2 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp vegetable oil
200g (7 oz) pork mince
2 tbsp Tianjin pickled mustard greens (ya chai) or cabbage (tong chai)*
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Chinese Shaoxing cooking wine
200g (7 oz) thin dried Chinese wheat noodles
finely sliced spring onion (scallions) to serve
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tbsp chilli oil (try my homemade version here)
1 tbsp white vinegar or use Chinese black vinegar if you can get your hands on it
2 tsp sweet dark soy sauce
¼ tsp sugar
Toast the Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan over medium high heat for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Use a mortar and pestle to grind to a fine powder. Set aside for later.
To make the spicy sauce, in a large bowl mix the soy sauce, chilli oil vinegar, sweet dark soy sauce and sugar. Set aside for later.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan over high heat. Add the pork and spread it out in the pan. Leave to cook for 4-5 minutes or until you get some nice golden brown colour. Then stir-fry and break up the mince. Sprinkle over the ground Sichuan pepper and toss to combine. Add the Tianjin pickled vegetables, soy sauce and Shaoxing wine. Stir-fry for another minute to allow the pork to soak up all the sauce. Set aside and keep warm while you cook your noodles.
Heat a large pot of water until boiling. Add the noodles and cook according to packet instructions. While the noodles are cooking, scoop out 1 cup of the noodle cooking water and mix it into the spicy sauce. Divide the spicy sauce among serving bowls.
Drain the cooked noodles and divide among the serving bowls. Top the noodles with the pork mixture and sprinkle with spring onions.
– Tianjin pickled vegetables are a type of preserved vegetable from Sichuan province in China. They’re usually sold in little earthenware jars in Asian supermarkets.