One of my students from Hunan, China, told me that the most important ingredient for any kind of tasty noodle dish, is the broth. It can be chicken, beef, pork, or fish, but it must be a pure and savory bone broth. So I hopped online to get some ideas and I found a pretty impressive pork bone broth from Taylor Holliday’s fantastic Sichuan blog, The Mala Project – The Mala Market, which includes numerous authentic Sichuan recipes AND an online market where you can purchase hard to find Sichuan ingredients. I made a few minor adaptations to her recipe – instead of pork rib bones, I used pork tail bones, and I omitted the fennel seeds because I didn’t have any. In addition, after blanching/rinsing my bones in a stock pot, I transferred the bones and the ingredients in my Instant Pot (thank you Amy+Jacky for posting the necessary steps for making bone broth in the Instant Pot). Making the broth in the Instant Pot not only speeds up the cooking time exponentially, but it yields a gorgeous, richly flavored pork bone broth.
Now, once I strained the broth and added a touch of soy/sea salt to the pot (okay, and a pinch of Magic Sarap), I decided to add a spicy twist to this Sichuan broth. After I boiled some wheat noodles, in a separate skillet I sauteed some fresh ginger, garlic, chopped bok choy, and broken dried chilies (about 5) in peanut oil. I then stirred in a small cup with 1 tablespoon doubanjiang, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 tablespoon light soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon black vinegar and allowed the ingredients to simmer for a minute. My final touch was a cup of shredded chicken I had reserved from a Costco rotisserie chicken that I added at the last second.
To combine the dish, I put myself a bowl of wheat noodles, topped them with my spicy chicken sauce, and poured a hot ladle of pork broth over the noodles. I garnished the dish with some green onions and took a bite. Absolutely delicious! If you want to try this recipe, please follow Taylor Holliday’s recipe for pork bone broth and include whatever noodles and Chinese greens you wish to experiment with. I happened to have bok choy on hand, so that’s what I used. I can see this tasting just as good with chopped yu choy, or any other vegetable. Also, I used pork tail bones instead of pork rib because that’s what I found at my local Asian grocer. I could have shredded the meat from the pork tail, but given I had rotisserie chicken on hand, I decided to substitute the pork for the chicken.
Because the pork broth yields 5 cups, I will be experimenting with other noodle/vegetable variations in the next couple of days. It’s a very flavorful broth that will enhance any noodle dish you wish to create.
Here is the link from The Mala Project for Pork Bone Broth: