How Young Is Too Young For Manual Labor?

There was no stretch picture yesterday because I was stretching when my hubs wasn’t home, and the three-year old takes crappy pictures. I looked huge in Well, the one foot he got in the picture looked huge.

“Wook, Momma, I got your toe!”

Yes my love, you captured it perfectly. I am total crap at this “training your children for manual labor” aspect of parenting. He can’t even make coffee or mix a martini, yet. I am clearly a failure as a mother. I hope I do better at the “prepare them for their first piano concerto and math olympics by age 6, thing.” Who in the heck am I kidding? The cop is Chinese, we’ve got that one on LOCK. (full disclosure, my husband actually played violin and wasn’t a math olympian until junior high.) My Slovak heritage leads to such awesomeness as surviving communism and vodka and dumpling consumption. (full disclosure, we escaped communism and I didn’t learn to chase potatoes with vodka until at LEAST elementary school.) No one can chase a potato with a shot, quite like a Slovak. I wonder how my hillbilly heritage will play out? Hopefully, one of my grandbabies will be named Dolittle.

But let’s be honest, making fun of our shared stereotypical heritage, this close to a Chinese national holiday, is as close to despicable as anything I can imagine. Especially when I am blogging a recipe for Chinese style noodles.

Healthy Pork Lo Mein
Save RecipeSave Recipe

What Goes In?

  • 1 box whole wheat spaghetti or linguine noodles
  • 2 large bell peppers, cut into strips
  • 1/2 head napa cabbage, shredded
  • 1 onion, sliced into strips
  • chinese or american broccoli-1 lb
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin or sirloin, cut into strips 2"-1/2"
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 1 T sichuan peppercorn
  • 2 T grapeseed or canola oil
  • 2 T shao xing cooking wine or sherry
  • 2 T reduced sodium
  • 2 T soe
  • 2 T low sodium oyster sauce
  • 1 T low sodium hoisin sauce (or 2 T brown sugar and 1t fish sauce)
  • sriracha and chili garlic sauce to taste (I put about 2 tsps in the whole dish, and added more to my own plate.)
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta cooking water

Avengers, Assemble!

  1. cook pasta according to package directions for "al dente" in salted, boiling water
  2. during the last 5 minutes of cooking the pasta, toss in the broccoli with the pasta
  3. drain the pasta and broccoli and reserve a cup of the cooking liquid, the starchy water helps form the sauce
  4. set aside noodles, broccoli, and cooking liquid
  5. In a dry wok over high heat,
  6. toast the peppercorns until very fragrant, remove and pulse in a spice grinder or grind with mortar and pestle (preferred)
  7. Place the wok back on high heat
  8. heat the oil until it starts to ripple
  9. toss the pork in the corn starch and ground pepper corn
  10. in batches, cook the pork about half-way through
  11. add all of the pork back to the wok and add the onions and soe
  12. tossing quickly add the rest of the vegetables, hoisin, oyster sauce, soy sauce, shao xing, and sriracha.
  13. cook until pork is cooked all the way through, add in the pasta, broccoli, and 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
  14. serve with chopsticks and more hot sauce.

You may omit the po

This recipe comes together SUPER quickly and is healthy and delicious. The biggest fan of these noodles in my family, is my 3 yo, who thinks they should be served at EVERY meal. You don’t have to wonder what’s in the takeout you get from the corner Chinese joint. You can make it yourself and be proud of it.

I fully expect that the three-year old will be making this for me next year.

12 thoughts on “How Young Is Too Young For Manual Labor?

talk foodie to me...