© David Loftus
my favorite hot and sour rhubarb and crispy pork with noodles
This recipe was a total experiment, and I was so pleased that it worked! I wanted to use the acidity and fl avor of the rhubarb to produce an incredible sauce in which to stew that tough old bit of pork, the belly, until deliciously tender. The pieces of pork were then wok-fried until crisp and served with the rhubarb sauce and some simply cooked noodles bloody hell, what a dish! Its a winner.
PS You should be able to get hold of interesting cresses at any good supermarket.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the pork pieces in a roasting pan and put to one side. Chuck all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste, then pour this all over the pork, adding a large wineglass of water. Mix it all up, then tightly cover the pan with aluminum
foil and place in the preheated oven for about an hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender, but not colored.
Pick the pieces of pork 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 put to one side.
Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Get yourself a large pan or wok on the heat and pour in a good drizzle of peanut or vegetable 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.) At the same time, drop your noodles into
the boiling water and cook for a few minutes, then drain most of the water away. Divide the noodles into four warmed bowls immediately, while theyre still moist.
What I love most about this dish is the contrast between the flavors going on in it: from the simple, plain noodles to the zinginess of the spicy rhubarb sauce and the beautifully crispy, yet melt-in-your-mouth pork. To finish, spoon over a good amount of the rhubarb sauce. Divide your crispy pork on top, and add a good sprinkling of spring onions, chilli, cresses and cilantro. Serve with half a lime each perfect.
2.2 pounds pork belly, boned, rind removed, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
peanut or vegetable oil
14 ounces medium egg noodles
4 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 bunches of interesting cresses (such as cilantro, shiso or basil cress)
a bunch of fresh cilantro
for the marinade
14 ounces rhubarb
4 tablespoons honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh red chillies,
halved and deseeded
1 heaped teaspoon
a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped