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My Favourite Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork with Noodles

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    2.2 lb (1 kg) pork belly, rind removed, cut into 1 to 2 in (2.5 to 5 cm) cubes
    Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    Peanut or vegetable oil
    14 oz (400 g) medium egg noodles
    4 green onions, trimmed and finely sliced
    1 fresh red chili, deseeded and finely sliced
    2 bunches interesting cresses (such as shiso [also] or basil cress)
    1 bunch fresh cilantro
    2 limes

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    For the marinade
    14 oz (400 g) rhubarb
    4 Tbsp (60 mL) honey
    4 Tbsp (60 mL) soy sauce
    4 garlic cloves, peeled
    2 fresh red chilies, halved and deseeded
    1 heaped tsp (5 mL) 5-spice powder
    A thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

    Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C). Place the pork pieces in a roasting pan and put to one side. Chuck all the marinade ingredients into a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth paste, then pour this all over the pork, adding a large wineglass of water. Mix it all up, then tightly cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the preheated oven for about an hour and 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender, but not coloured.

    Pick the pieces of pork out of the pan and put to one side. The sauce left in the pan will be deliciously tasty and pretty much perfect. However, if you feel it needs to be thickened slightly, simmer on a gentle heat for a bit until reduced to the consistency of ketchup. Season nicely to taste, add a little extra soy sauce if need be, then remove from the heat and put to one side.

    Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Get yourself a large pan or wok on the heat and pour in a good drizzle of peanut or vegetable oil. Add your pieces of pork to the wok and fry for a few minutes until crisp and golden. (You might need to do this in two batches.) At the same time, drop your noodles into boiling water and cook for a few minutes, then drain most of the water away. Divide the noodles into four warmed bowls immediately, while they’re still moist.

    What I love most about this dish is the contrast between the flavours going on in it: from the simple, plain noodles to the zinginess of the spicy rhubarb sauce and the beautifully crispy, yet melt-in-your-mouth pork. To finish, spoon over a good amount of the rhubarb sauce. Divide your crispy pork on top, and add a good sprinkling of spring onions, chili, cresses, and cilantro. Serve with half a lime each—perfect. Serves 4.

    Source: "Cooking With Jamie Oliver," from alive #318, April 2009

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    My Favourite Hot and Sour Rhubarb and Crispy Pork with Noodles

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