International Noodles Incident Party – Homemade Ban Mian with minced pork and mushrooms

The Chinese has been making and eating noodles since 2000BC. Like rice, it is a part of the staple diet. It is always part of many Chinese festivals like Chinese New Year and also a must have dish on birthdays. I remember that my grandma would make us a bowl of mee sua. We aren’t allowed to ‘cut’ the noodles while eating it as it signifies longevity.

We are spoilt in Melbourne with great food and produce. But there are just some dishes that rarely hit the right spot. One of these dishes is Ban Mian. It is a type of egg noodle that is very popular in both Malaysia and Singapore. Some use anchovies as the base soup and some places have different toppings. I find the broth served here either very bland and the noodles not well made. Or maybe I am just not looking the right places.

Ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms

Ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms

Ingredients:

Soup base

  • 1kg of pork bones
  • 40g of dried white bait
  • 2tsp of coriander seeds
  • 2tsp of sichuan pepper corns
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 4 star anise
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 25g of sliced fresh ginger
  • 6 cups of water

Neat trick of making a disposable spice bag with Chux! It works really well as an alternative to muslin cloths too!

Spices in Chux

Spices in Chux

Stir fry minced pork

  • 300g of minced pork
  • 10g of dried shrimp
  • 15g of dried anchovies
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 china garlic or 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1tbsp of light soy sauce
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 45g of dried shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced into strips

Single clove garlic or garlic rounds from China. Is this the stage where the garlic is yet to grow into the cloves stage or is this a variety of garlic?

Garlic rounds or single clove garlic

Garlic rounds or single clove garlic

Noodles

  • 250g of flour and extra for dusting
  • A good pinch of sea salt
  • 60ml – 80ml of water – This may depend on humidity. I had to use 80ml but start from less and then add more if required
  • 1tbsp of oil
  • 1 egg
Noodle dough

Noodle dough

Method:

1. Prepare the soup base first. Roughly ground the coriander and sichuan pepper corns. Wrap grounded spices and star anise in a Chux cloth to form a disposable spice bag. Run the bones through under hot water tap to get rid of the smell and blood. Bring the water to a boil, add the bones, spice bag, dried anchovies, ginger, cinnamon and garlic. Lower the heat and simmer the soup base covered for about 1-11/2 hr

Dried anchovies

Dried anchovies

2. Prepare the mushrooms by dehydrating it with hot water. It will soften after about 20mins. Also marinate the minced pork with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Set aside

hydrated shitake mushrooms

hydrated shitake mushrooms

3. Next prepare the noodle dough. Pour water in a bowl. Add the flour and salt. Mix until it looks a little stringy. Make a well and add the egg and oil. Knead until it comes together. Add a touch of water if required. Continue kneading until it is no longer sticky. Wrap in cling film for about 20mins

pinched home made looking noodles

pinched home made looking noodles

4, While waiting, prepare the stir-fry minced pork. Slice the dehydrated mushrooms. Heat the pan with peanut oil, add the dried shrimps, dried anchovies, shallots, garlic and chopped chillies. Saute till everything is fragrant. Add the minced pork and combine well. Taste and season accordingly. Set aside

Stir fry minced pork with mushrooms

Stir fry minced pork with mushrooms

5. There are 2 ways to make the noodles. To have the more handmade look, I choose to pinch the first lot. Boil the water and then start pinching and throwing it into the rolling hot water.

pinching and throwing noodles into water

pinching and throwing noodles into water

6. When the pinched pieces float to the top, it means they are ready

Cooked ban mian

Cooked ban mian

7. For the second batch of dough, I used the pasta machine to create nice looking noodles. Don’t they look like pasta?

Chinese noodles using pasta machine

Chinese noodles using pasta machine

8. Once all the noodles are prepared, just need to put everything together. I also used some of the stock to stir fry some chinese vegetables. Enjoy them hot!

In the first bowl, I used the pinched noodles. It was topped up with some spring onions and freshly cut red chillies. The noodles here had a nice bounce.

ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms

ban mian with minced pork and mushrooms

For the second bowl, I used the pasta machine made noodles. I added a fried duck egg along with the minced pork. The noodles were super smooth and silky. Absolutely delicious!

Ban mian with duck egg

Ban mian with duck egg

I enjoyed making these noodles and will definitely make it again. The broth had a lot of flavour from using pork bones and anchovies. It was naturally sweet with a nice hint of ginger and spice from the sichuan peppercorns. The noodles were light and silky. Big thumbs up to myself on this. The pinching method can be a little more work but it was definitely worth the try.

I love that big smile on Mister’s face. Total approval. I have to admit that I am pretty proud of myself and hope have done it justice. What I miss from Asia and can’t find it here, I make it.

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A round up of all the noodle dishes will be posted soon has been posted HERE and here are the list of party goers! Please let me know if I have missed out anyone. I am using linky as reference.

Fellow party people – Can you please make sure you copy and paste this list onto your post and share it with your readers! :)