Roast Pork Chow Mein with Cashews

There must be literally millions of recipes for Chow Mein, one of the most frequently prepared meals in the world. The name means simply “fried noodles” so it is no wonder that there are so many variations, but there is little otherwise in common with all these recipes. All call for noodles, steamed, boiled or fried, most call for meat [largely minced beef, diced chicken, sliced pork, and/or shrimps] and a very high proportion call for bean sprouts and Bok Choi [Pok Choy, Pok Choi, Chinese Cabbage]. All have some sort of sauce that is cooked with the solid ingredients and usually includes soy sauce, oyster sauce and brown sugar, with cornflour to thicken. Both raw and cooked meat is used. What I offer below, therefore, can only ever be representative of an astronomically high number of possibilities. Do not be put off by the list of ingredients: once you have read things through, you will realise just how simple this actually is.

1 tblsp tomato paste.
1 tblsp dark soy sauce.
½ tsp ground fenugreek.
½ tsp ground ginger.
Dash Cayenne pepper.
½ tsp salt.
300g pork fillet.
Roasting juices.
2 tblsp oyster sauce.
1 tblsp soy sauce.
2 tblsp brown sugar.
3 tblsp cornflour.
¼ tsp salt.
1 ¾ cups water or vegetable stock.
2 nests of egg noodles.
½ stick celery, chopped.
1 cup diced broccoli florets.
1 cup chopped cabbage
1 large spring onion, chopped.
½ cup unsalted cashews.
¼ cup toasted sesame seeds.

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Mix the tomato paste, soy sauce, ginger, fenugreek, cayenne and salt together into a paste and smear this over the meat. Wrap the meat in two layers of aluminium foil, place it on a baking tray and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little, then snip the end of the foil and pour off the roasting juices into a container. Wrap the meat in gladwrap and place in the refrigerator. Allow it to cool right down.
To the container of roasting juices, add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, salt, sugar and cornflour, stirring well to make sure that everything is thoroughly mixed. Add the water while stirring. Cover and reserve.
Slice the meat thinly and set aside. Prepare the vegetables and set aside. Beat the sauce mix quickly and set aside. Dry roast the sesame seeds and set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the noodles. Cook for the time indicated on the packet. At the same time, heat a sauté pan or wok over a hot flame. Add the cooking oil and add the meat and vegetables. Chow around quickly until very hot, then add the sauce mix. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes to thicken. Chow around occasionally to ensure that everything is evenly covered with the sauce mix and serve over the noodles onto hot plates, garnished with the sesame seeds.

Serves: 2.

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