Wednesday, 8 August 2012


Insalata di Pasta Asiatica, con Maiale Speziata con Pepe di Szechuan
Glass Noodle Salad with Szechuan Pepper Pork

I think one of the reasons that a lot of people still hesitate when it comes to cooking ethnic foods, is because the are concerned that they dont have all of the ingredients or the right kinds of ingredients to "do it properly". Sigh! Well, I just think that life is too short to let some missing ingredient spoil my enjoyment of a good meal!

I was in the mood for glass noodles this evening, but had neither the bean sprouts nor the white cabbage which I would normally use in a Thai-styled noodle salad. But I did still have a little kohlrabi left over and my common sense told me that its flavor and indeed its texture were so similar that I could easily use it as a substitute. And I did. And I was right!

I was in fact missing a couple of other ingredients as well, so I simply decided to come up with an individual concoction, using what I did have- and that was one last small slice of pork tenderloin, mint, Spring onion, kohlrabi, carrot and spice. Being as I was missing a few Thai ingredients, I decided to use Chinese flavors such a Szechuan pepper and 5 Spice powder instead... this is how I put MY glass noodle salad together!

I soaked the noodles in boiling water for 10 minutes and then drip-drained them and cut them into more manageable lengths with a pair of kitchen scissors. Don't actually boil the noodles- they will end up becoming much too soft!

I finely chopped the carrot and kohlrabi into strips, sliced the onion into rings and copped a good handful of mint nice and finely. I added these to the noodles along with the juice of a lime, a pinch of sugar and a little sesame oil.

The pork, cut into strips, was sautéed in just a couple of drops of sesame oil, with a little garlic, a little grated ginger and a good dusting of freshly ground Szechuan pepper- one of my favorites! I then added a teaspoon of 5 Spice powder and a handful of salted peanuts and briefly tossed the meat around to take in all of those flavors and then dropped it into the noodles too.

I seasoned with soy and added a little more lime juice and fresh mint till the balance of flavors were just right! Delicious luke-warm or chilled, glass noodle salad is always a treat... and always tastes better still the day after! Not that I had any left-overs ;-) And I doubt that you will either!

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