Monday, June 13, 2011

Char Siu Knife Cut Noodle Soup


This one is for Christy, who requested that I give it a try. I love Asian noodles, so I did some research and watched some very impressive youtube videos and decided to make the below.

Technically, this is really 3 recipes in one:

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork) (from here)
The Knife cut noodle dough  (from here)
The Stir fry/soup (from here)

Combine to create the soup!

==

I began with marinating...

The Pork

Cut the pork shoulder into larger pieces. I used a 2 pounder.


Combine in a bag,

1/2 cup Hoisin sauce
1/4 cup Soy sauce
1/4 cup Rice wine or dry sherry (I used Sherry)
1/4 cup Honey
1 tablespoon Sugar



Let this marinate for as long as you can, overnight being ideal.

While that marinates, we can start...

The Noodles

Sift the dry ingredients together:

1.5 cups of flour – all purpose
1/2 cup of rice flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder



Put a drizzle of oil onto your surface and pour the dry ingredients onto it. 

(This is going to be pretty much exactly like my earlier post on fresh pasta)


Create a well.


Pour 1/4 cup of water into it.


Stir gently, gathering the flour from the sides slowly until it becomes thick like batter.


Add another 1/4 cup of water and get it to the same batter-like consistency. 


Fold over the flour and use your fingertips to gently combine everything.


Fold everything over and knead for a minute or so.

Mine needed a bit more water. 

Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until it's smooth and moist, but not sticky. I ended up only using 2 tablespoons total (in addition to the 1/2 cup up to this point). The key is really kneading the dough and looking for the texture you want to end up with. 


After 1st tablespoon of water 
After 5 minutes of kneading. Notice the cracking of the dough. I added one more tablespoon of water at this point.  

This is after 10 minutes of kneading and 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water. The dough is moist and springy, without being sticky.


Roll the dough into a log shape and either wrap it in plastic wrap or use it after 15 minutes of resting.


Now, let's cook the pork.

Preheat the oven to 425.

Go ahead and put on a big pot of water to cook the noodles in too. High heat for a boil.

Get a sheet pan and put a rack in it. Pour some water in the bottom so that the pork will stay moist while it cooks. You'll want to do this after the pan is in the oven unless you have superhuman stable hands. 

Put the pork in for 10 minutes at 425.


Pour the extra sauce from the bag into a small pan. I know this is kind of gross, raw pork and all that, but we're going to BOIL IT. So it's going to be ok.

Let this boil for about 2 minutes. Don't over-do it.
We're going to use this as a basting sauce. Yom.


While the pork cooks, lets quickly prep the vegetables for the soup.

This is the soup recipe:

1/2 lb Chinese barbecue pork
1 baby bok choy, sliced
1 cup napa cabbage, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
1 lb cooked noodles
6 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dry sherry
1/4 tsp sesame oil

==

First the baby bok choy:


Slice off the root end and split in half. Check for dirt.


Slice on the bias, pretty thinly. 



Now the cabbage. 


Cut in half.


Remove the core.


Slice on the bias. You're going to have a lot leftover. You can use more than a cup too if you want, but I wouldn't go over 2 cups for this recipe.


Slice up 2 scallions.


Mmm, bok choy and cabbage.

Back to the Pork. 

After 10 minutes at 425, drop the oven temp to 325 and flip the pork.


Slather on a layer of basting sauce and cook for 15 minutes.


Flip and repeat. 


Flip and repeat for a total of 45 minutes. 


Let the pork cool enough to handle and slice up 1/2 pound on the bias.


I had 2 big slices left over and my daughter and I ate a bunch while cutting. This is really good Char Siu. For real. 

Begging to be eaten.

Get 6 cups of chicken broth (canned/boxed is fine here) in a sauce pan and get it up to a boil.

I added about a teaspoon of the Char Siu sauce to the broth for a little extra flavor. 


While that heats up, mix up the sauce for the stir fry portion of the soup.

1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp dry sherry
1/4 tsp sesame oil

Whisk and set aside for now.



Let's cook the noodles. 

Ok. This part is the drama. This is where the master noodlers just slice the noodles into the boiling water with ease. I'll tell you that it's not the easiest thing in the world to get them perfect. BUT I think the point here is that they are HAND CUT and are supposed to be kind of free-form. At least that's what I will be telling myself. 

Grab your log of noodle dough and weigh out a pound (should be close to all of it).

While the water is boiling, grab your sharpest knife and literally cut the noodles off the log. I found using long strokes worked well and I didn't try to get long noodles, just chunky ones that were as thin as I could cut them.

Since I was alone, I couldn't get pics of this. Sorry. This is what they look like in the water:


I had to re-roll the dough quickly so I could get a good grip on it while cutting. Keep at it until you've cut them all into the water. They should take about 10 minutes to cook. Don't worry if it took you 10 minutes to cut the noodles in the first place, I think they're ok a little overcooked.

Drain and put 1/2 pound in each bowl (for 2 servings).


Let's finish this soup (it'll come together fast at this point)

Get a wok-like-pan over high heat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and get it hot.

Toss in the pork and half the green onions.

Stir fry for 1 minute.


Add the baby bok choy and cabbage. 

Stir fry for 1 minute. 


Add the sauce.

Mix well for 1 minute.


Take off the heat and get ready to build your bowls. 

Done!
 With your noodles in the bottom, pour in the broth. I used about 3 ladles for each bowl.

Top the noodles/broth with a generous helping of the pork/veggie mixture. Garnish with the remaining green onions.



This soup was surprisingly awesome. I didn't need to add any salt either. Thanks to Christy for the suggestion!

Enjoy!

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