Wok’n around Paris on a rainy day.
For some reason, I love taking pictures of signs and windows/doors. When we were in Spain a couple of years ago I took a lot of pictures of these beautiful white formal dresses I kept seeing in windows. Some looked like wedding dresses and some like formals. They just really spoke to me and said, “take a picture of me”. Not six months after that my daughter got engaged — maybe that was a “sign”. In Paris I took pictures of stores named “Terry” (my sister) and “Paul” (my son).
This is a picture I took from the top of a bus on our first day in Paris back in March. I just knew I was going to have to come up with a good noodle recipe after seeing the name of this restaurant. I’m always getting inspiration from all sorts of places.
Our only rainy day in Paris was the first day we arrived, and it was a steady drizzle. We were not going to let that stop us from getting out, and we decided to do one of the open double decker buses. We stayed on the top through all the drizzle and enjoyed the view and sites. Then at one of the stops right there on the corner was this little place called “Wok’n Noodles”. A blog post was in the making. I immediately thought of “Wok Around the Clock” (Bill Haley and his Comets), then “I’m Wok’n” (by Fats Domino), “Wok Like A Man” (Four Seasons), and finally “Wok Like An Egyptian” (Bangles). Weren’t those great woking songs.
So, I thought, why can’t I come up with a Wok’n Noodle dish that is absolutely “rocking” and one that I think you will enjoy.
Wok full of ingredients.
The broccoli and snow peas both get blanched for a minute and then plunged into ice bath, drain and then set aside.
Celery and onion sautéing before garlic is added.
After the celery and onion are removed from the wok, add the ground pork, cook until no longer pink then add the mushrooms.
Toss in the noodles and then the toasted almonds and sesame seeds.
1 pkg. Udon noodles, or more
1 lb. ground pork
1 Tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. pkg. mushrooms, sliced thick
1 c. broccoli flowerets
1 orange (or yellow) bell pepper, cut in strips*
large handful of snow peas and/or sugar snap peas (I used both)
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. sliced celery, slice on the diagonal
1 small onion, cut in half and sliced thin
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
2-3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 Tbsp. Hoisen Sauce
1-2 Tbsp. sesame seeds, toasted
1/3 c. chopped peanuts or almonds, optional (I used almonds), toasted
Separate the broccoli into flowerets. Blanch in boiling water about 20-30 seconds then drain and plunge in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside. Do the same with the snow peas/sugar snap peas.
I toasted my sesame seeds and almonds on a small rectangle pizza stone in the microwave.
In the one tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the onion and celery for about 5-6 minutes, add in the garlic and the crushed red pepper flakes and sauté another minute. With a slotted spoon remove mixture from skillet and set aside. In the oil remaining in the skillet add the ground pork and stir and chop it up until it is no longer pink. Add in the sliced mushrooms, snow peas and broccoli, pepper strips, and almonds/sesame seeds. Toss just until mixed. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the udon noodles for about 3 minutes. Drain and then toss these with the meat mixture. Serve with more soy sauce and a pair of chopsticks.
*For the bell pepper, I happened to have some of the small miniature red, yellow and orange peppers I had picked up at Sams Club. I used a orange and yellow one. You could either use a whole large yellow, red or orange pepper if you can’t find the smaller ones.