Although I do like eating Asian food, I’ve never been very successful in cooking it myself. Between ingredients that are expensive but used few and far between and not having the proper equipment my attempts at Asian food have been limited and usually unsuccessful.
A couple of weeks ago one of the food blogs on my blog roll, The Skinny Fork, posted a modified version of Char Siu. Char siu is a barbequed pork dish that I have had several times while dining out at Chinese restaurants, but cooking it myself was never a thought in my mind. The Skinny Fork’s pictures looked delish, and as I read her recipe I thought, “I think I could make this!”. I had all unique ingredients in my cupboard except for the Chinese 5 Spice.
Initially when I went shopping for what I did need, I regretted my decision to make it for company. The Chinese 5 Spice alone was about $7.00 which irritates me so – even if I cooked with it all the time I wouldn’t get through the whole bottle before it went bad. I threw it in my basket since my shopping list was based on serving this pork for dinner. But how thrilled was I when I moseyed down the international aisle and found the 5 Spice for half the price.
This char siu couldn’t have been easier. I whipped up the marinade quickly and let the pork sit in it for a few hours.
The roasting of this dish was what I was most worried about. I don’t have a roasting pan. I’ve threatened to buy one on numerous occasions, but they’re so big. Whenever I go looking for one I wonder where the heck I’m going to put it for the 362 days a year I won’t use it. I did the same thing this past weekend so up until the minute I was ready to start roasting I didn’t really know how I would go about it. The Skinny Fork modified the roasting pan bit with a metal rack, but I didn’t even have one of those. So an hour before my guests arrived I was praying that my makeshift “roasting pan” of rolled foil, disposal loaf pans (with holes cut out), and Pyrex dishes would work. I so wish I had a picture of my contraption because it was truly
horrifying unbelievable. However, I was so worried the pork loin was going to roll off into the water, I didn’t remember to take a shot of it. Next time!
Anyhow, it worked! The pork came out beautifully. I left it to rest for a bit. Always a bit worried about cutting into meat that I’ve cooked, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was perfect – tender, juicy, and had the traditional char siu flavor. We enjoyed the meal with roasted broccoli and rice – one even went back for seconds.
After all was said and done, there was still quite a bit left over. That was fine as I’m always happy to have leftovers for school lunches. Unfortunately, the reheated pork wasn’t so good – what meat is really! But I had a huge bag of it, so decided to go Koji style and make char siu tacos with a broccoli slaw and ginger/garlic salsa.
I chopped up some ginger, garlic, scallions, and cilantro, in my mini-chopper. Then added some rice wine vinegar and Sriracha hot sauce. After warming the tortillas, I layered the broccoli slaw, the pork and then the salsa. I topped it with some extra cilantro and a squeeze of lime.