Pork chow mein
If you love noodles – like we do – you’ll love chow mein. The secret to success is to have some of the noodles nice and crispy and others soft, and this is easiest to do in a wok. You could call this dish a one-wok wonder.
- 500g (1lb 2oz) pork tenderloin
- 1tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- Flaked sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 200g (7oz) dried medium egg noodles
- 4tbsp vegetable oil
- 2tbsp soft light brown sugar
- 2tsp cornflour
- 4tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine, from supermarkets) or dry sherry
- 1 red pepper, quartered, deseeded and sliced
- 1 large carrot, cut into thin strips, about 6cm (2½in) long
- 25g (1oz) fresh root ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced
- 6 spring onions, sliced
- 50g (1¾oz) frozen peas
- 225g tin water chestnuts, drained, halved
Using a sharp knife, carefully trim the excess fat and sinew from the pork. Cut the pork in half lengthways and then into thin slices. Put it in a bowl and toss it with the five-spice powder, ½tsp of salt and plenty of pepper, then set aside.
Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the egg noodles and separate the strands with a wooden spoon. Bring the water back to the boil and cook the noodles for 3-4 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain and rinse them in a sieve under running water until cold, then toss with 1tbsp of the vegetable oil and set aside.
Mix the sugar and cornflour in a bowl and gradually stir in the soy sauce, mirin (or sherry) and 100ml (3½fl oz) water, then set aside. Heat 1tbsp of the oil in a wok or a large nonstick frying pan. Add the pork and stir-fry over a high heat for 2 minutes or until nicely browned.
Transfer it to a plate and put the pan back on the heat. Add another 1tbsp of the oil and stir-fry the pepper and carrot for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, spring onions, peas and water chestnuts and stir-fry for 2 minutes until softened but not soggy.
Tip everything onto a plate. Pour the remaining oil into the pan and add the noodles. Stir-fry the noodles for 2-3 minutes, or until some are beginning to turn crisp and golden-brown.
Tip the meat and vegetables back into the pan and stir-fry everything together, tossing all the ingredients for 1-2 minutes, or until they’re evenly mixed and piping hot. Stir the soy and mirin mixture again and pour it into the pan. Continue tossing everything together for 1-2 minutes, or until hot and glossy. Eat immediately.