Noodles & Pork Balls with Microgreens

Noodles & Pork Balls with Microgreens

Watercress, one of the stars of this dish, is a dark, leafy green that grows in freshwater springs. Watercress has traditionally been used mostly as a garnish. However, being one of the newest superfoods, it is experiencing a return in favour.

Its resurgence is owed in part to a growing understanding of its high nutritional value. Watercress is strong in antioxidants and contains vitamins A, C, and K. Calcium and manganese are also abundant. When compared to other microgreens, it is one of the more nutrient-dense foods.

Servings: 4 

Ingredients

Ginger Pork Balls:

  • 1 pound ground, sustainably raised pork
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil

Noodles:

  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 lemongrass stalk cut into 4 sections
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 ounces ramen noodles 
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons chili paste
  • 1 cup watercress
  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all pork ball ingredients except the oil.
  2. Mix the ingredients together with your hands.
  3. Pinch off a little piece of pork, roll it into a ball, and place it on a dish.
  4. In a big saucepan over medium-high heat, drizzle avocado oil. When the oil is hot, add the pork balls. Fry the balls in batches until they are golden brown. Set aside.
  5. Add the ginger and shallots to the same pan. If the pan is too dry after frying, add more oil. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until aromatic.
  6. Stir in the fish sauce and vinegar for 1 minute.
  7. Add the stock, lemongrass, and lime zest. Bring to a low simmer, stirring occasionally. Toss in the pork balls. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on low heat.
  8. Bring to a boil, covered. Boil for 5 minutes after adding the ramen noodles.
  9. In the meantime, whisk together the sambal oelek and soy sauce in a small bowl. Stir carefully into the saucepan. Turn off the heat and remove the lemongrass from the pot.
  10. Add the watercress and stir gently until it wilts.
  11. Divide the noodles evenly among shallow dishes and top with additional broth.
  12. If preferred, garnish with cucumbers, sesame seeds, and more watercress sprigs.

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