Dan Dan Noodles

2 tablespoons lard (or oil)
1/3 pound finely ground pork
1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
2 teaspoons tian mian jiang (sweet wheat paste)
pinch salt
4 baby bok choy, cleaned and leaves separated
1 pound (450 grams) thin Chinese wheat noodles
3 tablespoons Chinese light soy sauce
2 tablespoons Zhenjiang black rice vinegar
3 tablespoons chili oil with flakes
3 tablespoons yacai
3 tablespoons scallion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 chicken stock

Heat a dry wok until quite hot, reduce heat to medium and add lard. When lard is hot, add the ground pork and stir-fry until the pork loses its pinkness. Add the Shaoxing cooking wine, sweet wheat paste and salt and continue to stir-fry until the pork is well-cooked. Drain the pork from the fat and keep in reserve.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add bok choy and cook about 2 minutes, or until done. Remove boy choy and chop into bite-size pieces. Add noodles to same pot of boiling water and cook just until done. Drain noodles and stir in a bit of oil to keep them from sticking together.

Mix the light soy sauce, Zhenjiang black vinegar, chili oil with flakes, yacai, scallions and sugar in a serving bowl. Add the chicken stock and mix well.

Layer the noodles into the bowl on top of the sauce. If you’re not sure of your quantity of noodles, add only enough to maintain a generous sauce-to-noodle ratio. Top the noodles with the pork and garnish with the bok choy leaves. Mix it up at table before serving.

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