1 Lebanese (short) cucumber
3 spring onions (scallions)
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
500g minced (ground) pork
3 Tbs chilli bean paste
2 Tbs dark soy sauce
2 Tbs light soy sauce
60mL chicken stock
1/2 tsp sugar
100g fresh udon noodles
Cut the ends off the cucumber and roughly peel. Cut into matchsticks and refrigerate until needed. Finely chop two of the spring onions and set aside. Finely shred the remaining spring onion to use as garnish.
Put the Sichuan peppercorns in a small frying pan and cook over high heat until they begin to smoke. Tip the hot peppercorns into a small bowl and cool. When cool, put into a mortar and pound with the pestle, or grind into a powder using a spice mill.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and chopped spring onions and stir-fry for a few seconds, until fragrant. Add the pork and half the ground Sichuan pepper and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes, until browned, using a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of pork. Stir in the chilli bean paste, dark and light soy sauces, stock and sugar. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated. Set aside.
Cook the noodles in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until slippery and tender. Drain and put into a large serving bowl. Pour the pork sauce over the noodles and top with the chilled cucumber and shredded spring onion.
Serve with the remaining Sichuan pepper, to sprinkle over the top.
Credits: Images and Recipes from Tuck In by Ross Dobson, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99'
Photo Credits: Images and Recipes from Tuck In by Ross Dobson, Murdoch Books, RRP $39.99'