This recipe was inspired by Jean Kwok’s novel, Searching for Sylvie Lee.
A friend prepared this dish for me over 25 years ago, and it’s been a reliable meal I use when I’m having a few friends around for dinner. The thing I like about it, is that the dressing and veg can be prepared ahead of time so when you’re ready to serve it up, it only takes the amount of time you need to cook the noodles, to pull the dish together. Here, I have the noodles paired with a marinated and oven roasted pork loin, which complements the noodles perfectly.
Pork tenderloin is one of the easiest cuts of meat to cook. It crosses several cultural borders, which means it will take on a myriad of flavour combinations, and still turn out well. In this recipe, traditional Asian flavours of slightly salty soy, warming sesame, pungent garlic, and just enough ginger so you know it’s there, combine to make a marinade that elevates the taste of the pork. If there are any leftovers, eating them as a cold salad, will be a great option.
I’ve always used long noodles such as spaghetti, with this dish. If you are gluten free, rice noodles, or your favourite gluten free version, would also be fine. Egg noodles are more traditionally Asian, but if you can’t find those, regular pasta is great! Depending on which noodle you use, your cooking time may vary.
Top Tip: Make extra… this is all divine as leftovers!
Prep Time: 20 minutes (noodles), 15 minutes (pork)
Cooking Time: 10 minutes (noodles), 30 minutes (pork)
Total Time: 30 minutes (noodles), 6hr 45 minutes (pork – includes marinating time)
Ingredients for the Asian Noodles
- 450g (1 box) spaghetti or egg noodles
- 100g snow peas (about 1 cup)
- 1 sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
- 125ml (½ cup) water chestnuts
- 125ml (½ cup) fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- 75ml (⅓ cup) chopped green onion (green parts only)
Ingredients for the Dressing
- 75ml (⅓ cup) rice or white wine vinegar
- 75ml (⅓ cup) hoisin sauce
- 3 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp light olive oil
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
- 2 Tbsp minced ginger root
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp dry mustard powder
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds – for garnish
Directions for the Asian Noodles
First, make the dressing by whisking together all of the ingredients, and set this aside.
Top tip: make the dressing in the bowl in which you will serve the noodle dish and you can add the vegetables to it as you prepare them. When the noodles are cooked, they can be tossed on top so everything can be mixed together and you save on your washing up!
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to the boil. While it is coming to the boil, start prepping the snow peas, red pepper, water chestnuts, basil, and green onion, and put them in the large serving bowl with the dressing. When the noodles are done (timing will depend on which noodle you have chosen), drain them and transfer into the large bowl where you’ve made the dressing. Toss together the noodles with the dressing and veg, top with toasted sesame seeds, and you’re good to go! And if you’d like to kick this up a notch, add some chopped fresh chili pepper for a bit of heat!
Ingredients for the Pork Loin Marinade
- 1 kg (2 lbs) pork tenderloin, fat trimmed off
- 80ml (⅓ cup) lite soy sauce or tamari
- 60ml (¼ cup) toasted sesame oil
- 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup (can also use brown sugar)
- 3 scallions, chopped into .5cm rounds
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tsp freshly grated black pepper
- **2 Tbsp sriracha or Asian chili paste, if you want to add some heat
Directions for the Pork Loin
Measure into a shallow dish that will hold the tenderloin while it marinates, the soy sauce, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, Worchestershire sauce, and maple syrup, and give it a stir. Add the scallions, garlic, ginger, black pepper, and chili sauce, if you’re using it. Stir all of the ingredients together and place the pork into the marinade being sure to turn and coat all sides of the meat. Place a lid on this container and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for six hours, or overnight. If you remember, check on the marination and turn the meat a few times to make sure it’s evenly coated.
When it’s time to cook the pork, take it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to pop it in the oven. Heat the oven to 225C (425F), take the pork out of the marinade and place it on a foil-lined, rimmed baking dish. Roast for 25-30 minutes. The internal temperature should be 65-70C (145-160F) when cooked. When the pork is finished roasting, take it out of the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before carving. This will ensure the juices have time to redistribute so you’ll have a juicy piece of tenderloin! Serve alongside the Asian Noodle salad for a well-rounded meal.