This recipe owes a debt to Chris Morocco’s sambal pork noodles which served as inspiration. My version is heavier on the aromatics and delivers a big basil and ginger fresh punch!
3 tbsp olive oil
500g pork mince (20% fat)
Large thumb ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
8 cloves garlic, finely sliced
2 tsp palm sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
30g basil leaves and thin stems, 4 leaves reserved to garnish
2 tbsp sriracha (or other spice paste)
1 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp rice vinegar
400g ramen noodles or spaghetti
Heat a large saute pan over a high heat, pour in the oil and add around half the pork in medium-sized meatballs. Make sure you don’t crowd the pan so that this pork can develop a lovely brown crust. Once browned on both sides, add the ginger and the remaining pork and cook until there’s no pink left in the meat. Add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes before adding the palm sugar and tomato puree. Cook this for a further few minutes until the tomato cooks out into a darker shade.
Throw in the basil and fry until wilted. Add the sriracha, soy sauce and 1 tbsp of the vinegar and cook until incorporated. Pour in the water, bring to a boil and then simmer the sauce for around 30 minutes on a low heat until the sauce has thickened.
Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning. If you find that the acidic notes have become too muted, add the final tbsp of rice vinegar and cook it into the sauce for around a minute.
Combine the sauce with your cooked noodles and stir in the butter. Add in some reserved noodle water if you want to loosen the dish.
Serve topped with the remaining basil leaves.
Skip the butter and substitute the rice vinegar with mirin for a sweeter, less acidic dish.