Sunday, January 29, 2012
Char Sui Pork
When I was younger I wasn't a big fan of Asian food. I liked the fried rice if I picked out the peas and I liked the almond chicken. The almond chicken at our local place was simple breaded chicken (I never ate the sauce). Of course, I loved the pork with the red ring around it. As I have grown up I have expanded my tastes a little and realized the place we went to just wasn't that good. I no longer pick the veggies out of my fried rice either. I have found though that restaurants vary greatly in how they prepare dishes so the sure fire way to make it well is to do it yourself.
I love making dumplings, pot stickers, egg rolls, and fried rice, all the usual. However, I wanted to do more. I started with Char Sui Pork (aka that pork with the red ring around it).
It definitely is a messy process, make sure that you put foil on the bottom of your pan so you can avoid some major stuck on gunk issues.
Char Sui Pork
Adapted: Asian Dumplings By Nguyen
2-3 Pound Boneless Pork Shoulder
4 Cloves Garlic - Smashed
3/4 t Chinese Five Spice
3 T Sugar
4 1/2 T Hoisin Sauce
3 T Honey
3 T Sake
6 T Regular Soy Sauce
1 T Sesame Oil
1 Orange (Optional)
Cut up pork so you have chunks about 1 1/2 inches thick. Really try to get them about the same size. I used the wrong cut of meat and had odd ball sizes so some pieces got a little overcooked while waiting for the bigger guys to get done.
Prepare marinade by combining all ingredients, except orange. Place the pork pieces in so they are completely covered. Cover and allow to sit in refrigerator overnight. Mine sat for about 24 hours. I flipped the pieces once at about 12 hours.
Remove pork from refrigerator 45 minutes before cooking.
Place the marinade in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil and simmer on low.
Cook pork on rack, 475 degrees, for 30-35 minutes or until meat has reached 145 degrees internally. Every 10 minutes take the pork out and roll it in the marinade.
Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before cutting into it.
Add the juice of one orange to the marinade and simmer for a couple minutes. Use as a sauce. Optional, of course, some people aren't to keen on using the marinade that had raw meat in it. I boil it and feel completely safe about it. In the book Nguyen has you use only part of the marinade on the raw meat and reserve the rest so you aren't cross contaminating. However, I used it all because I wanted the pork to be completely covered while marinating. I don't mind the cross contamination (because the boiling of it).
We placed some over some steamed veggies and topped with a little marinade.
Confession: 24 hours later all of it had been consumed. As I mentioned above I used the wrong cut of meat (a six pound ham roast) so it was a lot of meat.
This turned out really good. It isn't the exact flavor profile of the store bought kind but pretty darn close. I won't be buying the store stuff anymore. Also, it doesn't have that red ring because that is food coloring but it does get a nice dark ring from the marinade.