Asian-Style Pork with Noodles

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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 330 minutes
Servings: 6

This sophisticated version of chow mein has been reinvented as a spicy noodle salad. The flavors are best when the dish is served at room temperature, making it an ideal candidate for a picnic. Complete the menu with sliced cucumbers tossed with a dressing of rice vinegar, Asian sesame oil and sugar, and accompany with ice-cold Japanese beer.


For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp. sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp. peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar
  • 2 or 3 drops Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

  • 2 1⁄2 lb. (1.25 kg) boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of most fat
      and cut crosswise into 3 or 4 pieces, each about 1 inch (2.5
      cm) thick
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1⁄4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) sake, beer or dry white wine
  • 1⁄2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) chicken stock
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 lb. (500 g) fresh Chinese egg noodles
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small red serrano chile, seeded and minced (optional)
  • 1⁄4 cup (1⁄3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1⁄4 cup (1⁄3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves


To make the vinaigrette in a blender or mini food processor, combine the olive oil, soy sauce, lime juice, vinegar, ginger, sugar, Tabasco to taste and salt and process for 15 seconds. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. When the oil is hot, working in batches to avoid crowding, add the pork and sear, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer the pork to a plate.

Pour off most of the fat from the pan and return to medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Pour in the sake and stir to dislodge any browned bits on the pan bottom. Stir in the stock and transfer the contents of the pan to a slow cooker. Add the carrots and place the pork and any accumulated juices on top. Cover and cook on the low setting for 5 hours. The meat should be very tender.

Transfer the pork to a platter and let rest for a few minutes. Meanwhile, using a large spoon, skim off as much fat from the braising liquid as possible. Shred the pork with 2 forks, then return it to the braising liquid.

Bring a saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles, stir and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl. Add the bell pepper, chile, the vinaigrette to taste, half each of the cilantro and parsley, about two-thirds of the shredded pork and a generous amount of the braising liquid. Toss to mix well.

Transfer to a platter and arrange the remaining pork, cilantro, and parsley over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma The New Slow Cooker, by Brigit Binns (Weldon Owen, 2010).

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