There was a time when I would refuse to cook a dish if I didn’t have all the ingredients specified in a recipe. All newbie cooks go through that phase, I surmise. The confidence to just wing it is still in embryonic stage and the adventurous spirit is yet non-existent. When cooking chow mein or lo mein, for instance, I had to have carrots and cabbage. It wasn’t until much later after I had been stir frying noodles for years when I realized that carrots and cabbage were not all that essential. Any vegetable that will hold up in the intense heat of stir frying is just as good. In fact, using different combinations of vegetables results in a uniquely flavored and textured dish every time.
Yesterday, humoring a daughter who had been craving home cooked meals, I whipped up this pork lo mein with nothing but bits and pieces of leftover vegetables. Alex had been having hyperacidic attacks all week and she said that when she’s home on weekends, she wants nothing more than to eat food that makes her feel better. Comfort food, nothing more and nothing less. So, when she asked for lo mein, I didn’t think twice before saying yes. I combined bell peppers, iceberg lettuce and parsley, and cooked what turned out to be such a delicious lo mein. By the time the girls were ready to be driven back to the condo, Alex was feeling much better and was in high spirits.
Because this version of pork lo mein was meant to be light and friendly to a daughter having hyperacidic bouts, I flavored the dish very simply with salt and pepper. No oyster sauce, no hoisin sauce. For those who wanted to add richer tones, soy sauce and kalamansi juice were available, optionally, on the side.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- boiled pork cut into thin strips, about 1 and 1/2 c. after cutting
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 large bell pepper julienned
- iceberg lettuce cut into strips, about 2 c. after cutting
- 150 grams aegg noodles cooked according to package directions
- 2 to 3 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Add the pork to the hot oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir fry until lightly browned.
- Throw in the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Stir fry for about a minute.
- Add the lettuce. Stir fry for about 10 seconds.
- Add the cooked noodles. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir fry just until the noodles are heated through.
- Off the heat, toss in the parsley.
- Serve at once.