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Pan Fried Noodles with Ground Pork and Baby Chard

Panfriednoodleswithgroundporkandbabychard

Another year, another set of resolutions. Many of the food blogs are buzzing with food resolutions for the new year: try new cuisines, tackle that certain cookbook, cook more veggies,etc. I haven’t made any for the year because let’s be honest, I won’t keep any of them. If you’re in the market for recipes that’ll help with your resolutions, however, this one might fit the bill. It:

  • Is Asian, if you’d like to cook more Asian food
  • Incorporates more veggies than meat
  • Takes only 30 minutes to make, start to finish, if you want to cook more but don’t have a lot of time given work and what is likely going to be a more intensive gym schedule this month
  • Is inexpensive per serving, if you’re looking to trim the monthly budget

A word about the ingredients used in the dish:

  • Noodles. I like using the ones in the below photo. They are essentially skinny egg noodles that have been previously fried and then dried. They come in both egg flavor and shrimp flavor, and you could simply boil them, but I like them best pan fried and crispy. Prepared this way, the outside is crisp while the inside of the noodle cake is nice and chewy. I also prefer the shrimp flavor over the plain egg flavor. You can find this type of noodle in any Asian market that carries Chinese ingredients:

Pan fried noodles with ground pork and baby chard3

  • Fish sauce. If you’ve never used fish sauce before, you might be a little surprised by its pungency in the bottle, but it really does taste more mellow than it smells. Just make sure your exhaust fan is on before it hits the pan. You can buy this in any Asian market, usually somewhere near the soy sauce. Last time I looked, there were at least eight different brands on the shelf, and there’s debate over which brands are best depending on whether you’re cooking a Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, etc. dish. I like the Three Crabs brand, and there’s also consensus around Squid and Golden Boy.
  • The veggies. I like baby chard, but you could easily substitute green chard or any sturdy Asian green, such as gai lan (chinese broccoli), choy sum, or even bok choy. Just cut into bite sized-ish strips. I’ve tried using spinach and I thought it was a little too wimpy for the dish.

Pan Fried Noodles with Ground Pork and Baby Chard
- serves 2 -

3 clumps of dried noodles
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1/3 lb of ground pork
2/3 lb of baby chard, cleaned and rinsed
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp sugar
peanut oil
canola oil
salt

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions. When cooked, drain the noodles using a strainer and set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp of peanut oil. You could use canola oil instead, but you can taste the difference between using peanut or canola here. Peanut oil is better.

3. When the oil is hot, add the drained noodles to the pan, spreading the noodles into an even layer (about 1/2″ thick or so) that covers the bottom of the pan.* Once you’ve spread the noodles, do not disturb them. Cook until the bottom of the noodles are golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes or so. When ready, flip the noodles the way you would a pancake. Lower the heat a touch after the flip and continue cooking until the other side turns golden brown. This is what it usually looks like after I’ve flipped it:

Pan fried noodles with ground pork and baby chard2

4. While the noodles are cooking, heat a separate pan over medium heat with 1 tsp of canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground pork and a small pinch of salt.

5. When the pork is no longer pink, add the fish sauce, low-sodium soy sauce, and sugar. Stir and adjust seasoning to taste, then add the baby chard. Stir fry until the baby chard is cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning.

6. To serve, slide the noodles onto a plate and top with the pork/vegetable mix. I use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork/vegetable mix because there’s a fair amount of liquid that collects in the pan and it would make the noodles soggy if you dumped it all on the plate. You could squirt some Sriracha over the top if you like things a little spicy.

* NOTE: I usually split the noodles across two skillets when I’m cooking for two because I like having more crispy edges. The instructions above assume you don’t want to dirty the additional pan and will cook the noodles in one large skillet.

    4 Comments

    1. marlon says:

      That looks delish!

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