to serve, divide cool, drained noodles into four individual bowls, and top each with a tablespoon of vinegar dressing followed by a pile of ground pork, herbs, peanuts and radishes, to taste. Serve with any remaining garnish, and additional chile oil and chile-oil solids, on the side. Serves 4.

From the New York Times