Egg noodle salad with Chinese barbecue pork and pickled carrots

The texture is the best part of this dish – served at room temperature, it's very refreshing and great for warmer months.
The texture is the best part of this dish – served at room temperature, it's very refreshing and great for warmer months. Photo: William Meppem

This dish is inspired by a Chinese noodle salad my uncle Jimmy brings to Kwong family gatherings. The Chinese barbecue pork pieces and pickles are my addition. My uncle uses freshly made thin egg noodles, which I prefer for this recipe because they are delicate in texture and not so filling. But feel free to choose your favourite, including Hokkien or Shanghai noodles. Look for fresh thin egg noodles in the refrigerated section of the Asian grocer.

Ingredients

2 large celery sticks, finely sliced on the diagonal

1 tbsp vegetable oil

500g fresh thin egg noodles

1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp light soy sauce

250g Chinese barbecue pork, warm or at room temperature, finely sliced

90g (1 cup) bean sprouts

60g (½ cup) drained pickled carrots* (recipe here)

80ml (⅓ cup) liquid from pickled carrots*

50g (½ cup) fresh black fungus

2 tsp sesame oil

Method

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Blanch celery for 30 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon. Refresh under cold running water and drain well. Pat dry.

2. Add vegetable oil to same pan of water and bring back to the boil. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain thoroughly and place in a large bowl.

3. Heat sugar and soy sauce in a nonstick frying pan until sugar has dissolved. Add pork and heat through for 45 seconds or until slightly sticky.

4. Add pork and remaining ingredients to noodles and toss well using your hands. Arrange on a platter to serve.

Tip: I always have a bit of barbecue pork in the freezer. It's fantastic not only for a quick, flavoursome fried rice, but also great added to noodle dishes or finely sliced and added to wonton soup.

If you don't eat pork, you could add fried egg ribbons and fresh Asian herbs to make this a substantial vegetarian dish or swap the pork for cooked tiger prawns.

*Remember to make the pickled carrots a day ahead (recipe here).