Quick and easy stir-fry.
This Momofuku inspired recipe comes from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes cookbook, by way of www.foodgal.com by way of my son, Scott.
I’m always getting interesting recipes from Scott to try. Like the 6 day plus salt cured egg yolk or his 24 no knead bread recipe. This particular recipe sounded really interesting to me though because I have follow Momofuku restaurants and David Chang for years. I just love that name and the way it rolls off your tongue — mo – mo- fu- ku. Now how could their food not be interesting and delicious.
The Lucky Beach cookbook has simplified a dish that David Chang serves in his Momofuku Ssam Bar. I always though of a ragu as being Italian and a heavy, hearty meal. The Italian versions of a ragu is a pasta sauce made with ground or minced meat, vegetables and tomatoes and the French style is more like a stew that is made of meat, fish and vegetables. You can eat either on its own or with a starch like a noodle or polenta.
This version is much lighter. I have used a Japanese dried noodle and it has baby bok choy which I increased from 2 cups to four since it seems to disappear when it starts wilting a little. I had a hard time finding the red chili bean paste though. I’ve bought it in the past but ended up using a fermented red chili past that is made from soybeans. (So, that could still pass for chili bean paste I thin??) I also did not have any ground pork on hand but had a bag full of pork milanese slices that I chopped up into small pieces. I may try the ground pork or even use some shrimp the next time I want to try this recipe.
I put together most of my ingredients earlier in the day so when I was ready to throw this together it literally took minutes to make. The noodles only take 3-4 minutes to cook and that can be done while you are sautéing the other ingredients.
Hope you will give this a try, and if you do, and you like it or have any suggestions for changes, please leave me a note down in the comment section.
Ingredients for this quick stir-fry.
Put the baby bok choy in a colander and rinse really well removing all grit and dirt that may be hiding in the leaves.
Coarsely chop up the baby bok choy.
Szechuan Peppercorns. It takes a tablespoon.
I could not find chili bean past but this version is made from soy beans.
Saute the onions until golden and remove from pan, set aside.
Saute the pork for 7-8 minutes, breaking up into small pieces if using ground pork. I used some pork milanese slices and chopped small because I had it in my freezer.
Add in the chili bean paste and all the other seasonings and peppercorns.
Add in the bok choy and quick stir-fry a couple of minutes. The recipe called for 2 cups, I will add 4 cups the next time because it quickly wilts down.
Stir everything together quickly.
Boil the noodles of your choice for 3-4 minutes. Drain.
Put some noodles in your bowl and top with pork/bok choy mixture.
Sichuan Pork Ragu
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cups yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons doubanjiang or gochujang (spicy chili-bean paste)
- 1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- Kosher salt
- 4 cups coarsely chopped baby bok choy
- Fresh cooked noodles like lo mein, Japanese, Udon, rice or even spaghetti
- thinly sliced green onions, for garnish
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 13" skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring and folding, until the onions are light golden but still retain their shape, about 15 minutes. Scoop the onions onto a plate and wipe out the skillet with a towel.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, then add the ground pork and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces with a spoon, until just cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Push the meat to one side of the pan and add the garlic to the pork drippings. Sweat until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chili-bean paste, peppercorns, chili flakes, soy sauce, sugar, water, and reserved onions. Season to taste with salt. At this point, the sauce may be refrigerated or frozen. Reheat before proceeding.
- Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and stir in the chopped greens. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stems are just tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the sauce over noodles or rice, sprinkled with scallions.
- Lucky Peach called for 5 cups of onion. I thought that was too much so I decreased the onion to two cups but raised the bok choy from 2 cups to four and I used "baby" bok choy instead of the bigger sibling.
- I did not refrigerate my sauce. I made and served once it was ready.