Sichuan spicy pork and noodles

all details

A lovely combination of chilli and pepper spice with the earthy flavour of sesame paste. The garlic chive flowers add texture and a pleasant sharp flavour.

Sichuan spicy pork and noodles
Photo: Marina Oliphant

Ingredients

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 knobs ginger, peeled

2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 to 1 tbsp of chilli oil or paste

3 tbsp sesame paste (I use the Punchun brand)

3-4 tbsp soy sauce

50ml peanut or corn oil

1 bunch garlic chive flowers (or garlic chives), cut in 10cm lengths

600g pork mince

3 tbsp castor sugar

100-150ml water

4 spring onions, finely sliced

500g fresh rice noodles or Shanghai noodles, or serve with steamed jasmine rice

Method

Crush the ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle. Roast the Sichuan peppercorns in a hot dry wok, stirring all the time for 1-2 minutes, or until they start to crackle, become fragrant and darken. Remove from wok and grind in a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle.

Mix in a bowl the chilli oil, sesame paste and soy. Have a pot of hot water to heat the noodles and everything else ready to go.

Heat a wok until very hot. Add oil then the ginger-garlic paste, stirring all the time and cook for just a moment before adding the garlic chives. Cook until a little wilted then add the pork mince. Keep the heat high and keep stirring. Once the pork mince is cooked add the pepper, sesame/soy sauce mixture and sugar. Mix well and add some water to thin the sauce. Taste and correct the seasoning - you may want more chilli or soy, but if the flavour is too strong, add more water. Now stir in the spring onions, the hot rice noodles and serve.

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  • Main Ingredients - Pork
  • Cuisine - Chinese
  • Course - Main-course
  • Occasion - Midweek dinner

15 reviews so far

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Please, if you are making this dish, consider only using a tsp max of the szechuan peppercorns! I made this dish following the recipe exactly and it was so terrible we had to throw the whole thing out.

    The peppercorns (at this volume, at least) were completely overbearing and ruined all the other flavours – not to mention numbing our mouths so much that nothing tasted right for about half an hour! I even doubled the chilli/sesame/soy combo and it still didn't even things out.

    It was a real shame as the picture looks so good. I'd like to give it another shot so found a similar Neil Perry recipe and he says to only use 1/2 tsp, which sounds much better!

    Commenter
    keen cook
    Location
    Date and time
    June 03, 2013, 1:36PM
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

      Keen cook, I've been making this recipe for years, but my first experience of it was pretty much like yours. We absolutely HATED the Sichuan peppercorns. Anyway, since then I've only ever made it without the Sichuan peppercorns and it's delicious. Oh, so delicious!

      Commenter
      Charlotte
      Location
      Date and time
      June 24, 2013, 5:12PM
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    This sounds really yummy but I live in the bush so I could do with some advice. Is the sesame paste in this recipe the same as tahini and could I substitute one for the other? My closest Asian deli is a 450 k round trip.

    Commenter
    Robynne
    Location
    Date and time
    June 28, 2013, 2:57PM
    • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

      Hi Robynne, I've used tahini when I've run out of the Chinese sesame paste and it's fine. In fact, I've tasted the Chinese sesame paste on its own and it's pretty much identical to tahini.

      Commenter
      Charlotte
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 01, 2013, 7:32PM
    • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

      You can also make your own, if you toast sesame seeds then grind them in a mini food processor (I think you need to do a decent volume for it to work - about a cup)

      Commenter
      Nean
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      August 06, 2013, 6:12PM
  • Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

    I aslo had the same problem with the overbearing flavour (and mouth numbing!) of the peppercorns. I think using just a teaspoon is sound advice!

    Commenter
    Cookie
    Location
    Date and time
    July 03, 2013, 12:20PM
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Thank you so much Charlotte, I'm really looking forward to making this dish.

    Commenter
    Robynne
    Location
    Bombala
    Date and time
    July 05, 2013, 1:43PM
  • Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

    I loved this recipe, 2 tbs Sichuan peppercorns and all. This amount of spice is authentic Sichuan cuisine - the whole point of it is that it provides a slight numbing to the mouth which actually accentuates the other flavours. For those that have a low heat tolerance, then perhaps reduce the amount of peppercorns, but for those more tolerant of heat and spice, that amount is perfect!

    Commenter
    GP
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 09, 2013, 9:45PM
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    I had the very same problem with the Sichuan peppercorns. Our mouths were so numb we had to throw it out and ended up eating cheese on toast!(After our taste buds recovered) I think this must be a typo because there is no way anyone could find this tastes anything other than uncomfortable. I love chilli but this was out of control. I would strongly suggest the 1 teaspoon as above or season it to taste at the end.

    Commenter
    Jane
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 17, 2013, 9:45AM
    • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

      I followed the recipe exactly the way it was written and found it delicious. Having spent some time in china I can say that this is authentic Szechuan thru and thru. Stunning and not too hot.

      Commenter
      shakers
      Location
      sydeny
      Date and time
      August 11, 2013, 6:29PM

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