Monday, June 13, 2011

Spicy Szechuan Pork with Cellophane Noodles

I know, this looks so spicy and is swimming in chilli oil, but it's actually not as hot as it looks. It has a slight tang and sweetness from the vinegar, and the chewy and slippery cellophane noodles provide some cool respite from the heat of the chillies and peppers. Somehow, the noodles remind me of chewing on tapioca pearls in Pearl Milk Tea (but less chewy).

I would have used chinese cabbage in this dish, but as I didn't have any, I substituted with some cauliflower instead, just to add texture and crunch to it. You can also use thinly sliced pork belly, but I thought minced pork would be easier. Here is the recipe below:

Spicy Szechuan Pork with Cellophane Noodles


150g minced pork
80g mung bean cellophane noodles
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger
1 1/2 cups chinese cabbage, cut into 2" x 2" squares (or subtitute with any other vegetables e.g. cauliflower), blanched
Vegetable oil for frying

1 tbsp chilli powder (or more if you like!)
1 tbsp chilli oil
1/2 tsp chilli bean paste ("Douban Jiang")
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chicken stock powder
1/3 cup water
2-3 tbsp Chinkiang black vinegar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp finely ground toasted Szechuan peppercorns (or to taste)
1 spring onion, sliced thinly

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp water


  1. Combine pork with marinade and leave aside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes or until cooked. Rinse under cold running water for a minute until all the starch is gone. Leave it to sit in a bowl of cool water so they don't stick.
  2. Heat up 1 tbsp oil in a wok and brown the meat, breaking it up as you go along. Push the meat aside and add 1 1/2 tbsp oil. Fry the garlic and ginger, then add the chilli powder, chilli oil and chilli bean paste. Fry for about a minute, then mix through with the pork.
  3. Add the soy, wine, sugar, vinegars, chicken stock powder and water. Bring to a boil and simmer 1-2 minutes until the sauce is slightly reduced. Add sesame oil and turn off the heat.
  4. Toss the blanched vegetables and cooked noodles through the sauce and transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with Szechuan pepper and chopped spring onions. Serve as an appetizer or with steamed jasmine rice.

Mung Bean Vermicelli (or cellophane noodles)