Pork noodle soup

Quick Look_______________

(The picture above is beef noodle soup from China Village) We had an Asian themed potluck a couple years ago and Greg Davis brought a pork dish that tasted similar to beef noodle soup at China Village. We adapted that recipe and created pork noodle soup. It's not the same, but it still tastes good and it's easy to make.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Labor Intensity: Could do by yourself, but 3-4 helpers would be good.
  • 30 servings, adjust by 1.5x if your group tends to eat multiple servings.

Ingredients_______________

  • 20 lbs pork shoulder ($1.50/lb on sale at safeway)
  • 2 cup brown sugar
  • 12 cups water
  • 6 cups rice wine (1500ml) (about $3 at Asian markets)
  • 4 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 4 inch ginger root
  • 8 bunches of fresh garlic (about $4 at safeway, much cheaper at Asian markets, don't use pre-peeled)
  • 10 green onions (about $1)
  • 1/4 cup crushed red peppers
  • 1/2 cup cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup Chinese 5-spice powder (about $3)
  • 6 packages of thick/wide dry egg noodles (about $0.80 per package) - each package has 5 servings
  • Total: about $45

Directions_______________

  • You will need a large stock pot. It would actually be ideal to divide it into 2 pots.
  • Add water, sugar, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and red peppers to a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Cut meat into 1-2 inch cubes
  • Add meat to pot and cook for 1.5 hours.
  • While meat is cooking, cut green onions into 1/4 inch pieces, smash garlic with side of a knife, cut up ginger into thin slices (coins)
  • After meat is cooked for 1.5 hrs, remove and put it in a separate container.
  • Transfer the broth all into 1 pot and use the 2nd pot to boil water
  • Add 4 table spoons of the cinnamon and 5-spice and mix into broth.
  • Taste and add a little more cinnamon and 5-spice as needed (up to 1/2 cup total).
  • If the broth tastes bland, boil on high to reduce. See below for tips. If it is too concentrated, add water.
  • Add garlic and ginger to broth and heat on high for 5-10 minutes.
  • When water is boiling, add 1 package of noodles and drain according to package.
  • Transfer the cooked noodles to a tray.
  • Serve broth with noodles and meat in a bowl (use tongs to transfer noodles). Top with green onions

Tom's Tips and Tricks_______________

You will need large styrofoam bowls from smart and final and forks/chopsticks.

Use fresh garlic. I wrote a post on why it is better than pre-processed garlic. If you use the pre-peeled garlic, use about 50% more. Add the garlic and ginger last, it will break down from the boiling.

To reduce broth quickly, get a large pan/pot and heat on high. Add about 1 cup of liquid to the pan and it will boil off very quickly. Pour it back to the main pot. Repeat as necessary. The key is to keep the layer of liquid thin to speed up boiling.

If you want spicy broth, add more red pepper. The spicy compounds dissolve in oil so add more of the spicy oil from the top of the broth. You can also add schezuan peppercorns to make it numbing-spicy.

You may want to skim off the oil, but the authentic way to serve this dish with with the oil. The characteristic flavors are dissolved in the oil and it's critical.

If you have time, you can pan fry the meat before boiling. This will cook the blood and prevent the clotted blood particles in the soup.

Be careful when adding the cinnamon and 5-spice. Don't add too much, taste and add carefully.

[Possible side dish] some kind of salad/vegetable dish