The simple and easy sauce for your complex and busy life.
Dad woke me up because his friend was already waiting at the door. He said he’s taking us out for ramen. I’m not a big fan of ramen. Even though it is the epitome of all that is Japanese and… Japanese (and I am Taiwanese). It was bright and sunny out. I shared another earphone with my brother, lounging in the van with Chasing Car in our ears. Then we rose from Patron’s voice, found out that they have no Japanese ramen at all but traditional Chinese meat sauce noodles.
Plain noodles, minced pork, chopped green onions. I’m not interested in waxing poetic about eating fancy street food (those that make eating ice-cream so complicated). What I am keenly interested in is making the simplicity become a reverie of the tradition. The most basic kind that first satisfied our senses. The most basic kind that Mom would stir minced pork with garlic. And while my brother and I were studying, the air would float into our room a wind of balanced flavour: splashes of soy sauce and bits of sugar. Mom would make a full skillet, and keep the rest in the fridge. Whenever she doesn’t have time to prepare for dinner, batches and batches of meat sauce, that is it.
But we all have to grow up. Now that I’m studying abroad alone, I couldn’t feel her warmth in my apartment, but to step in Whole Foods Market, get the ingredients I need, chop, splash, slurp, and feel mom’s embrace through the familiar taste she taught me.
The thing about leaving home and being independent is to find another dependence besides home.
“Kate, what are we having for dinner?” is probably the kind that my roommate has found. As the steam of cooked pork flew into my vision, I wished it could blur my roommate’s insecurities, and heal her homesickness with the replica of my mom’s love. I set it aside to cool, then store it into the fridge.
“Hey, sorry I have a group meeting tonight and can’t have dinner with you. I cooked some minced pork sauce and stored it in the fridge. Just top it on rice or noodles for dinner. I’ll be back very soon!” I texted back.
Here’s the recipe for the minced pork sauce! Add it on rice, noodles, or whatever you feel like pairing it with (Don’t put it on yogurt. It’s not a cereal material). Since I reminiscent on both the Japanese and the not Japanese, I used healthy soba with the traditional Chinese meat sauce (I was actually surprised they worked so well together).
The all and all about simplicity… to avoid the all and all that are complicated in life.
Chinese Meat Sauce + Soba [click her for a printer friendly version]
- 1lb ground pork
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 3tbs soy sauce/tamari (organic & reduced-sodium)
- 5tbs thick soy sauce (organic & reduced-sodium)
* you can always adjust the amount of soy sauce based on your taste *
- 1tbs brown sugar
- 1tbs rice vinegar
- 450cc water
- Your choice of how much Soba/whole wheat spaghetti/brown rice
* I prefer a 4:1 noodle to sauce ratio *
- Heat up oil over medium high heat. Add in garlic and constantly stir it until fragrant, but not browned.
- Add in the meat. Mix it with garlic, break them into pieces, and stir until it’s cooked thoroughly golden brown.
- Add in soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and mix them well.
- Add in water, turn to low heat, cover, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
- While your sauce simmers, cook your noodles, chop your green onions, and get them ready to top and serve with the delicious meat sauce.
Comment below if you like this recipe, or have a mama recipe as well!
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