Ching loves to cook this Sichuan dish for herself and also for family and friends as it's easy to do for large numbers. Although it's more of a snack, you can easily serve it as a starter.


  • Wheat flour noodles, cooked to packet instructions

  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp ginger, freshly grated

  • 250g minced beef

  • 1 medium red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp rice wine

  • 100g baby gherkins in vinegar, drained and finely diced

  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp sesame paste, or tahini

  • 1 tbsp chilli oil

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or dark rice vinegar)

  • 200ml chicken stock

  • To garnish:

  • 1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped


  • 1.

    Cook the noodles to packet instructions, drain and toss them through with some toasted sesame oil and place in four bowls.

  • 2.

    Heat a wok over high heat and add 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for a few seconds before quickly adding the minced beef and chilli. As the beef starts to turn brown, add the rice wine. Then stir in the baby gherkins, cook for about 4 minutes until fragrant, and season with some light soy sauce.

  • 3.

    In a small wok or pan, heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil and stir fry the spring onions, sesame paste, chilli oil and vinegar. Add the chicken stock and bring to the boil.

  • 4.

    Into each bowl ladle the sauce stock, then the meat, followed by the coriander. Drizzle some chilli oil and toasted sesame oil (to taste) around the edges of the dish in the soup stock, and serve immediately.

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