Spicy garlic noodles with ground pork and bok choy are ready in just 20 minutes – even faster than delivery! They’re perfect for slurping on National Garlic Day (today!) or any night of the week.
One weekend last fall, Shawn and I were looking for something fun to do and randomly ended up at a garlic festival in Vermont. It was amazing – definitely one of the highlights of last year! Even though it was pretty small as far as festivals go, there was tons going on and we spent hours there listening to local bands, browsing at the vendor stalls, and sharing tons of awesome garlicky food made by local restaurants and food trucks.
Three foods stand out in my mind as being exceptionally delicious: funnel cakes topped with maple cream (not garlicky, but so “Vermont”), switchel (a drink made with ginger, vinegar, and maple syrup that I loved and Shawn hated), and spicy garlic pork dumplings (exactly what they sound like). I started dreaming of those dumplings when I was brainstorming recipes to share for National Garlic Day and thought I’d try recreating them at home.
Then I decided to make spicy garlic noodles instead – dumplings and potstickers are easy to make, but I’ve been trying to focus on weeknight recipes lately and even I’m not crazy enough to tackle a project like that after work.
These noodles only take 20 minutes to make, but they’re jam-packed with flavor. The garlic adds lots of spicy flavor without adding heat; adjust the amount of chili paste depending on how hot you want them (I used 3 tablespoons and my lips were tingling but I wasn’t quite reaching for my water glass.)
- 16 ounces b]udon noodles, preferably [homemade
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2-3 tablespoons sambal oelek (chili paste)
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 pound lean ground pork
- 2 piece baby bok choy, cut into quarters
- 4 scallions, sliced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the udon noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, samba olek, and sesame oil. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, or until it begins to soften. Stir in the ginger and cook 1 minute. Add the pork and cook for 5 minutes, or until nearly cooked through. Pour off and discard and liquid that has accumulated in the pan.
- Push the pork to one side of the pan and add the bok choy to the other side. Cook 2-3 minutes, until the bok choy begins to wilt. Reduce the heat to medium and add the sauce. Cover and cook 3-5 minutes, or until the pork and bok choy are cooked through.
- Mix in the cooked udon noodles and top with scallions.
Look for fresh noodles in the produce section of bigger supermarkets or at Asian markets. They cook quickly and have an amazing chewy texture that I prefer to dried noodles.