What’s with the brandied pork? I discovered I was out of rice wine but I had promised Alex a stir fried noodle dish and I intended to deliver with panache. Brandy was what I had, so, brandy it was that I added to the meat. Worked beautifully.
Why not ditch the alcohol altogether? Because alcohol adds a richness to a dish that cannot be replicated by any other ingredient. That’s why the French and the Italians cook their food with wine, and why Chinese stir fries almost always includes a splash or two of rice wine.
But doesn’t alcohol leave a bitter taste in the food? I’ve written a post about cooking with alcohol a while back so I wouldn’t have to repeat myself every time alcohol is listed among the ingredients. The answers to frequently asked questions are there including whether the alcohol burns off during cooking (and a link to a table that outlines the percentage of the alcohol retained) and what happens to the calories in the alcohol.
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 1 and 1/2 cups thinly sliced pork (I used the shoulder -- kasim in local parlance)
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 red onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- a generous splash brandy
- 1/2 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup carrot sticks
- 1 cup packed spinach leaves
- 150 grams Asian noodles cooked according to package directions (I used rice noodles; you can use whatever variety you prefer)
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- drizzle sesame seed oil
Heat the cooking oil in a wok. Add the pork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over very high heat until no longer pink.
Throw in the garlic and onion. Stir fry for half a minute.
Pour in the soy sauce. Stir well.
Add the brandy. Allow to boil for a minute.
Stir in the broccoli, cauliflower, carrot sticks and spinach leaves. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper. Drizzle in about two tablespoonfuls of water. Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook in the steam for about a minute.
Add the cooked noodles to the meat and vegetables. Pour in the oyster sauce. Stir fry just until the noodles are heated through.
Off the fire, drizzle in the sesame seed oil. Toss a few times. Taste. Adjust the seasonings, if needed. Serve at once.