Monday, April 19, 2010

Cambodian Glass Noodles


*(optional) 6 oz. leftover shredded pork shoulder
6 oz. Thai bean thread or "glass" noodles
1 tbsp. rendered pork or bacon fat (can use olive oil)
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 jalapeno, minced
8 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. red pepper flake
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
2 small heads broccoli, stems peeled, chopped
1 egg, beaten and seasoned
salt and fresh black pepper

1 tbsp. sugar or agave
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce

2 fresh chives, minced
a handful of cilantro, minced

Hitachino Nest White Ale

1) Place glass noodles in a mixing bowl and heat enough water (to just below boiling) to cover. Soak noodles (5 minutes is enough).
2) Heat pork fat until smoking in heavy-bottomed pan or cast iron. If using leftover pork shoulder or shredded pork, add meat to crisp.
3) Add to the pan minced jalapeno, garlic, red pepper flake, and onion. Saute 2 minutes.
4) Stir in broccoli and ground white pepper. Season cautiously with salt and black pepper and pan-fry 3 more minutes over high heat.
5) Move the contents of the pan to one side. If empty side is dry, add a touch of oil. Fry the beaten egg, then mix all together.
6) Add sauce to pan and scrape any fond off the bottom. (If at any point during this recipe something is burning or sticking, feel free to splash in a little chicken stock, water, or soy sauce--just be careful not to oversalt.)
7) Your noodles should be quite soft. Snip them with kitchen scissors in the bowl until they're a nice bite-sized length. Drain and add to pan, turning off heat.
8) Stir the noodles into the stir-fried veggies and pork, adding your chopped herbs. Check seasoning and adjust with sugar, salt, or fish sauce if necessary.
9) Open Hitachino Nest White Ale.
10) Enjoy together.


We've sorta sorely neglected to talk abut Asian beers on this blog, which is a shame. Gabe is the mixologist at Woo Lae Oak, and thus has a hand in picking which beers go on the list there, and Hitachino Nest White is one of them, because people should only drink beers that are awesome and Hitachino Nest White Ale is made of awesome and drinks like liquid awesome.

(Brief anecdote: I don't recall precisely what the beer list was at "the Woo" before Gabe and his GM Dan sat down and did an Awesomeness Enhancement, but it looked pretty much like this: Kirin. Kirin Light. OB. Sapporo. Heineken. Corona Light. Water With Beer Flavor Additives. Water With Beer Flavor Additives Light.)

This is a mean pairing with glass noodles. Hitachino White is a chilled-out Witbier at 5% alcohol, brewed in Japan, a lovely pale golden cloudy color. It has a delicate but vibrant nose on it. Super floral and ginger and cloves and citrus, lemon edges, a faint whiff of yeast. Sip it. It's incredibly complex for a Witbier style, with a Granny Smith tang at the front of the tongue and a depth of bittering balance that you don't often find with brews of this sort, which can lean toward banana and bubble gum pretty easily. This doesn't--it's a medley ofIndian spices with a backbone of lemon and bread. Outstanding. Drink it with glass noodles.


Photo caption: Lyndsay Pairs Beer with Food in Asia.

By the way, if you were ever to stop by Woo Lae Oak, you'd do well by yourself ordering the glass noodles and a Hitachino Nest White. Korean glass noodles are called Jap Chae and are made out of sweet potato instead of mung bean like the Thai/Cambodian variety I used here.

So this dish is inspired by my hometown dining experiences. There are not a lot of exotic places to eat on Longview, Washington. One might even be tempted to say boldly, ON THE CONTRARY! and drive to Portland, OR or Seattle, WA, which both have absolutely killer restaurants. But in Longview itself, unless what you want is some outrageously good Mexican food, ethnic dining is pretty much confined to Hart-C's Thai-Chinese Food and Steak Burger.

Yep. Great name. This from the town that also brought you Cleopatra's Grizzly Bear Casino.

Anyway, #58 is a dish called Glass Noodles with Pork and Eggs. The nifty trick about the Thai plates at Hart-C's is that the family that owns Hart-C's (I went to high school with their kids) isn't Thai. They're Cambodian. The food is similar to Thai, but I've never had another glass noodle dish in a genuinely Thai restaurant precisely like this one. Hart-C's is bloody delicious (they have an out of this world black pepper and garlic fried beef), so as a tribute to them I tried to recreate their glass noodles with some leftover pork. I'm pretty stoked by the results, and it's considerably cheaper than a plane flight.

I took a cooking class in Thailand, when we were in Chiang Mai. I could cook Thai food every day. So tasty. So healthy. So good with BEER.

No comments: