Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rice Noodles with Pork

Rice noodles have little flavor themselves but they have a wonderful ability to take on the flavor of other ingredients. Recipe serves 4-6.


1 pound (500 g) pork fillet
8 ounces (250 g) dried rice noodles
1 cup broccoli florets
1 red pepper, quartered and seeded
About 3 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 2 inch (5 cm) diagonal slices
1 lemon grass stalk, finely chopped
1-2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
1 1/4 cups coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)
For the marinade:
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 inch (2.5 cm) piece of fresh root ginger


1. Cut the pork into thin strips, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) long and 1/2 inch (1 cm) wide. Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the pork, stir to coat and leave to marinate for about 1 hour.
2. Spread out the noodles in a shallow dish, pour over hot water to cover and soak for 20 minutes until soft. Drain. Blanch the broccoli in a small pan of boiling water for 2 minutes, then drain and refresh under cold water. Set aside.
3. Place the pepper pieces under a hot grill for a few minutes until the skin blackens and blisters. Put in a plastic bag for about 10 minutes and then, when cool enough to handle, peel away the skin and slice the flesh thinly.
4. Drain the pork, reserving the marinade. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan. Stir-fry the pork, in batches if necessary, for 3-4 minutes until the meat is tender. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
5. Add a little more oil to the pan if necessary and fry the garlic, springs onions, lemon grass and chilies over a low to medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add the broccoli and pepper and stir-fry for a few minutes more.
6. Stir in the reserved marinade, coconut milk and tomato puree, with the kaffir lime leaves, if using. Simmer gently until the broccoli is nearly tender, then add the pork and noodles. Toss over the heat for 3-4 minutes until completely heated through.

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