hot and sour pork with rhubarb

1 kg pork belly, bone, rind removed, cut into 3-4cm cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
peanut or vegetable oil
375g medium egg noodles
4 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
2 punnets of interesting cresses (such as coriander, shiso or basil cress)
bunch fresh coriander
2 limes

for the marinade
400g rhubarb
4 tbsp runny honey
4 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 fresh red chillies, halved and deseeded
1 heaped tsp five spice
thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the pork pieces in a roasting tray and put to one side. Chuck all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste, then pour this over the pork, adding a large wineglass of water.

Mix it all up, then tightly over the tray with tinfoil and place in the preheated oven for about an hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender but not coloured.

Pick the pieces of pork out of the pan and put to one side. The sauce left in the pan will be deliciously tasty and pretty much perfect. However, if you feel it needst be thickened slightly, simmer on a gentle heat for a bit until reduced to the consistency of ketchup. Season nicely to taste, add a little extra soy sauce if need be, then remove from the heat and put to one side.

Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Get yourself a large pan or wok and put on the heat pouring in a good drizzle of peanut oil. Add your pieces of pork to the wok and fry for a few minutes until crisp and golden. You may need to do this in two batches.

A the same time, drop your noodles into the boiling water and cook for a few minutes, then drain most of the water away.

Divide the noodles into four warmed bowls immediately, while still moist. What I love most about the dish is the contrast between the flavours going on in it: from the simple, plain noodles, to the zinginess of the spicy rhubarb sauce and the beautifully crispy, yet melt-in-the-mouth pork.

To finish, spoon over a good amount of the rhubarb sauce. Divide your crispy pork on top, and add a good sprinkling of spring onions, chilli, cresses and coriander. Serve with a half a lime each - perfect.

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posted by ramtops on 22 Mar 08 - 10201 views


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