Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork with Noodles

First off, let me apologize for giving you an out-of-season recipe. Rhubarb isn't exactly easy to come by right now! However, when I saw this dish mentioned on Chowhound's What's for Dinner Thread, I couldn't resist the sound of the flavour combinations, so I bookmarked it waiting for a day when the CSA box would give us a lot of cresses. Luckily for me, I didn't have to wait very long before 2 large bunches of watercresses were delivered! (Also lucky for me, I stocked up on rhubarb when it was in season and froze some. Although, I might be tempted to try this recipe with cranberries if I were out of rhubarb.) This recipe exceeded my expectations. The sauce is amazing and the pork belly was melt in your mouth tender. I only had 200 - 300 g of pork belly and scaled the marinade in half. I found that that was plenty meat for 2 dinners and a lunch the next day. I grabbed noodles and greens to taste and used Thai rice noodles in place of Chinese egg noodles because that's what I had on hand.

One year ago: Brisket
Two years ago: Bread Pudding

Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork with Noodles (from Jamie Oliver)

1kg pork belly, boned, rind removed, cut into 3–4cm cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
groundnut or vegetable oil
375g medium egg noodles, cooked according to package directions
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 punnets of interesting cresses (such as coriander, shiso or basil cress)
a bunch of fresh coriander
2 limes
400g rhubarb
4 tablespoons runny honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh red chillies, halved and deseeded
1 heaped teaspoon five-spice
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
2. Place the pork pieces in a roasting tray and set aside.
3. Place all the marinade ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste, then pour all this over the pork, adding a large wineglass of water. Mix it all up, then tightly cover the tray with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven for about an hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender, but not coloured.
4. Pick the pieces of sauce out of the pan and put to one side. The sauce left in the pan will be deliciously tasty and pretty much perfect. However, if you feel it needs to be thickened slightly, simmer on a gentle heat for a bit until reduced to the consistency of ketchup. Season nicely to taste, add a little extra soy sauce if need be, then remove from the heat and set aside.
5. In a large pan or wok heat oil. Add your pieces of pork to the wok and fry for a few minutes until crisp and golden. (You might need to do this in two batches.)
6. Divide noodles into 4 dishes. Add rhubarb sauce, then pork, then spring onions, chili, cresses, and coriander.

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