Asparagus cutting went for about six weeks—and was careful, precise work for a 10-year-old.  The little guys couldn’t keep anything in their minds but baseball in the spring—and who would trust them with the shears anyway?  The best time to cut was early evening, after the heat of the day.  Stalks clipped just above ground level quickly filled the basket—and every evening there’d be more to cut.  This spicy pork ramen noodle dish, with just enough heat and complexity, is perfect with asparagus.  Dutch oven braising, a few pantry staples, a quick finishing sauce, makes it a great meal for a weekend supper.  Recipe serves 4-6, but can be easily adjusted.

  • 2 1” thick boneless pork chops
  • 2 tblsp orange marmalade
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • 3 pkgs ramen noodles, any flavor—use only 1 flavor pkt
  • 3 tblsp tahini, or creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ½ tblsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tblsp soy sauce
  • 2 tblsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tblsp minced ginger
  • Toasted sesame seeds and chopped cilantro, for topping
  • 1 bunch roasted asparagus

Heat a bit of oil in Dutch oven—season chops with salt and pepper and sear well.  Add broth, marmalade, red pepper and seasoning packet from one ramen package.  Cover tightly and simmer on very low for about 3 hours.  About ½ hour before serving, assemble sauce fixings, except noodles, asparagus and toppings.  Remove pork from pot, add fixings and simmer to reduce a bit.  Shred pork.  Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper—roast at 450’ for 2-3 minutes.   Cook 3 packages of ramen, noodles only, in 3 ½ cups water ‘til done.   Using tongs, add noodles to sauce in Dutch oven—add pork and toss well.  Add ramen cooking water if needed.  Pass toppings.

The Kitchen Hive

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