Start to finish: 30 minutes
1/4 cup chili garlic paste
1/4 cup vegetable, peanut or canola oil
2 tablespoons Chinkiang or Chinese Black vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
4 scallions, minced
Pork and Noodles:
1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup chopped, jarred, Chinese pickled vegetables or small diced pickles
1 cup roughly chopped arugula (optional)
2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons Chinese rice wine (which might be called Shaoxing, or a Japanese version is called Mirin), or use dry sherry
1 cup chicken broth
16 ounces fresh Chinese wheat noodles or 8 ounces dried Chinese noodles, or substitute spaghetti
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Combine the chili paste, 1/4 cup oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and minced scallions in a large bowl and stir to mix well.
Heat the 1 tablespoon vegetable or peanut oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the pork and saute until browned, about 3 minutes. Drain if there is any liquid in the pan, then return to the pan. Stir in the preserved vegetables or pickles, arugula (if using) and the garlic, and cook for another minute. Add the rice wine and stir until it is evaporated, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to package directions (fresh usually take about half as long as dried). Drain.
Stir the sauce to re-combine, then add the noodles to the sauce and toss to coat. Add the pork mixture and toss again. Serve hot, in shallow bowls, sprinkled with the peanuts and sliced scallions.
Nutrition information per serving: 687 calories; 261 calories from fat; 29 g fat (8 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 76 mg cholesterol; 1628 mg sodium; 73 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 9 g sugar; 28 g protein.
Katie Workman, Associated Press