These noodles would normally be accompanied by a salad or vegetable dish for a rounded meal. Sichuanese suimi yacai from Yibin is readily available at Chinese supermarkets.
- 100 g coarsely minced pork (preferably with 30 per cent fat)
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp dark soy sauce
- ½ tsp cornflour
- ½ tsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing wine, plus ½ tsp extra
- 1 tbsp neutral-flavoured oil
- 2 dried chillies
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 tbsp chopped suimi yacai (fermented mustard greens)
- 50 ml chicken stock
- 1 tsp light soy sauce (optional)
- 300 g fresh Chinese wheat noodles (eg yang chun mian or jia chang mian)
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp Chinese sesame paste (tahini isn’t a suitable substitute)
- 3 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinkiang black vinegar
- ½ tsp sugar
- 2-4 tbsp chilli oil and sediment
- ¼ tsp ground toasted Sichuan pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
- Place the minced pork in a bowl with the salt, sugar, dark soy sauce, cornflour, sesame oil and ½ teaspoon Shaoxing wine. Mix thoroughly and set aside for 10 minutes.
- For the sesame sauce, place all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine well.
- Heat a wok or non–stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil, dried chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, swirling around until the oil is infused with the flavours of the aromats. Using a slotted spoon, take out the chillies and Sichuan peppercorns, then add the yacai and fry until fragrant and the vegetable lightens in colour.
- Increase the heat to high, then add the marinated pork mince and fry, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until lightly browned. Add the Shaoxing wine, then the chicken stock and season with the light soy sauce, if required. Set the pork aside.
- Meanwhile, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the noodles and cook according to packet instructions, then drain well.
- Spoon the sesame sauce into a serving bowl or platter, add the drained noodles and top with the pork. Garnish with the spring onions and sesame seeds. Thoroughly mix the noodles together with the flavourings before eating.
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