In Japan, this dish is called yakisoba. Yaki refers to the method of cooking--grilling, broiling or pan-frying--while soba refers to chuka soba, the long, thin yellow noodles that are stir-fried here. This recipe features pork, but beef or skinless, boneless chicken can easily be substituted. Fresh shiso leaves are an innovation; this recipe uses them as an aromatic ingredient that imparts a mintlike flavor to the dish. Shiso is a relative of basil, and the leaves are often used in Japanese cooking.
1/2 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 pound thin dried chuka soba noodles or egg noodles
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 pound boneless pork, preferably shoulder or butt, thinly sliced across the grain
In a small bowl, combine the stock, soy sauce, mustard, vinegar, sesame oil and chili oil.
In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the carrot for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the carrot to a plate. Add the noodles to the pot and cook, stirring, until they are al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain the noodles and return them to the pot. Fill the pot with cold water and swish the noodles to cool them. Drain and repeat. Transfer the cooled noodles to a colander and lift them occasionally with your fingers to help dry them out.
Meanwhile, in a large, deep skillet, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add the pork slices in a single layer, season with salt and pepper and cook over high heat, without stirring, until browned on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Stir a few times, then add the ginger and stir-fry over moderately high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrot and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the noodles to the skillet and toss until well combined. Add the soy sauce mixture, shiso, scallions and bean sprouts and toss until heated through. Transfer to a large, shallow bowl and serve.
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