The boyfriend has been telling me about this clay pot dish for a while now. It’s something that his parents make for him when he’s visiting home and he absolutely loves it. It’s a simple dish with layers upon layers of flavor – fatty pork, ginger and black pepper laced noodles, plump shrimp, and crisp vegetables — what’s not to love?
Since I had heard such rave reviews about it, we decided to head to Chinatown to pick up a clay pot of our own.
The flavors that really stand out in this dish are black pepper and ginger. I believe they are typically just layered whole towards the bottom of the clay pot, but since we all know that the boyfriend loves his spice, I decided to break them down into a paste that would permeate the whole dish even more. If you prefer a little less pronounced spice, I’d suggest cutting back on the black peppercorns by at least half.
After the spice paste and soy sauce mixtures are made, it’s simply a matter of layering your ingredients in the clay pot. You start with some pieces of fatty pork (i.e., bacon), then layer in a few thin strips of ginger, add the spice paste, your bean thread noodles, the shrimp, and top it off with the soy sauce mixture. I start the clay pot cooking and then when it’s close to done, add the vegetables so that they stay slightly crisp.
Once the clay pot is done cooking, take two spoons and mix all the ingredients together like you would a salad. What you wind up with is an awesome plate of noodles spiced with the pervasive flavors of black pepper and ginger. This spice is counterbalanced nicely by the more succulent bacon and shrimp while the crisp vegetables pull the whole dish together.
It’s really no wonder the boyfriend loves this dish so much. And now that we have a clay pot of our own, he doesn’t have to save his cravings for it for those special visits to his parents’ house!