Think you can't live without take out? Well, I say – skip the take out and leave more time to… make out? Ok… gross.
But seriously – this takes about as much time to prepare as it would for you to be like, "Hey, Mr. Grumpy – do you want to get Chinese take out tonight?" … "I don't care…," replies Mr. G… "Well, have an opinion," CJ begs… "I mean, I guess that would be fine," says Mr. G. "Did you want something else." "No, not really." "Well where do you want to go?" "I don't know – just pick somewhere." "Ok, what do you want?" "I don't care, just pick something." "I can't just pick something – it's your dinner!" "Well, I will eat whatever." "Ugh, fine" "Do you want an egg roll?" "I guess." "Well, do you want one or not?" "That would be ok. What are you going to get?" "I don't know. I can't decide." "How about General Tso's" "No, last time it was soggy." "How about chicken lo mein?" "Well, ok, but I am really on a diet." "Woman, just tell me what you want." "I CAN'T CHOOSE!!!!!! I DON'T WANT ANYTHING!!!" … then spend 20 minutes picking from a menu… then 20 minutes driving to get it… then 20 minutes driving back… then 15 minutes sorting the bag into your and Mr. G's dinner… then 5 minutes realizing they forgot your fortune cookies…
I mean – really at this point you could have made dinner, devoured dinner, caught up on Game of Thrones, proposed getting ice cream for dessert, and gotten shot down by Mr. G who doesn't want to drive you to the ice cream shop…
So… have we learned our lesson? Next time you want Chinese take out.. just make this delicious dinner. (We also made egg rolls that you buy in the freezer section. The box said "Made in America" which Mr. G. was very skeptical about…)
I adapted this recipe from "Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!" cookbook that my sister, Erin, got me for my very first apartment. It came in handy.
What You'll Need:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 medium-sized white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tsp finely chopped or minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup chili sauce (we use Heinz)
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cut-up baby carrots (the kind that come in a bag. I cut them into long, vertical slices, rather than circle slices)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 pouches of Hoisin China noodles (they come 2 to a pack, and are in the International aisle at the store.) We buy the thicker noodles – kind of like Udon noodles, so those would work too if your store doesn't carry Hoisin.
Ok, start timing now to see if it's really faster for you to make this then order take out.
Next, heat up your wok pan over medium-high heat (or just a pan with high sides) and without using oil, brown your meat. This will take about 7-8 minutes, and you want the ground pork to cook into little pieces – like you would want for ground meat in a taco.
In the meantime, chop up your onion, garlic, ginger, carrots and green onions.
Next, drain your meat and place the pan (with the meat in it) back on the stove. Add 1 tbsp of sesame oil, and add the carrots, ginger, onion and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until the onions get a bit softer. Then, add in the chili sauce, water, soy sauce, vinegar and pepper. Let that cook over medium heat, uncovered for about 8 minutes (this would be a good time to cook your egg rolls if you're making them!). The sauce should cook down a bit, and that's what you want!
Next, add the frozen peas, noodles and green onions. Cook for an additional 3-4 minutes until the noodles are warm and softened up a bit.
Serve and enjoy!
Side note: This is not a spicy dish – but if you wanted to add a kick of spice, drizzle some Sriracha sauce on the top, and THEN enjoy!
(I should also mention this dinner is not only way cheaper than Chinese take out, but also makes amazing leftovers for like… 2 days if you have a Mr. G, and 4 days if you're not sharing with anyone. Which you won't want to, and I won't judge you…).
That took like, 20 minutes right? Oh man – I'm good.