Saturday, March 30, 2013

Rosie Tries Her Hand At Char Siu Pork.

I had some credit on my Amazon credit card,
so I put it to good use.
I ordered three of Fuchsia Dunlop's Chinese cookbooks -
 Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook - Recipes from Hunan Province,

Land of Plenty - Authentic Sichuan Recipes,

and Every Grain of Rice  - Simple Chinese Home Cooking,

and Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.

Yes, I need more cookbooks.

Today, I'm making the Char Siu Pork,
adapted from Andrea Nguyen's Into the Vietnamese Kitchen.
I'm using pork loin strips,
marinated overnight,
then roasted in a 475° oven,
and basted with the marinade every ten minutes
for about 35 - 40 minutes.

In authentic Char Siu,
the pork has a ruddy red color and a pinkish ring under the surface
which comes from red food coloring.
Le sigh.
I can't do food coloring.

Ingredients for the marinade:
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB sugar
1/2 tsp Chinese Five-Spice Powder
3 TB Hoisin Sauce
2 TB honey
2 TB rice wine
2 TB Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
1 TB Tamari Sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Mix all together.

Ideally, one would use pork belly,
but I always use what I have in the freezer.

Take three slightly frozen pork loin chops.

Slice into strips.

Mix all marinade ingredients together.
This is Mr. Hawthorne's sourwood honey
 from the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There's nothing like it.

Soy in.

Rice wine in.

Tamari sauce.

Toasted sesame oil.

Whisk away.

Add in pork strips, coating with marinade.
Cover and let marinate for at least 2 hours.
I went for overnight.

Remove pork from fridge 45 minutes before you're ready to cook
and arrange the strips on rack in a baking pan.

Spread a little marinade over top the strips.

The directions said to cook in the upper third of a 450 degree oven
and baste with the marinade every 10 minutes.
It said nothing about cooking the marinade.
I didn't like the idea of basting with a liquid
that had raw pork in it, 
so I brought the marinade to a boil first,
then basted.

I had to try a little fatty, charred morsel.
It fell off.
Really, it did.

I wish I could describe what the house smells like right now.
Even Middle Hawthorne came down 
to see what that intoxicating aroma was.

I wanted a quick side dish -
bok choy

I melted a tablespoon of butter
and added a tiny bit of sesame oil.

Add in the bok choy and ...

... onions and pepper.

Stir fry to wilt the bok choy.
Add freshly ground salt and pepper and sesame seeds.

The charred sweet glaze is quite nice.

Pretty glossy sheen.
Nice and tender inside.
You have little bits of fatty pork
along with lean pork
and it's crisp and dripping in caramelized juices.

And lots of flavor.
This is drool-worthy.


Marilyn said...

I love char siu!

My favorite Chinese restaurant has changed the recipe for their char siu, so now I like mine better. And it is so easy to make.

vera charles said...

I swear I never heard of Fuchsia Dunlop until about a week ago. Now she's everyplace! Just what I need, too, more cookbooks.....

Your char siu looks delicious.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Vera, Fuchsia is my new BFF.

And I've ordered three more random cookbooks since I got the Asian ones.
I love cookbooks!

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mar, I thought you'd made this before. I didn't go to your blog to check since I wanted to do my own spin.