By Christopher Fujimoto
I wanted to make a dish for Chinese New Year based on stuff me and my family would eat around this time of the year and I thought what better way than to make cake noodle. My mom would always order from our family favorite Chinese restaurant growing up in Kane'ohe and I had practice making cake noodle at home during culinary school (and when I was hungry and craved it). I chose to do it similar in style to pork watercress soup, but a cake noodle version as an homage to the traditional family recipes people grew up eating watercress in.
Watercress offers a pleasant peppery, fresh bite to the noodles and has much more flavor than Chinese broccoli (though not to discredit it.). The watercress doesn't need to be cooked, toss it in at the end to wilt it slightly while still maintaining its integrity. The combo of pork and watercress in Hawai'i is a common pairing and I love experimenting with different ways they can be served!
- 1 pound - ramen noodles, fresh or raw (not instant or dried noodles)
- 4T - neutral oil (plus more as needed)
Stir Fry Ingredients
- 1 small sweet onion, julienne
- 1/2 bunch Sumida Farm watercress, cut into 1.5" lengths
- 1/2 medium carrot, cut into rounds (should be a little over 1C)
- 1 pound thinly sliced pork (recommend you use pre-sliced hot pot cut)
- 1T garlic, minced
- 1t ginger, minced
- 2T neutral oil (plus additional 1T)
- 3C chicken stock
- 3T oyster sauce
- 2T shoyu
- 1t sesame oil
- 1t sugar, granulated
- 1 1/2t - ground black pepper
Slurry (thickening agent)
- 5T cornstarch
- 1/2C water
- In a medium pot, fill 3/4ths full with water and bring to a high boil and add a pinch of salt. Once boiling, add the fresh/raw ramen noodles and cook for 2 minutes (the noodles will float to the top once cooked.)
- Strain the noodles and rinse with cold water, using your hands to loosen the noodles. Allow the noodles to drain over a bowl and dry out slightly. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan or wok, bring to medium-high heat and add 2T of oil until lightly smoking. Add in the ginger and cook for 1 minute to bring out the aromatics.
- Add in the carrots, onion, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until the carrots are slightly tender and the onions are translucent. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. In the same pan / wok, heat 1T oil on medium-high heat until lightly smoking and add in the 1T garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in the pork and season lightly with salt. Allow to brown and cook fully (about 4-5 minutes) then set aside with the carrots and onions that were cooked earlier
8. Once the sauce is made, add in your fresh Sumida Farm watercress and stir until slightly wilted. Proceed to add in the meat, carrots, and onions and stir to coat them in sauce. Turn heat off and set aside.
9. In a clean large saute pan, heat 4T of oil (enough to evenly coat the bottom of the pan) at medium-high heat. Once the pan is lightly smoking, take your ramen noodles and spread them evenly in the hot pan, pressing down on the top with a spatula to flatten it down. This allows the noodles to crust along one side evenly. Lift the edge of the noodles every minute or so to check on the browning. The noodles are done once the color is a nice golden brown and the noodles can be flipped easily (careful not to burn, the noodles can turn quickly). Flip the noodles over and sear on the other side the same way. Add more oil if needed as the noodles may have absorbed some of it. The key to nice cake noodles is enough oil to evenly crust the outside while keeping the inside nice and tender.
10. Remove the noodles from the pan, chop into large pieces and serve on a plate with the sauce poured over the top. Best enjoyed fresh!