Monday, July 18, 2016

Stir Fried Noodles with Pork


16 oz pork loin
1 cup bean sprouts
2 scallions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon red vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
8 ozs Hong Kong Style Egg Noodles
3 tablespoons peanut oil

This is a little dish we sometimes get at a Chinese BBQ place we like to go to from time to time.  At the restaurant, it is vegetarian, but I've meated it up a bit with the addition of marinated pork.  The most awesome part of the dish though is the noodles--these thin Hong Kong style noodles will really crisp up nicely in the hot wok, and that crispness is what makes the dish.

Make sure you get these noodles:

You should be able to find them at any decent Asian grocery.  They are Hong Kong style, whatever that means.  They are very thin, and that is the key to getting them to crisp up--you don't want the thicker lo mein or chow mein noodles.

Boil the noodles in two quarts water for 2-3 minutes.

These soften fast as they are so thin.

Next, heat a skillet with a little peanut oil.  Drain the noodles in a colander and get them as dry as you can.  Now place them in the skillet over medium heat and let them dry out a bit.

Flip them occasionally.  You can also do this in your wok, but I use a skillet as I'm just drying the noodles here and not crisping them yet.  Turn off heat when dry.

Meanwhile, cube your pork loin.

And mix up a marinade of 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon red vinegar, 1 tablespoon mirin.

Place the pork in the marinade and let sit in your fridge for 30 minutes.

Slice the scallions into thin, bite-size strips.

Mince your ginger,

then the garlic cloves, and mix them together.  Set aside.

Make your stir fry sauce:

Mix a tablespoon of soy sauce with a teaspoon dark soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper.  Reserve.

We'll be using my well-seasoned 14 inch carbon steel wok for this operation.

With it's flat bottom, it works well on the stove top.  Place wok on burner and get it scalding hot.  That's the key to good stir fry--a really hot wok.  It may smoke a bit, but just turn on your vent fan, as that heat gives your dish that amazing flavor known in stir fry circles as 'Wok Hei.'

Add a tablespoon of peanut oil to your hot wok and swirl it around.  Add the pork and stir fry until pork is browned but not overcooked.

Remove from wok and reserve.

Add another tablespoon of peanut oil to the wok.  Add the scallions and stir fry for 30 seconds.

Add the ginger/garlic mixture and repeat.

Now, add the noodles.

Stir things up a bit to get the ginger/garlic/scallions mixed in so they don't burn.  Then let the noodles sit for a minute or two.  Then flip over the whole mess of noodles. They should have begun to crisp up nicely on the bottom.  Add the stir fry sauce you made

and let sit another couple of minutes, then stir to break up the noodles a bit.

Add the pork back to the wok.

Add the bean sprouts.

Stir for a bit until the sprouts are mixed throughout.

then serve immediately.

Until next time,


Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Smoked Salmon Mousse in Mold

Those of you that visit An Eat'n Man regular like may have noticed we favor a retro sort of theme here in a lot of the artwork featured on the blog.  Well, I'm also a fan of old school, retro food dishes, and like to feature some of those from time to time.

Well, nothing says retro like a molded, savory gelatin dish.

Such things were all the rage back in the 50s and 60s, and they sort of freak people out a little today.  For instance, check out these two period ads:

Yes, that's lime jello and tuna.  I know, weird.

Anyhoo, this salmon recipe I'm offering may look like it deserves to be condemned to history with these other molded dishes, but I have to tell you, it is surprisingly good.  I'd been telling the wife that I'd wanted to try a molded salmon mousse for a while, so last Christmas she got me a mold as one of my presents.

Doesn't everyone need a fish-shaped mold.  Of course they do.

Anyway, with mold in head I tried a salmon mousse recipe from one of my old retro cookbooks, enhancing it a bit by adding some smoked salmon, dill and capers, and it came out dyn-O-mite!  great salmon flavor.  I made it again recently for a party, and it was a hit.  This is one retro recipe that deserves a place her in the present.


2 tablespoons butter
1.5 packets unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons fresh dill
3 tablespoons capers
15 oz salmon
4 oz smoked salmon
1 cup heavy cream

Note, I've using some high quality salmon in this recipe, such as the stuff that comes in the foil packets, which is tasty, healthy and bone free.  If you're tempted to save a buck and use the canned stuff, like this,

Don't.  The canned stuff is much lower quality and is chock full of bones, which you'll either have to pick out or serve to your guests--neither a good option.  Finally you can use fresh salmon if you have it available, but be sure to pick out those pin bones.


Grease a 6-cup fish mold with butter.

Mince the onion:

Add regular and smoked salmon to a food processor:

And pulse this until the fish is well broken up into small granules.

Soften the gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.

Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.

Add the mayonnaise,

and the lemon juice, onion, hot sauce, Worcestershire, paprika, and salt and mix well.

Fold in the salmon and capers and dill.

Add the whipped cream

and continue folding until everything is well combined.


Pour the mixture into the prepared mold.

Smooth everything out:

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Delicately invert the mold and onto a platter, tapping it to release the mousse.  You can then garnish the platter with more dill or similar.  I also like to decorate the fish by using some lemon peel slices to make tail fins and a mouth, and use an olive slice for an eye.


You can also sprinkle a little more smoked paprika on the midsection for a tasty, decorative effect.

Until next time,


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Penne Pasta with Vodka Sauce

Vodka sauce is quite the trendy sauce these days--perhaps because vodka itself has become so trendy of late.  But you may ask yourself, "the best vodkas are basically colorless, odorless and could they be contributing any flavor to a tomato based sauce?

Well, the key is basic chemistry.  Now, I'm no chemist, but here's what I've gathered in doing a little research.  Tomatoes, those wonderful little red balls of deliciousness, have what you might call some untasteable flavors that are hidden away within.  Just cooking the tomatoes isn't enough to bring out these flavors--they require a catalyst--in this case alcohol, because those flavor compounds are alcohol-soluble, meaning they show up for duty when we add a little booze to the sauce.

Now, folks have been doing this for centuries by adding wine to their tomato dishes, and that works great--but wine also adds flavor compounds of its own, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, if that's the flavor your going for, but if you want, dear friends, the most prefect, unadulterated tomato flavor experience you've ever had, make some vodka sauce.  Your taste buds will be slap-happy with tomato goodness.


1 cup vodka
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
3 oz prosciutto
1 large garlic clove
2 tablespoons fresh basil
28 ounce crushed tomatoes
28 oz tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
8 oz Penne Pasta

Heat the olive oil in a skillet.

Dice your onion...

And julienne your prosciutto...

and sauté them both in the oil until the onions are starting to clear and turn golden.

mince basil and add it to the skillet

mince garlic and add that to the skillet as well

add crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce

add the vodka

let simmer covered for 20 minutes.  The bulk of the alcohol with boil away, but in the process it will bring out those alcohol-soluble tomato flavors.

add heavy cream

And cook a few more minutes to heat through.

cook the pasta according to package directions while the sauce is cooking.  Serve the sauce over the pasta with some Parmesan and a little more basil if you like.

Until next time,