Gok Wan it and wok on by

Pork and clams with ginger noodles
Sounds fishy- pork and shellfish?
On the same plate? 
A culinary revelation, it really works.
How do you re-fashion a recipe, keeping its tradition, but playing around with its ingredients? Culinary heritage takes on gourmet fusion. Traditional Alentejo challenges new thinking Algarve. The masterclass in this case takes its reference from Portugal, where O Cozinheiro stirs up a whole new taste sensation. Two options,who wins, you decide.
For those of you not familiar with  Gok´s Clothes RoadShow, Gok Wan travels around British cities giving makeovers and fashion workshops to needy victims of lazyness and misunderstood fashion.The programme culminates with a catwalk show mixing designer items and Gok´s budget re-creations of the seasons designer collections. Lets turn the concept of the TV programme upside down. Lets make the original Alentejo version of my selected dish correspond with the "High Street", the peoples dish, and my makeover becomes Chef /Designer.Let the battle begin.
Udon Noodles are the ingredient that lift the dish to a new level.Ginger is the little jewel that makes it stand out in a crowd.Chilli gives it a kickstart, and a little Thai inspiration give it an Asian element.In the words of Maria von Trapp "Lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start" -with the recipe in its original form.

Porco à Alentejana
This great regional dish just doesn´t get enough airplay

Serves 4  to 6

450g ( 1lb ) loin of pork cut into 2.5cm (1inch) cubes
450g ( 1lb ) leg of pork cut the same way
1 large onion finely chopped
300ml ( 1/2 pint ) white wine
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 sprigs parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon concentrated tomato paste
110g (4oz) lard
2 tablespoons olive oil
675g (1.5lb) clams
1 clove
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Prepare a marinade with the wine,garlic,paprika,salt,pepper, bay leaf and clove.Marinate the meat for 4-5 hours. Drain the meat and fry gently in the melted lard, until golden brown all over. Strain the marinade and add to the pan.Cover and boil with the meat until it is very tender and the sauce has reduced by half. Make another sauce with the tomato concentrate.oil, onion,parsley, salt and pepper, simmering it all for 6-8 minutes. Place the clams in this sauce over a low heat and shake the pan. The clams should open.( remove those which do not, and discard.) Shake the pan again and transfer its contents to the top of the meat. Cover. Boil gently for 3 minutes and serve in the same pot.

and now for the make over

Pork and clams with ginger noodles
Serves 4 

450g ( 1lb ) loin of pork cut into julienne
2 medium stalks lemongrass
3 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons Nam Pla ( thai fish sauce)
1 tablespoon sesame oil

( cooked in Broth Bulhao Pato style)
1 kg clams
Garlic- 2 cloves sliced
Olive oil - 3 tablespoons
 150ml(1/4 pint)lemon juice
Coriander- large handful chopped
Salt and pepper

Prepare the shellfish in advance, as it needs to stand in salted water for a few hours.
After first wash, for soaking, use 5-6 tablespoons of sea salt for each 1.2 litres ( 2 pints )
After soaking rinse thoroughly in plentiful water to remove the sand.

Cut the pork into julienne.They should be no bigger than your little finger. Remove any tough outer leaves from the lemongrass then slice the tender insides into wafer thin rings. Put them in abowl with the garlic, fish sauce and sesame oil.Leave to marinade for a good few hours while the clams soak.

250g Udon noodles
50ml peanut oil
2 small red chillies seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic
6 pieces sweet stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped ( reserve some syrup for later )
50ml soya sauce.
handful of chopped coriander and rocket

Cook the noodles in boiling water ( no salt ) for 8 minutes. Drain and pat dry with a towel. Toss the noodles in a bowl with some peanut oil. Cover the bowl and set aside.

Drain the pork from the marinade and fry gently in a wok oiled lightly with peanut oil until almost cooked and glossy, spooning over a little marinade as you go.
meanwhile in a large saucepan with a lid cook the clams in broth Bulhao Pato style.
Wipe the wok clean and heat the 50 ml peanut oil over a high heat.
Add the garlic chilli and ginger. Stir fry until the garlic is cooked.Add the noodles, tossing vigorously and then add the soya sauce and reserved ginger syrup.Stir again to mix thoroughly and combine the pork and clams and some of the broth, with the noodles and stir through the chopped herbs. Serve immediately in bowls


  1. That dish looks right up my street.I wonder if it would work if I substituted the Udon noodles for a rice noodle(gluten free)might make the texture too delicate?
    Lovely photo and recipe,as ever.You should write a cookery book:)


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