Noodles may not seem like an obvious choice for a series on picnic food, since they are a bit messy and awkward to eat. However, I would like to put forth two arguments in their favor:
1. They are a perfect one-bowl meal that only requires the addition of a pair of chopsticks.
2. They taste good at any temperature.
Still not convinced? Then all I can say is that these are the most wonderful noodles you will ever taste, even rivaling the deliciousness of the pan fried noodles at Noodles & Company, which are my favorite fast food meal ever. Yes, the Char Siu is a little bit time consuming to prepare, but the steps are actually quite simple to follow and it only takes a few thin slices of Char Siu to create noodle perfection. Also, these would be perfectly delicious with no meat at all; just add a few extra vegetables when stir frying the noodles. I added a bottle of iced green tea and some fresh fruit to the basket for a perfect, light summer picnic.
- 1 pound pork loin roast
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 Tablespoon fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoons dark soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 10-ounce package Chinese Lo Mein egg noodles
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1 large clove of garlic, minced
- 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 4 scallions thinly sliced, divided
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
- Rinse the pork loin off and pat dry with paper towels. Cut in 3 even pieces and pierce pieces in several places with a fork. Place in a deep dish or bowl.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, hoisin sauce, fish sauce, soy sauces, mirin and spices. Pour this marinade over the pieces of pork and turn them over a few times so they are well coated with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 1 day.
- Preheat oven to 425º. Remove the pieces of pork from the marinade and place on a sheet pan lined with foil. Reserve the marinade for basting. Roast the pork in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 160º and no pink remains. Turn the pieces of pork over halfway through roasting and brush with some of the leftover marinade.
- Once the pork is done roasting, remove it from the oven and place on a wooden cutting board. Tent with foil and let sit for 15 minutes to absorb some of the juices. Thinly slice.
- Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Add Lo Mein noodles and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and brown sugar.
- Heat the canola oil in a large non-stick pan or a wok over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, 3/4 of the scallions and bell pepper and sauté until fragrant and vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce and noodles to the pan and continue to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens and is absorbed somewhat by the noodles. Divide noodles between four bowls and top with 1/4 of the sliced Char Siu and a sprinkling of the remaining green onions. Can be served hot, room temp, or chilled.