Spicy Szechuan Noodles
This recipe is best made with Chinese sesame paste but if you don't have that tahini or peanut butter work well too. And I reduce the amount of peanut oil called for in the original recipe by Florence Fabricant.
1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns
1/2 lb. ground pork
3 tbsp. soy sauce, divided
salt to taste
1/4 cup peanut oil
3 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tbsp. peeled, chopped fresh ginger
5 tbsp. finely chopped scallions, reserve the dark green tops for garnish
2 tbsp. sesame paste, tahini or peanut butter
2 tbsp. chili oil
1 cup chicken stock
12 oz. dry Chinese egg noodles or spaghetti noodles
Heat a heavy skillet over med. heat. Add the Sichuan peppercorns and stir fry for about 5 min. until they brown slightly and start to smoke. Remove from heat, allow to cool, then grind. Set aside.
Combine the pork, 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. salt and mix well.
Heat a skillet over med. high heat, add the oil and when the oil is hot, stir fry the pork, stirring to break up into pieces. When the pork is crispy, after about 5 min., remove it with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels.
Bring a pot with 3-4 quarts of water to boil to cook pasta.
Pour off all but 2 tbsp. of the peanut oil. Reheat the skillet with the remaining 2 tbsp. oil and stir fry the garlic, ginger and scallions for 30 seconds, then add the sesame paste, the remaining soy sauce, chili oil and chicken stock. Simmer 4 min. Return pork to pan and stir. Add salt to taste.
When pasta is cooked, drain in a colander. Transfer to a serving bowl or individual bowls. Spoon the sauce with the fried pork over the top. Sprinkle with ground Sichuan peppercorns and garnish with scallion tops.