I’m cooking Chinese Pork with Noodles for the Lunar New Year. It’s the Year of the Ox on February 12, and it is a time of renewal. Houses are cleaned. Bills are paid. Matters are put in order. It is a time for taking stock. A New Year is all about transition, change, growth, and ultimately realizing one’s potential.
I took a cue from a favorite recipe of the Let’s Cook with Nora Cookbook, new edition, which Nina D. Puyat recently shared. It was her mom Nora Daza’s recipe for Oriental Beef with Fried Noodles. Instead of beef, I used pork and the entrée was just as marvelous. The tender pork slices, were luscious. They were perfect with the crisp vegetables, piled high on the long, thick Chinese fresh noodles.
Before the pandemic, Asian families got together to celebrate the New Year. This has always been a traditional time for families to give thanks for the many blessings received.
Our niece Tsui Chern, who lives in California, grew up in Singapore, and told me about their family’s traditions, “The big feast is during CNY eve Normally we have a noodle dish, as the noodles signify longevity (that’s typically Chinese).”
Filipinos celebrate Chinese New Year in a big way. In the Philippines, the event was always vibrant and loud when folks could still gather. Food was abundant on everyone’s tables. Manila was one big party.
In my American kitchen, I will continue the celebration, with this hearty noodle dish. No matter how we celebrate, the desire for an abundance of food, good health, and good luck seems to be on everyone’s mind. Some things will always be universal – the wish for good fortune, prosperity and happiness are always at the core of our hearts.
To read my story “Let’s Cook with Nora Returns For the Next Gen of Home Cooks” which published on PositivelyFilipino.com, click here.
Chinese Noodles with Pork and Vegetables
- Large Skillet or Wok: 12 to 14 inches
For the pork marinade:
- 1 pound pork tenderloin, fat trimmed, sliced 1-inch pieces
- 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Shao Xing rice wine
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
For the stir-fried noodle dish:
- 8 ounces fresh Chinese noodles, pre-boiled, from Asian markets
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 whole medium-sized onion, white or yellow, chopped
- 1 cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 whole medium-sized carrot, peeled, sliced
- ½ cup button mushrooms, sliced
- ¼ cup frozen green peas, thawed, drained
- 2 cups sitsaro (sugar snap peas), edges trimmed
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, for slurry
- ¼ cup water, to mix cornstarch in
- ⅛ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 pinch salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped, for garnish
To prepare the pork and the noodles:
- In a bowl, combine the pork slices with the soy sauce, oyster sauce, rice wine and minced ginger. Mix and cover. Marinate in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- In a small stockpot of boiling water, blanch the fresh noodles for 1 minute. Remove from bubbling water, drain and set noodles aside.
- In a large skillet or wok, over medium-high heat, add the oil.When oil is hot, saute the garlic and onions.Add the marinated pork slices. Stir-fry around the skillet. Continue cooking for 7 to 8 minutes till pork turns from pink to brown.
- Pour the broth, soy sauce and calamansi (or lemon) juice.Add the sugar. Blend ingredients.
- Add the vegetables. Add the pre-boiled noodles. Combine well.
- Separately, in a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with the water to make a thick slurry. Mix well till there are no more lumps.Pour this cornstarch mixture into the skillet with the noodles and pork, stirring the liquid as you're adding it. Make sure the noodles and rest of the ingredients are coated well with this slurry.After about 2 minutes, the liquid starts to boil and thicken. Stir the thick sauce to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat to a simmer.
- Season with sesame oil, salt and black pepper. Garnish with scallions.Serve warm.
- In the original Nora Daza recipe, Oriental Beef with Fried Noodles, Nina D. Puyat used beef slices. Feel free to use beef if you prefer.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided in the recipe links is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
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