Living in the middle of nowhere, with almost a foot of snow on the ground makes for wonderful excuses to mix up some Hot Chocolate, toss in some homemade marshmallows, and flip through cookbooks and scour the world-wide-web in search of the perfect lo mein dish.
If you live in a well-populated area or have access to Amazon Pantry, getting the ingredients for this recipe should be pretty simple. If you live in the middle of nowhere, like me, this is one of those dishes you’ll want to stock up on the pantry/shelf items used in this recipe, mainly the dried lo mein noodles. Also, opt for the more expensive brand of toasted sesame oil, it makes a huge difference!
Pork Lo Mein with Vegetables
Modified from a combination of recipes from Cook’s Illustrated, Cook’s Country, and Just a Taste.
6 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tbsp. oyster sauce
4 tbsp. hoisin sauce
2 tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp. five-spice powder
2 lb boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed of excess fat, sliced crosswise into 1/8-inch thick slices
1/2 cup chicken broth, low sodium is best
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. fresh grated ginger (if using jarred, drain excess liquid)
5+ tsp. vegetable oil
4 tbsp. dry sherry or if you can find it Shao-Xing
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, sliced
1 small head Napa cabbage, halved, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch strips
1 head bok choy, thoroughly cleaned, sliced; white and greens separated
1/4 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 cup snow peas
In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, toasted sesame oil, and five-spice powder.
In a large zipper-lock bag, combine 5 tbsp. of soy sauce mixture and pork. Seal bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Let set in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, but a full hour is better.
Whisk chicken broth and cornstarch into remaining soy sauce mixture. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine garlic, ginger, and 1/2 tsp. vegetable oil. Set aside.
In 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil until smoking. Working in batches, adding oil as necessary, sear meat in a single, untouching, layer in the skillet. (It took 4 batches to finish off all my meat). Transfer meat to a large bowl and wipe skillet clean of any burned bits.
Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
Return skillet to medium-high heat, add 1 tsp. vegetable oil. Add mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Add 1 tbsp. of sherry, stirring until the wine has evaporated. Add mushrooms to bowl with the pork.
Return skillet to heat, heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in the skillet, add cabbage and white pieces of bok choy. Cook until it has reached your desired tenderness, add 1tbsp. sherry, stirring until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer vegetables to the bowl.
Return skillet to heat, heat 1 tsp. vegetable oil in skillet. Add green leaves of bok choy, and 1 tbsp. sherry, cooking until just wilted and sherry is evaporated, about 30 seconds. Transfer to the bowl.
Heat remaining 1 tsp. oil in the skillet. Add carrots and broccoli florets. Cook until it has reached your desired tenderness. Add in peas and remaining 1 tbsp. sherry. Cook, stirring occasionally until peas turn bright green and sherry has evaporated. Transfer to the bowl.
Add lo mein noodles to the boiling water. Cook until tender, for most noodles 4-6 minutes but make sure to read the package for your specific noodles as some can take up to 10 minutes. Drain well and rinse with cold water to prevent clumping.
Add garlic mixture to the skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add soy sauce mixture, pork-vegetable mixture, and drained noodles. Toss gently to coat thoroughly coat pork and vegetables with sauce. Cook, tossing gently to prevent sticking until sauce is thickened, about 2 minutes.
**pork loin can be used in place of country-style ribs
**linguine can be used in place of lo mein noodles
**any vegetables can be added or omitted based on personal taste or cooked and set aside separately, then tossed into individual plates immediately before serving