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Sesame Noodles with Pork

Yields1 Serving

 canola or other vegetable oil, for cooking
 sesame oil, for cooking
 1 lb ground pork
 a few green onions, chopped
 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I use the stems), plus some extra leaves for garnish
 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed (divided)
 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (divided)
 1/3 cup soy sauce (or to taste - divided)
 1/4 cup rice vinegar (divided)
 1 Tbsp brown sugar
 1-2 Tbsp peanut butter (optional)
 1 tsp chili-garlic paste or Sriracha (optional)
 1 lb fresh Shanghai or other Asian noodles

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil - I use some canola and some sesame - and cook the pork, breaking it up with a spoon, until it's no longer pink and starting to brown. Add the green onions, cilantro, a clove or two of garlic and a good grating of ginger somewhere along the way, along with half the soy sauce and vinegar. As you add half of each ingredient, put the other half into a small bowl or measuring cup, along with the peanut butter, chili paste and a tablespoon or two of sesame oil. Continue to cook the pork until it's nice and crispy, with any excess moisture cooked off.


Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles for a few minutes, or until tender. Drain well.


Spoon the meat out of the skillet to a bowl, add a little more oil to the skillet and add the noodles (half at a time, if all of them makes it too full to handle), and pour over the soy-vinegar-sugar-peanut butter mixture. Toss with tongs to coat well, leaving it over the heat for a minute or two, until any excess moisture has cooked off. Transfer to a serving dish and top with the pork mixture and some extra cilantro, if you like.


Serves 4-6.