Sichuan Noodle and Pork Shoulder Soup (Yu Xiang Pai Gu Mian)
Chengdu noodle shop owner Ma Yingjun shared his recipe for this dish of stewed pork over noodles. See Matt Gross’s article Flavors of Sichuan for information on hard-to-find ingredients. This recipe first appeared in our March 2013 issue along with Matt Gross’s story Capital of Heat.
- 3 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 1⁄2 lb. boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1″ pieces
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (2″) piece ginger, preferably young ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. douban jiang (Chinese red chile bean paste)
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- 1⁄4 cup Chinkiang black vinegar
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch, mixed with 3 tbsp. water
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 12 oz. thin Chinese wheat noodles
- 3 suan miao (Chinese chives, blossoms discarded) or scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
- Asian pickled red chiles, drained and chopped, or sambal oelek; for garnish
- Heat oil in a 14″ flat-bottomed wok over medium-high heat; add pork and cook, stirring until browned, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, and paste; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add sugar, soy, and vinegar; cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and cook until pork is very tender, about 2 hours. Return to boil, add cornstarch mixture, and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Keep soup warm.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook noodles until tender, 3-5 minutes. Drain and divide between 6 large serving bowls. Ladle soup over noodles and garnish with chives and pickled chiles.