I like having fun with food. I am certainly not a purist when it comes to cooking styles. I read a lot of recipes and watch a lot of cooking shows and what I learn shows on my food but not in the exact manner that I saw it. My recipes take on a few twists and turns as a result of inspiration, necessity or forgetfulness. I sometimes get a spark of inspiration from something or nothing and end up creating a recipe. Sometimes a new recipe is born from substituting an unavailable ingredient. Sometimes, I must confess, I cook something from memory but end up with a dish that's different because I simply forgot how to cook it.
This spaghetti is my take on jia jiang noodles which is a noodle dish topped with a spicy minced pork sauce. The usual noodle used is shanghai noodles_a flat thick flour noodle. Having all the ingredients save for the noodles, I used spaghetti. I have used the usual pork and black bean sauce but added tomato puree and balsamic vinegar. A topping of shredded cucumbers, spring onions and toasted sesame seeds finishes the dish and provides a cooling contrast to the highly flavoured sauce. A blend of the far east and the Mediterranean certainly works, sometimes.
2 tbsps. cooking oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 tsps. grated ginger
2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped
500 gms. minced pork
2 tbsps. black bean sauce
1 tbsp. tomato puree (paste)
2 1/2 tbsps. brown sugar
2 tbsps. light soy sauce
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. sherry
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 tsp. corn flour
1 tsp. sesame oil
400 gms. dried spaghetti, cook until al dente
chopped spring onions
toasted sesame seeds
Heat up a pan and add the 2 tbsps. of cooking oil. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the chopped onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the minced pork, black bean sauce, tomato puree and brown sugar. Fry over medium high heat until the pork has absorbed all the seasonings. Add in the balsamic vinegar, sherry, and 1 cup of the water. Stir, bring to a boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pork is tender. Mix the 1/2 c. of water with 1 1/2 tsps. of corn flour and thicken the sauce while stirring. Lastly, add the sesame oil.
Divide spaghetti into four portions. Top each portion with a quarter of the sauce, then with shredded cucumbers, chopped spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.
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