Wednesday, May 20, 2009

For Pork's Sake

We are offering Braised Ginger Pork in our other menu, and I am still in that process of experimenting on a good recipe. This is the fun part of the kitchen art- you do a lot of experiments because although you have extablished standard measures, one cooking may not be the same as the next. I like doing kitchen homeworks.

It has been a long time since I've had pork in my grocery basket, and this fatty belly is something that my sister panicked at , i.e., "My god, look at all that fat!" (I shrug passively).

I was just glad to know about this Japanese way of cooking pork. They simmer the pork in sake first to remove the porky smell and some unwanted coating of fat that adhere to the surface of the meat. When the pork is cooked a little half- through, the water is thrown away. Then the pork can now be cooked with other ingredients.

I decided to make a revision of the all-time favorite adobo since my cupboard now is full of wasabi, green tea (here, the other night I was making green tea panna cotta and I scooped wasabi powder accidentally into the vanilla-cream infusion, mistaking it for green tea. I was 11:30 in the evening and I've never felt so stupid in the kitchen), black sesame seeds, etc. Here's an untitled recipe using the "adobo" triumvirate of the Japanese kitchen.

(Untitled Recipe)
200 g pork belly, sliced
1 1/2 C water + 1/4 C sake

1/4 C mirin
1/4 C sake
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp sugar
1/8 C shoyu
salt and pepper to taste

1. Slice the pork into bite size pieces and throw into the water with sake.
2. Simmer until the pork turns a little opaque but not fully cooked through.
3. Drain away the sake water.
4. On the same pan, pour into the meat the mirin, sake and grated ginger. Bring to a boil.
5. Add sugar and shoyu, stir, until the mixture caramelizes.
6. Reduce heat and season with salt and pepper.
7. For contrast, I topped it off with slivers of fresh crisp green bell pepper. Can also be served with other pickled vegetables, and rice.

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