Last night I did something shameful. When Masterchef ended, I didn’t change the channel. I left it on The Shire and I watched it, jaw on the floor the whole episode. For those of you not unlucky enough to have this show, it’s a reality show that follows around some very interesting young people in Sydney.
Quotes like ‘I like looking fake,’ ‘the doctor said he won’t make my lips bigger because then they’ll touch my nose’ and ‘I’d rather my child have looks than brains,’ give you a bit of in insight.
As dreadful as it was I just couldn’t bring myself to change the channel. It was fascinating that people like that actually exist.
Why am I telling you about this? I feel like I need to confess my sins to release me of them and maybe empower me to change the channel next week. I don’t want to encourage the TV networks to make any more of this rubbish.
One place you won’t find anything fake is in my latest creation – Asian bolognaise. This South Eastern tribute to the classic spag bol has a mince sauce, noodles and a spicy kick. It’s light enough to make up for all those treats I’ve been having lately and if you fancy it up a bit it could be served as a dinner party entree. I see a themed dinner in the future.
The best part is, it only takes about 20 minutes to throw together. If you wanted to prepare it ahead of time, just cook the mince sauce and noodles separately, run the noodles under cold water to stop them cooking and then throw it all together at the last minute.
There’s no pre-cooking spices or browning the mince in this recipe. It’s an all in affair. In a big bowl, mix the pork, ginger, garlic, sugar and chili. I like to use my hands to squelch it all together so it’s nice and even but a spoon will do the job just as well.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and then add the meat. Cook it, stirring and breaking up any chunks, until the meat has hardly any pink left.
Add the mushrooms, stock, oyster sauce, rice wine and soy sauce and mix them through then continue to cook until the sauce has thickened (3-4 minutes).
I didn’t have any rice wine (although I swear there was some in my cupboard that disappeared when I went to look for it) so I used white vinegar instead. Apparently you can also use regular wine but not rice wine vinegar – very confusing!
Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the pack and then add them to the pot of meat just like you would with pasta.
Stir them through then take the pot off the heat (note: don’t forget to turn the stove off – yes I have forgotten before).
I tried to do a Donna Hay spaghetti twist to present my Asian bol but it ended up looking like a nice blob on a plate. I shall keep practicing.
Sprinkle some fried shallots over the top to serve. Enjoy!
What about you? What do you think of all these reality shows that just follow people around?
recipe adapted from Mind Food – May 2012
- 500g lean pork mince
- 2 tbsp grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 medium red chili, chopped finely
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
- 200g mixed mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 cup of rice wine (white vinegar works as a substitute)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 sleeves of dried, soba noodles
- fried shallots to serve
In a large bowl, combine the mince with the ginger, sugar, garlic and chili.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and add the mince. Cook, stirring to break up any lumps, until the meat has browned.
Add the mushrooms, rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce and chicken stock and cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
Meanwhile, cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet.
When the noodles are cooked, stir them through the meat pot.
Serve sprinkled with fried shallots.