Bok Choy with Oyster Sauce

+ kosher salt
+ neutral oil
2 T chopped garlic
1 lb baby bok choy
2 T oyster sauce, or more to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
 
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 inch oil in a small pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and gently cook until the garlic is golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Set the pan with the garlic oil aside.

Add the bok choy to the boiling water and blanch until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. The leaves will go limp; the heart of the bok choy should offer only a little resistance to the tip of a knife. Drain well and blot with paper towels to remove excess water.
 
Arrange the bok choy on a platter and drizzle with the oyster sauce. Drizzle with a little of the reserved garlic oil and sprinkle with the fried garlic.

Dry Fried Green Beans with Sambal Oelek

2 T neutral oil
1 lb green beans, whole, or Chinese long beans, cut into 4″ lengths
1 T chopped garlic
1 T chopped fresh ginger
1/4 C chopped scallions
1/2 t sambal oelek or Sambal
1 T soy sauce
1/2 t sugar
+ kosher salt

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a wok over medium heat. After a minute (or as soon as the oil is getting to the oh shit this oil means business level of heat), add the green beans and stir-fry until they start to shrivel and turn brown, 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Turn the heat up to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic, ginger, and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds until fragrant, then add the sambal. Add the green beans, soy sauce, and sugar. Toss until the beans are coated in sauce and heated through. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.

Rice Noodles with Spicy Pork and Herbs

1 pound thin, round rice noodles
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon black vinegar
1 tablespoon chile oil (like Lao Gan Ma brand)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
1/2 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 1-inch piece ginger, chopped
2 scallions, light parts chopped, green parts reserved for garnish
1 tablespoon yacai (Sichuan preserved vegetables, optional)
Handful of herbs like mint, basil and cilantro leaves, washed
1/4 cup salted, roasted peanuts, chopped
4 breakfast radishes, sliced (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to boil, and cook noodles according to instructions. Drain noodles while running under cold water, until they are cool to the touch. Set aside. Mix dressing by whisking rice vinegar, soy sauce, black vinegar, chile oil and sugar until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

Cook the pork topping: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat, and add ground pork and salt. Pan-fry, breaking meat into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until no pink parts and no liquid remain in the pan, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, ginger and scallion whites, and stir occasionally until the raw smell has disappeared and the meat is starting to brown in places, about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables, if using, along with a tablespoon of water, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes more, or until mixture is darkened and thick. Set aside.

When you’re ready to serve, divide cool, drained noodles into four individual bowls, and top each with a tablespoon of vinegar dressing followed by a pile of ground pork, herbs, peanuts and radishes, to taste. Serve with any remaining garnish, and additional chile oil and chile-oil solids, on the side.