Dan Dan Noodles with Pickled Mustard Greens Recipe

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brandy or whisky
  • 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame paste
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil
  • 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4 medium heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
  • 1/2 pound thin fresh Asian noodles, preferably Shanghainese, or fresh linguine or spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons minced Chinese pickled mustard greens
  • 2 scallions, white parts only, minced
  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce with the brandy, hoisin sauce and cornstarch. Blend the mixture into the ground pork.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the sesame paste with the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce until smooth. In a small saucepan, heat the chili and sesame oils. Add the garlic and cook over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the sesame paste mixture and simmer for 1 minute. Add the stock and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced slightly, about 3 minutes.
  3. In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the seasoned ground pork and cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a spatula, until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Cover the skillet and remove from the heat.
  4. Add the bok choy to the boiling water and cook until bright green, about 10 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bok choy to 4 small bowls. Cook the noodles in the boiling water until al dente, about 3 minutes. Drain well and transfer to the bowls. Pour the sauce over the noodles and spoon the ground pork on top. Garnish with the pickled mustard greens and scallions and serve.