Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Aug 18, 2010: Cold Pork in Hot and Garlicky Sauce

It's been record breaking hot here in Seattle. The heat discourages a person to cook.

While thumbing through Fuchsia Dunlop's "Land of Plenty", I came across a recipe that looked like a good one for a hot day.

Cold Pork in Hot and Garlicky Sauce
1 lb Pork Tenderloin
1.5 in Ginger, left whole, but smashed
2 Green Onions, white part - smashed

1/2 lb Bean Sprouts [I also added some slivered Nappa Cabbage. Both were blanched and cooled before serving.]

4 T Aromatic Soy Sauce
2 T Chili Oil
1 T Garlic, crushed
2 t Sesame Oil

Cilantro (or Green Onion tops)

1) Water, enough to cover the tenderloin, was heated to a boil with ginger and green onion.
After a couple minutes, to allow the ginger and green onion to flavor the water, the pork tenderloin is added. When the water came to a boil, the heat was lowered to a bare simmer. The pork is poached for about 30 minutes.

While the pork is simmering, the Aromatic Soy Sauce is made.

Aromatic Soy Sauce
1/3 C Dark Soy Sauce [Dark soy sauce is also known as "old" or "aged" soy sauce. It's typically thicker with the consistency of balsamic vinegar.]
2/3 C Water
6 T Brown Sugar
1/3 Stick of Cinnamon
1/2 t Fennel Seeds [Omitted - none in my pantry]
1/2 Star Anise
1/2 t Sichuan Pepper
Small Piece of Garlic, Crushed

Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Strain before using.

For the brown sugar, I used a brown sugar candy stick. The weight was equivalent to about 3.5 T of brown sugar.

With the pork cooked and the Aromatic Soy Sauce finished, both were refrigerated (separately) overnight.

The Next Day...
Making the sauce - Well I can't read Chinese, so when I go shopping I read ingredients or look for English words. This chili oil contains peanuts. Interesting.

Garlic and Chili oil shown, the rest of the ingredients for the sauce were added and mixed.

The vegetables were blanched for one minute and cooled. The veggies should retain some crispness to contrast the texture of the cooked pork and contrast the spicy sauce.

The veggies (bean sprouts and Nappa cabbage) were mounded onto the center of the plate.
Thin slices of the cooked pork were arranged around the blanched vegetables. Sauce was drizzled around the pork. Cilantro was used as garnish.

Digging in - Pork, vegetables and cilantro.
Extra sauce was off to the side for dipping or drizzling onto one's plate.

Another seemingly simple dish. The flavors are complex and not overpoweringly hot. Just a slight tingle. As I mentioned in previous post about Sichuan cooking, I'm not sure if the heat (spiciness) is supposed to knock you for a loop or just tingle your taste buds. My taste buds are happy :-)

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