Chinese Style Noodles with Ground Lamb and Bok Choy is a mouthful of simple, yet complex flavor. Ready and on the table in less than 30 minutes.
The making of Chinese Style Noodle with Ground Lamb and Bok Choy
I'd never really thought of lamb as being a part of Chinese cuisine, but apparently, it’s very popular in both Northern and Southern China where oxen were forbidden to be slaughtered since they were the workhorses of the farming community. Lamb and mutton, not so much.
What you need to make Chinese Style Noodles with Ground Lamb and Bok Choy
- ½ pound ground lamb or other ground meat
- Bok Choy - Also known as Chinese Cabbage. Found in most supermarkets. Best if it's baby bok choy, but larger stalks will also work.
- Wide pasta such as tagliatelle or fettuccine. To keep it gluten-free, wide rice noodles will work.
- Saki or Chinese Rice Wine.
- Garlic, fresh ginger, and green onions - the trinity of Chinese Cooking.
- Garlic chili sauce, for heat. Garlic chili sauce is available in most all grocery stores in the Asian food section.
- Soy Sauce - I always use low-sodium naturally fermented soy sauce.
- Toasted Sesame Oil - also found in the Asian section of your supermarket. If you don't use this often, it's best kept in the refrigerator as it turns rancid quickly.
- Neutral oil - I like grapeseed oil.
- Special Equipment - A deep heavy skillet or wok.
You may ask...
Do I need to use lamb?
While this can be made with another ground meat, turkey, pork, or beef, I think the lamb gives it a nice earthy flavor that you would lose if you substitute another ground meat.
But, one of the things I love about the flavors of this recipe is, putting half of the marinade INTO the meat. Flavoring it from the inside with the same great flavor as the sauce.
Although the sauce is a bit more complex.
What is Bok Choy?
Bok Choy is a type of Chinese cabbage. While it doesn't grow into a head as you might expect of cabbage, it looks more like celery, with a rather firm bottom and a leafy top. It has a very mild, slightly cabbagy flavor.
If you can't find baby bok choy and ned to use the larger ones, I generally remove the larger outside leaves to make this recipe, keeping the tender inside to quickly grill as a side to another meal.
The inside core is easily cut into halves, brush a little sesame seed oil on the leaves, and then grill, either on the BBQ or a grill pan. Lovely smoky flavors.
With this recipe, as I said, I use the outside leaves, separating the white bottoms from the leafy top. Cook the bottoms first, adding the delicate leaves at the last moment to retain their color and to keep them from getting mushy.
Need it to be Gluten-Free? I got you covered!
For this recipe, I use fettuccine pasta, but you could use wide rice noodles, such as Asjantaboonn (wide noodle) or Pad Thai, medium noodle) to keep this gluten-free.
Of course, you would need to use a gluten-free soy sauce.
One-pot cooking, done in about 30 minutes, including boiling the water for the noodles. How easy is that?
Wine Recommendation for Chinese Style Noodles with Ground Lamb and Bok Choy
If you would like to serve a wine with this, I recommend a Pinot Noir. Look for, or ask your wine merchant to recommend one that is a little earthy, it will complement the earthiness of the lamb. Another good wine choice would be a Cab Franc most commonly known as a blending grape, but yummy on its own as well.
Need to use up that left-over ground lamb? Try these delish Sirloin Beef and Lamb Burgers with Feta and Cilantro Mint Sauce
Chinese Style Noodles with Ground Lamb and Bok Choy
- 4 - 6 ounces wide pasta such a tagliatelle or fettuccine, cooked according to package directions, drained and set-aside or rice noodles prepared according to directions (can do this part while you are doing the other part, then your pasta will stay hot)
- 3 tablespoons Chinese rice wine or saki. (I used saki as that is what I had)
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce I can’t see any reason ever to use full salted soy sauce, low-sodium has plenty
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil I keep mine in the refrigerator so it stays fresh, as this, and other nut oils, turn rancid easily
- ½ pound ground lamb
- 4 cloves about 2 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce found in almost every supermarket now, or your specialty Asian store
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 6 baby bok choy trimmed, large outer leaves removed, small tender inside core cut into halves, rinsed well (you can use larger bok choy if you need to, separate all the leaves, remove the tender top leaves from the stems and then slice the stems into 1 – 2-inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other vegetable oil, but I always use grapeseed
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 4 green onions sliced about ½ inch thick, part of the tops reserved for garnish
- Combine the rice wine, sesame oil, and soy sauce into a measuring cup. Put the lamb into a bowl, add ½ (¼ cup) of the rice wine mixture and ½ of the minced garlic. Mix well.
- Add the water, chili garlic sauce, and cornstarch to the remaining rice wine mixture, mix well, and set aside.
- Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon of the oil, when hot, add the lamb and cook for about 3 minutes, breaking the meat up into large pieces as you cook it (the meat pieces should be about ½ inch big).
- Reduce the heat to medium; add the remaining tablespoon of oil along with the remaining garlic, the ginger, and the green onion (except for the part that you are reserving for garnish); stir-fry for a few minutes, then add the bok choy. Cook until the bok choy is just cooked through, but still has a little bit of crunch in the stem; about 3 minutes. (If you had to use larger bok choy, add the stem pieces first, stir fry until tender then add the tops.) Add the noodles to the pan, along with the reserved rice wine mixture; stir-fry until the noodles are hot and coated with sauce.
- Serve in wide warmed bowls (remember to always warm your plates so the food stays hot longer); sprinkle the reserved green onion tops over.