Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chao Rou Gu Mian (Pork and Mushroom Fried Noodle)

Chao Rou Gu Mian (Pork and Mushroom Fried Noodle) is a street noodle preparation I encountered my first day in the ancient capital city, Xian, in central China.  The secrets to this Chao rou gu mian is using steamed noodle, which has a distinctive texture, and marinating the shredded mushroom in wine, soy and a dash of sweet vinegar.

4 oz pork
12 oz fresh steamed noodles (see "steamed noodles" in the Technique section
3 fresh red cayenne chilis, slivered on the diagonal (dried chilis can be used)
2 large scallions, sliced on the diagonal
Peanut oil
4 chinese dried mushrooms
1 large cloves Garlic slivered
1" x 3/4" peeled, ginger slivered
dash vinegar


1-Tab bean sauce ground
1 Tab sweet bean (or hoisin) sauce
2 TAB stock
1/2 tsp salt

For garnish:

sesame oil
slivered scallion or carrot
Put the mushrooms in very hot water and allow to soak for about an hour. When they are completely softened, put them in a towel or cheesecloth and wring out as much water from them as possible. Slice into matchstick shreds, making sure to trim out any hard portions. Marinate in soy sauce, wine and sweet black vinegar, about a teaspoon or so each, and set aside.
Cut the pork into matchstick shreds (see Technique section for hints on cutting) Add a marinade of a little soy sauce, wine and cornstarch. Mix thoroughly, add a tablespoon of oil and mix again. Set aside.
Put the steamed noodles into boiling water, when returns to a boil, they are about ready. Check them for desired texture.
Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the wok and when it just begins to smoke, add 2 or 3 tablespoons of peanut oil and swirl around the wok. Stir fry meat until it barely begins to brown, and move to the side; when oil reheats, add the garlic and ginger, toss a few times, then add chilis; add scallions, turn a few times, keeping meat to the side. Add mushrooms, stir fry until well mixed; splash in wine, and vinegar, then incorporate meat, and add sauce mixture. When sauce is hot, add noodles and stir fry, occasionally allowing the noodles to "rest" in the wok to brown them a little.
When the noodles are hot and slightly browned, plate the dish and garnish with sesame oil and green onion slices.

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