Tag: Pork

Notable Nosh: Chinese BBQ Pork and Duck

Chinese BBQ

Not long ago, I posted a review of Gain Wah restaurant in Vancouver’s Chinatown. I mentioned therein that, as I was leaving, the very friendly owner who was manning the BBQ station offered some barbecued duck to try. It was absolutely delicious and I told him I would be back. Well… I did just that and ordered the plate you see above which, for the princely sum of just $7.50, gave me a generous helping of both duck and pork along with a little dish of plum sauce on the side. Now, though I have been tempted by Chinese BBQ on various occasions, this happened to be my first real experience (aside from the gratis sampling two days earlier). Now… I have to say that I am a convert. The duck was not quite as good as the first taste, as that had been freshly cooked and still piping hot, but both meats here were exquisitely succulent and flavorful. There was a slight hint of 5 spice powder here and there (which I can take or leave), but, otherwise, this was perfect and the plum sauce really wasn’t needed for either. I have had thin slices of BBQ pork tenderloin in fried rice and noodle dishes once in a while, but that cut is exceedingly dry and nothing like the lovely, slightly fatty portion here. I am going to have to experiment in my own kitchen…

Notable Nosh: Pork Belly with Kumquat

Pork Belly with Kumquat and Parsnip

I had this little appetizer at Play Food Wine during my vacation in Ottawa. I am not posting it because it was an especially wonderful dish, but rather because the basic idea was pretty good and could be improved with a little tweaking. It is not easily apparent from the photograph here, but the pork belly consisted of two thumb-sized pieces that were roasted, then placed on a bed of pureed parsnip and topped with a sauce made with kumquats. There were some snap peas included, which didn’t add a great deal, and the garnish consisted of sprouts of some sort (possibly mustard).

The pork belly was well cooked but otherwise unremarkable. Little seasoning was used during the roasting from all I can gather, and the compliment came from the additional components on the plate. The parsnip bed was nice, with the sweet taste of fresh parsnip coming through cleanly, but I didn’t like the consistency very much. It was a little too much like applesauce and something with a bit more texture would have suited me more. As for the kumquats, I thought the idea pretty decent, but, ultimately, it was too overpowering. The fruit appeared to have been sautéed until partially collapsed into a thickish chutney-like affair, but the overly sweet result, coupled with an orange-pith like citrus bite was a bit much for the pork. I’d try this dish myself but, instead of the kumquat, I think something like cranberry (as one idea) might work a little better. Still, it was a good try…

Pork with Salted Radish and Black Bean

Pork Belly with Salted Radish and Black Bean 1

This dish is named for the flavoring additions, which are Preserved (Salted) Radish and Chinese Salted Black Bean, both of which add a rich umami depth to the pork belly and the secondary ‘bulk’ ingredients of Zucchini and Button Mushrooms. I rather threw this together as a means to use up the last of my current batch of salted radish and I didn’t really plan on doing a blog post (hence no ‘prep’ photographs), but it turned out pretty nicely and I thought I’d share.

Basically, I used pork belly rashers that were first oven cooked to render out some of the fat and brown until not quite crispy, then sliced into sections. I browned the mushrooms in some of the rendered pork fat and added a little lemon juice as they were the canned variety and the lemon juice improves the flavour. Then I added in the pork, zucchini, and about 3 tablespoons of chopped salted radish. I created a glazing sauce with a little vinegar and chilli paste, then finally added chopped salted black beans. I meant to start with some minced fresh ginger but I forgot about it… it didn’t matter though as the overall result was really tasty.

Three Flavoured Zucchini

Three Flavored Zucchini 1

Today’s offering  is inspired by a Sichuan dish that features flash-fried green beans combined with ground pork, plus chilli and other typical Sichuan seasonings. The dish you see above departs from the basic theme by using zucchini, and the ‘three flavoured’ appellation stems from the fact that three different taste components are represented. The dish is spicy hot with homemade Simple Chilli Oil, salty, from Preserved Radish, and rich in the umami flavour of Chinese Dried Shrimp. Anyway, I have to apologize that I managed to lose my notes made whilst making this preparation but I think I can describe the basic idea as follows:

Reconstitute and then finely chop dried shrimp reserving the soaking water. Chop a similar amount of Preserved Radish finely.  Fast fry batons of zucchini at very high temperature to sear the surface but leaving the flesh still crisp tender. Fry a little ground pork, separating the meat into ‘crumbs’ then add some minced ginger, white pepper, and garlic salt, followed by the radish, chopped shrimp and the soaking water. Add a little rice wine and cook until the liquid is almost gone. Add the zucchini and sauté until heated through then stir in some chilli oil (including the solid chilli flakes) and serve hot

I think you should be able to get the basic idea from the above. In any event, the result was really delicious…

Braised Pork with Daikon

Braised Pork with Daikon 01

Today’s post is yet another half-finished piece taken from my ‘slush-pile’ of items that, for one reason or another, ended up languishing in blog limbo. Some time ago, I had in mind doing a series of posts featuring a very popular Japanese braising technique in which meat and vegetables are braised in Dashi. I still mean to carry on with the project at some point, but, for now, I thought I’d share the dish I made back on September 5, 2014, the same day I harvested the homegrown Daikon used as one of the vegetables. The notes I made that day are as follows:

Fatty Pork browned in fat. Daikon, carrot and shiitake strips added and quickly sautéed then Dashi added to barely cover. Simmer fairly vigorously until only 1/3 of liquid remains (about 20 minutes). Blanched and chopped daikon greens added for last few seconds then served hot.

Pork Binagoongan

Pork Binagoongan 1

Given my occasional penchant for making up odd names for dishes I create, you may be excused for thinking that ‘Binagoongan’ falls into that category. Actually, the word ‘Binagoongan’ , in Filipino cuisine, means that a given dish is made using a ‘Bagoong ‘, and the pairing of fermented shrimp paste with Pork is a firm favorite in the Philippines.

Naturally, as with all classics, there are countless variations on the basic theme… Some renditions are basically sautés with very little sauce, whilst other are more like braises or stews. Generally, the ingredient list, beyond the pork and shrimp paste, tends toward the simple, with onions garlic, and a little chili being the most common additions. Some, but not all recipes, use tomatoes, whilst sugar and vinegar are almost invariably added in order to offset the saltiness of the Bagoong. Here, I use quite a bit of tomato, and the end result is heavy on the sweet and sour… Continue reading “Pork Binagoongan”

Hunter’s Hotpot (with Pork Shoulder)

Hunter's Hotpot 1

The rather grand-name for this little dish I put together obviously doesn’t signify a composition using the yield of the hunt, rather it just means that I took the Italian Cacciatora style preparation as my inspiration. Still, when you cook pork with red wine the effect can be rather like the taste of wild boar so perhaps the name isn’t too outlandish after all… Continue reading “Hunter’s Hotpot (with Pork Shoulder)”

紅燒豬手 – Red Cooked Pig Trotters

Red Cooked Pig Trotters 1

Quite a long time ago, I featured a dish of pig’s ‘trotters’ that was served to me as 醬豬手 at a restaurant in Ottawa. As the trotter is not a cut that had ever appeared locally, I decided to try a similar recipe with the hock, rather than the feet, employing the same Chinese ‘Red-cooking’ technique I have illustrated in many posts. Eventually, back in March of 2013, I did so in a dish I presented to you as Red-Cooked Pork Hocks, as part 2 of my series on Master-Sauce cookery. Recently, however, I came across a package of pig’s trotters at our local supermarket and I snapped them up to use in the following preparation… Continue reading “紅燒豬手 – Red Cooked Pig Trotters”

Honey Garlic Riblets

Honey Garlic Riblets 1

Honey Garlic Ribs are a standard on almost every westernized Chinese restaurant menu. There are endless permutations on the theme but the basic requirements are that they be garlicky and sweet, with the sweetness almost invariably coming from sugar rather than actual honey. Indeed, I have made versions using honey several times and the result is just not the same at all.

You can, of course, make Honey Garlic Ribs using long back ribs, or short-cut spare-ribs, but today I am using the irregular trimmings of the rib cage that you quite often find used in restaurant offerings, and which are sometimes sold as ‘Riblets’. They generally have more cartilage than bone (the bones are often fragmented) and they tend to be quite fatty. As I mention, there all sorts of ways to cook and produce this dish, but the method I am using here is particularly suited to this cut of the rib-cage… Continue reading “Honey Garlic Riblets”