I know I promised a lot of recipes with funky mints, and this recipe does contain mint, but not necessarily funky mint, and not necessarily mint, even, but I was making it tonight and thought it really ought to be shared and I have a lot of mint right now, so here we are.
I use this recipe as a pantry-/fridge-buster as often as I do with intent, using purposefully and carefully gathered ingredients. As with most stir fry, it’s all about the sauce and maintaining the balance between that sauce and the rest of the ingredients in the dish. Today, I’ll share with you what I did tonight, but throw a bunch of alternative ingredients at you, too.
What I’m saying is: this is a really versatile recipe. You can even turn it into a cold salad, just nuke the sauce ingredients on medium-high for two minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Add a dash of sesame oil and chill it, then toss it over the rest of the ingredients without cooking them.
This recipe makes two main dishes or sides enough for four to six people.
What you need:
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp soya sauce of your preference
- 1 tbsp dried chili flakes (adjust according to heat tolerance – 1 tbsp makes it moderately spicy in our books, but we like spice…the spiiiiiiiice)
- 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
- 2 tsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 3 chow mein noodle cakes – or two and a half-ish cups of a starchy thing, like rice, rice noodles, soba noodles, whatevs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 inch x 1 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and sliced
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 carrot, finely sliced or in matchsticks
- 1.5 cups of pork loin, finely sliced – or some kind of meaty thing, like mushrooms, chicken breast, tofu, chick peas…
- 1 cup of fennel, 1/4″ sliced – or some other medium-hard veg, like broccoli, celery, cauliflower, pattypan squash…
- 2 cups leafy green shoots or bean sprouts, roughly chopped so you don’t end up with long, stringy bits
- 1/2 cup mint, finely chopped – or basil or parsley or cilantro, BUT TRY THE MINT
What you do:
- In a small bowl (like, cereal-sized), mix together the fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, soya sauce, 1 chili flakes, pressed garlic, corn starch and water.
- Stir until combined, then add the honey/maple syrup and stir until combined again.
- Set the sauce aside.
- Cook your noodles, drain and set aside.
- Heat a wok over medium-high heat and add the sesame oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the ginger and remaining garlic and stir these around the wok until they begin to brown.
- Add the onions and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to char.
- Add the pork (or whatever meaty thing you’re using) and the sauce.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is cooked through and the carrots are tender.
- Stir in the noodles and greens and let simmer for two minutes more.
- Stir in the mint and serve hot in comically large bowls (one day I’ll get into comically large bowls) with additional chili flakes and herb for seasoning.