Spicy Xian Pork Noodles: My Asian Kitchen – Jennifer Joyce

My Asian Kitchen cover art

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Phil Webb, Illustrations by Riley Joyce


This northern Chinese noodle dish is served with a meat sauce that’s not shy on the chilli oil, garlic or Sichuan peppercorns. Traditionally lamb is used, but hand chopping the shoulder meat can be laborious, so I’ve used minced pork. Feel free to use any fat noodles like udon (see page 70) or even pappardelle, which mimic hand-cut noodles. I’ve also included a recipe (see page 214) to make your own. p.212


Spicy Xian Pork Noodles



spicy xian pork noodles


400 g (14 oz) fresh fat or wide noodles or 250 g (9 oz) dried
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns 2 tsp cornflour
4 tbsp roasted chilli flakes in oil, drained, plus 2 tbsp oil
3 cm (1 1/4 inch) ginger, chopped
5 spring onions (scallions)
3 garlic cloves, chopped
400 g (14 oz) minced pork
4 tbsp light soy sauce
5 tbsp black vinegar
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

To make the Sichuan sauce, in a small frying pan toast the spices until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Remove and roughly grind in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Set aside.

Dissolve the cornflour in 1 tablespoon water.

Heat a large wok. Add the roasted chilli oil and sauté the ginger, chopped white spring onion parts and the garlic over medium heat until cooked, about 3 minutes. Add the pork and brown for about 4 minutes until crisp, breaking up the pieces. Add the soy, chilli flakes sediment, black vinegar, rice wine, cornflour water and toasted spices. Keep stir-frying until sticky and the sauce is thick. Remove from the heat.

Boil a large pot of water. If using the fresh noodles, boil for
2–3 minutes – they are done when they start to float to the top of the water. Drain and set aside. If using dried, boil for 6–7 minutes and then drain. Give them an extra rinse of hot water to remove any extra starch.

Add the noodles to the sauce and stir-fry over medium heat using two long spoons. When everything is hot and sticky, pour into four large bowls and top with the chopped green parts of the spring onion, sliced red chilli and toasted sesame seeds.


Warning – not all roasted chilli flakes in oil are created equal! Most Asian shops sell various brands of chilli oil or crispy chillies in oil, typically with the flakes, garlic and black beans (basically all the sludge) beneath the oil. My favourite brand is Lao Gan Ma, packaged in a red jar with a photo of a Chinese lady on the front (the name translates to ‘old lady’). It has a cult status around the world and once you’ve tried it, you might find yourself stockpiling extra jars in your cupboard.


Prawn Laksa: My Asian Kitchen – Jennifer Joyce

My Asian Kitchen cover art

Images and recipes from My Asian Kitchen by Jennifer Joyce, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99 Photography by Phil Webb, Illustrations by Riley Joyce


Malay cuisine is a mash-up of local Chinese, Thai and Indian influences, which makes their soups, curries and noodles dazzle with exotic spices, creamy coconut and hot chillies. What distinguishes laksa paste from red curry is the use of nuts. Traditionally it’s candlenuts, but they’re tricky to source so I use macadamias. p. 56


prawn laksa

Prawn Laksa



6 macadamia nuts
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75 g (21/2 oz) yellow or red curry paste
250 ml (81/2 fl oz) chicken stock
1 x 400 g (14 oz) tin coconut milk 2 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
3 tbsp tamarind purée
2 tbsp palm sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
150 g (5 oz) green beans,
chopped 200 g (7 oz) large raw prawns
200 g (7 oz) thin rice vermicelli
100 g (31/2 oz) pineapple
Large handful each chopped coriander (cilantro) and mint leaves
Pickled red chilli and shallots (see page 52) and crispy fried shallots, to serve


Using a mortar and pestle, crush the macadamia nuts to a fine paste.

In a large saucepan, heat the vegetable oil and add the curry paste and crushed macadamia nuts. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the stock, coconut milk, spices, tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and lime juice. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, then add the beans and prawns. Simmer for 2–3 minutes and remove from the heat.

Pour boiling water over the rice noodles and leave for 2 minutes or until soft.

Cut the pineapple into 2 cm (3⁄4 inch) batons.

Divide the noodles among four large bowls and ladle the laksa over. Top with the pineapple, chopped coriander and mint and pickled red chilli and shallots. Serve with crispy fried shallots.


The taste of this soup relies on using good stock, so it is worth making the Master Asian chicken stock (see page 77). If you’re short on time, make the stock in a pressure cooker. It takes about 30 minutes and you end up with stock that would normally require at least 2 hours to cook. You can also use a good-quality bought chicken stock.







Crispy Chicken on Asian Rice Noodle Salad – MKR -Best Of The Best Cookbook – Seven Network (Operations) Ltd

Crispy Chicken on Asian Rice Noodle Salad

Crispy Chicken on Asian Rice Noodle Salad.




You can cook the noodles and toss with the dressing up to 1 day in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator. This will give the noodles a chance to absorb some of the great flavours, then stir in

capsicum and herbs before serving.


100g vermicelli noodles

1 red capsicum, deseeded and thinly sliced

2 tbsp chopped chives

½ cup coriander leaves

½ cup mint leaves

½ cup Thai basil leaves



2 tbsp lime juice

2 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp caster sugar

1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

½ long red chilli, finely chopped



1 egg

1cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

¾ cup plain flour

2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

2 tsp sea salt flakes

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced

vegetable oil, for shallow-frying


1 To make the dressing, whisk all the ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar dissolves.


2 Place the noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and stand for 5 minutes. Drain, then return to the bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine. Add the capsicum and herbs and

toss to combine.


3 To make the crispy chicken, whisk the egg, ginger and garlic in a large bowl until just combined. Combine the flour, five-spice powder, salt and pepper in a separate large bowl. Dip the chicken

pieces in the egg mixture, drain off excess, then toss in the flour mixture.


4 Fill a wok or deep frying pan halfway with oil and shallow-fry the chicken, in batches, for 2–3 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towel.


5 Divide the noodle salad among four serving bowls and top with the chicken.


Cover MKR Best of the Best Cookbook


MKR: Best Of The Best Cookbook ($39.99), published by Hachette Australia.