The January 2014 issue of Bon Appetit is one of the best to come along in a while. I've tried 2 winner recipes so far and have many more pages dog-eared. One was this fennel-rubbed pork roast, which I figured would be simple and hopefully not too boring, and it was fantastic. The 2nd is this Spicy Pork and Mustard Greens Soup. Incredible.
You start with ground pork and add Sichuan peppercorns, chili flake, garlic, ginger and a couple of other things. Cook that up then dump in broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, scallion & mustard greens, then ladle over bowls of cooked noodles (I used udon since that's what I had in the pantry). That's it. Start to finish was under 30 minutes. One of the most flavorful and satisfying soups we've made in a long time.
Lame pic below, the bowl is actually a lot larger than it looks. Recipe below that.
- ½ pound ground pork
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
- 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bunch mustard greens, torn (about 4 cups)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
- 8 oz. wide rice noodles
Mix pork, garlic, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and cumin in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pork mixture; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8–10 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until flavors meld, 8–10 minutes. Add mustard greens, scallions, soy sauce, and fish sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, 5–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper.
Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions; drain.
Divide noodles among bowls and ladle soup over.
- I didn't use the cumin seed. I hate cumin more and more everyday. There I said it. Hate me if you want.
- I used 1 lb of ground pork, because that's how it was in the frozen block from Singing Pig. Great pork products btw.
- I used 6 C of broth instead of 4.
- I didn't have the Sichuan peppercorns but did have a Sichuan peppercorn & salt mix from Penzy's, that I used in the meat and skipped salting the soup to compensate. Between the soy, fish sauce & the salt-peppercorn mix, it was well seasoned.
- Winco sells a 1-lb pack of ready-to-go chopped Mustard Greens. This is an excellent product. There can be a lot of stems, but they soften quickly in the soup so it's no big deal.
And the best note of all, my kid loved it and said I was an awesome cook.