One of my all-time favorite dishes is xuecai rousi mian, a noodle soup made with pork and pickled greens. Easy to prepare with only a few pantry supplies, this dish is a favorite in Chinese households all around the world.
My grandma would prepare this for lunch, and now whenever I see it on a menu, I immediately want to eat it. Assumption or behavior without thinking. Almost like a reflex from a machine.
I had to walk the thirty minutes from my office to the nearest subway station the other day when I would have taken a cab had they been available.
A black shirt with ironclad fibers that sadly allowed practically none of the hair-dryer-like summer breeze through had me sweating in a way that was incredibly harsh to both my hair and my clothing. The temperature was likely close to 100 degrees.
My ponytail kept coming undone because the elastic in my hair tie had long since stretched beyond its usefulness. Let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
I was in a shopping center late at night and hungry, so I strolled inside the first restaurant I saw. I looked at the menu for all of ten seconds before deciding on this bowl of pork and pickled vegetable noodle soup.
My love for this pork noodle soup is so strong that I would eat it even feeling like I might die from the intensity of the broth.
That right there is love.
Pork and marinade:
- ½ cup of shredded pork
- 1 teaspoon of cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of sesame oil
- ½ teaspoon of shaoxing wine
- 1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
- 8 oz. of dried or fresh noodles
- 3-5 de-seeded and roughly chopped dried chilies
- 1 can of pickled mustard greens
- 1 scallion; chopped
- 4 cups of chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon of sugar
- Mix the pork with the salt, cornstarch, sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, and white pepper in a small bowl. Leave to marinate while you get the rest of the ingredients ready.
- Get some water boiling for your noodles, and then prepare them as directed on the package. Drain.
- Put the chicken stock in a separate medium pot and heat to a boil. You can warm up by the stove.
- Brown the pork in a tablespoon of oil in a hot pan. Put in the hot peppers and the sour greens.
- Keep the heat high and stir-fry for two minutes. When you’re ready to remove the dish from the stove, add the sugar and give it a final toss.
- Put the noodles in individual dishes and pour the soup over them. Sprinkle some sesame oil and chopped scallion over the top of each bowl, then spoon the pork and vegetable combination into the bowls.
- Slurp away!