Saturday, 24 November 2012

Char siu pork...

... and Szechuan pepper salad

For yesterday's dinner I made one of my all-time favourite easy and quick meals which I've been dishing up for years - and which never fails to delight in all its Chinese(y) glory: aromatic and sticky-sweet pork accompanied by a sour-spicy salad... heaven on a plate!

500g pork loin
a thumb of ginger, peeled and grated
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tbs Hoisin sauce
2 tbs dark soy sauce
2 tbs honey
1 tsp five-spice powder
2 tsp light soft brown sugar

1 cucumber
1 bunch of spring onions
1 handful of chopped coriander (leaves and stems)
1 handful of chopped mint leaves
juice of 1 lime
1 tbs fish sauce 
1 tsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns
1 scant ts sesame oil

Preheat the oven to 200°.
Whisk the marinade ingredients together.
Put the pork in a ziplock bag and pour the marinade over.
Close and massage the mixture into the meat. (Ideally, leave to marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight - but it is still absolutely delicious if used straight away.)
Put a large piece of tin foil into a suitably-sized roasting dish. Add the meat and the marinade and then fold/scrunch up the tin foil to make a parcel/pouch.
Cook for ca 30 mins - it's done when a metal skewer inserted into the thickest part comes out hot to the touch.
When done, rest the covered meat while you reduce the cooking juices in a pan until they're thickened.

For the salad, simply peel and deseed the cucumber and cut into thin half moon slices.
Cut the spring onions into rings. Add the herbs.
Whisk all the remaining ingredients together and mix with the salad.

This dish is supposed to feed 4 - but in our house (even with added rice) there's only ever just enough for two adults and one child!
I buy all my Chinese spices from Kam Yuen Supermarket off Bvd Ansbach/opposite the Bourse - it's also brilliant for Indian spices.

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