pork and mushroom rice noodles

I was going to go for a swim but now it’s pouring with rain. All day it’s been sunny and hot, now it’s a deluge. I’m not complaining, I enjoy a storm after a long hot day. With the heat and humidity back again today I feel like we should be eating salad for dinner but I’ve been hankering for rice noodles for days. Today was the day to make it happen. I had pork and mushrooms in the fridge for something else but now they’re becoming a noodle stir-fry. Pork and mushrooms are such a cohesive pairing. Whether they’re tossed in Asian sauces in a stir-fry or pairing-up in a creamy, French-inspired recipe, it’s a perfect marriage. Pork is eaten A LOT in China…every part of the pig is used for something. In this recipe I’ve opted for a more pedestrian cut –  tenderloin. A safe choice and buttery-tender.

pork and mushroom rice noodles

pork and mushroom rice noodles

Noodles are not only a wonderful vehicle for all manner of sauces and spices because of their rather bland flavour, these dried noodles are also a cinch to prepare – they don’t even need any cooking, just a 10 minute soak in hot water. Et voila! They come in a variety of thicknesses, I used a slightly thinner noodle in this recipe, one you’d use in pad Thai. That was all I could buy at 7AM today. I was far too impatient to wait until 10 AM for my local Asian market to open.

rice noodles

rice noodles

As with any stir-fry recipe, I get everything ready before I start to cook. This seems tedious at the time but the recipe comes together quickly once cooking starts. Usually I mix my sauce ingredients together first. In this recipe I’ve used a couple of ingredients I often use in Cantonese cooking – dry sherry and oyster sauce. Originating in Spain, sherry is a fortified wine that is drunk as an aperitif – sipped to stimulate the appetite. My appetite does not need any stimulating but I like to cook with sherry and will always have a bottle in my cupboard. Either sherry or Chinese cooking wine can be used, I like to use sherry. And unlike table wine, sherry keeps when you open it and doesn’t need refrigeration. Find it at your local liquor store, it’s inexpensive. Experiment with it. It’s very good in a creamy, mushroom sauce with a nice grilled steak.

dry sherry

dry sherry

Oyster sauce is a must if you cook stir-fries. For those of you reading this post that don’t like oysters fear not! It doesn’t taste like oysters. It’s thick and sweet with a softer flavour than soy sauce. If you’ve ever eaten Chinese food from a restaurant, you’ve eaten oyster sauce, trust me, it is a staple ingredient in Chinese cooking. Not all oyster sauces are created equal. I generally use Lee Kum Kee brand of oyster sauce but try some different ones until you find one you like. House of Tsang is another brand you might like if you can find it.

oyster sauce

oyster sauce

Since I was a little girl I have loved eating with chop sticks. I don’t know what it is but it’s a joy I’ve never tired of.  When I was about nine my father John and a Chinese waiter taught me how to use them. I was hooked. It always seemed so special going to a Chinese restaurant with my parents and eating with chopsticks. No fork for this little girl. Now I’m a bit of a chopstick snob truth be told, bemused when others can’t use them. Learn how to use them. Then teach your kids to use them too. Enjoy slurping up these noodles with chopsticks – much more fun than a plain old fork.

pork and mushroom and rice noodles

  • 8 oz (250g) package rice noodles
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock (broth)
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 1/4 lbs (566g) pork tenderloin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 3 cups sliced brown mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon crushed dried chilies (chilli flakes)
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 green onions, cut into 1-inch (2.5cm) pieces
  • 3 tablespoons toasted pinenuts
  • extra sliced green onions to serve

Place noodles in medium bowl. Cover with boiling or very hot water. Let stand 10 minutes or until softened; drain. Refresh under cold water; drain well. Do not let noodles stand too long or they will soften too much and fall apart.

Combine stock, oyster sauce, honey, sherry, sesame oil, cornstarch and five spice powder in a small bowl; set aside.

Remove silverskin from tenderloin – that’s the white, opaque connective tissue covering part of the tenderloin. Use a paring knife to slice underneath it to remove it; discard silverskin. Cut tenderloin in half lengthways. Then cut crossways into thin slices.

Heat half of the peanut oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add pork in 2 batches. Cook about 5 minutes or until browned; remove from pan.

Heat remaining peanut oil in same wok over high heat. Add mushrooms. Stir-fry until mushrooms are browned and softened.

Add garlic, ginger, chili and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Add pork and stirred oyster sauce mixture. Reduce heat to medium-high. Cook 1 minute or until mixture is bubbling.

Add noodles and green onions. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until noodles are hot being careful not to break-up the noodles.

Sprinkle with pinenuts and extra green onions to serve. Serves 4.

pork and mushroom rice noodles

pork and mushroom rice noodles

 

Print Friendly

Comments

  1. Lawrence says:

    Chopsticks are indeed a fun way to enjoy a variety of dishes. This dish is amazing, speaking from experience. This blog author and food Gypsy taught me to use chops and prepared this dish for me!

Speak Your Mind

*

%d bloggers like this: