For 4 people
3-400g pork tenderloin
300g fresh noodles
100g bean sprouts
Handful yellow chinese garlic chives (substitute normal chives, wild garlic leaf or spring onion tops)
Vegetable oil for frying (Ideally groundnut oil for high heat)
for the sauce
2 spring onions thinly sliced on the diagonal
100ml chicken stock or water
5cm piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl
Heat a little oil in a wok on high heat. When it is smoking add the pork and stir fry until the meat begins to brown
Add the sauce and 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the wok and stir through to mix
When the sauce has come to the boil and reduced a little, add the noodles and beansprouts and warm them through
Add the chives just before serving.
This menu is from a cook book called Hunan - based on the recipes from the eponymous (there's that word again) London Restaurant. I have been to Hunan many times and have taken many people there, and I have never once been disappointed. It is supposed to be a Chinese restaurant, but is a million miles away from the stereotype that that expression brings to mind. Apart from anything else, it is in Pimlico and surrounded by at galleries and enormously over-charging organic food shops typical of that part of London. It is more Chinese food meets tapas - you are served, carte blanche, with a succession of small tasting dishes which give you only a mouthful or two of each. Consequently you can only marvel at the depth and complexity of the layers of flavour - you could never work out actual ingredients. Until that was Mr Peng published his cook book, which reveals the secret of some of those dishes.
And the real secret is in many cases how few ingredients he uses to achieve such amazing flavours. Take this dish for example. I have re-balanced the weight of the main ingredients to suit our taste, but not touched the sauce and seasoning. And this dish has that really interesting heat to it which numbs rather than burns - most people wont believe there is no chilli in this recipe - but the spice comes from white pepper and ginger. It is a revelation. It is also really quick and gob-smackingly simple to cook but enormously tasty and satisfying. I will be posting one or two other of Mr Peng's recipes in due course.Watch out for them as each is a little jewel of simplicity leading to amazing flavour. The man is a magician.
Don't use lack of Chinese chives as an excuse not to try this dish!