Our Boston bean Pam, moved to San Francisco to invest in her tech career when she hadn't yet decided on settling down. Many amazing things happened in her life during that time, but when you ask her about it, she mostly just talks about the food! Asian-Fusion, her absolute favorite.
A few months ago, Pam literally hopped with happiness when I told her that I was going to start focusing on her favorite cuisine. After a few tries and tweaks, lo and behold, Pam has a new favorite dinner! Here it is and I have to admit, it is really fantastic. The pork comes out fall-apart-tender with sweet and spicy flavors. The recipe is inspired by Chef Anne Burrell, also one of Pam's favorites.
We served the pork over a tri-color spiralized vegetable stir-fry using some of the sauce from the pork. We sent some carrots, zucchini and a large daikon through the spiralizer before stir-frying in a wok. If you don't have a spiralizer, slicing with a vegetable peeler will give you ribbons rather than spirals- just as good. If you don't have a wok, a large fry pan will work just as well. For those of you saying "daikon?", its a winter radish with a mild flavor that looks like a large white carrot. Its perfect for this dish. Take a look for daikon in your produce department near the root vegetables.
To me, these ingredients are strong and exciting. I could spread chili paste on toast for breakfast! I love it. Also, adding brown sugar to any savory dish makes be so happy.
- 2 2-3 lb. pork shoulders, each cut into 4-5 large chunks
- 4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
- soy sauce, 1/2 cup
- rice wine vinegar, 1/2 cup
- chicken stock, 3 cups
- fish sauce, 1 cup
- brown sugar, 1/2 cup
- chili paste, 1/4 cup
- 3 clementines, zest and juice
- vegetable oil, about 4 tbsp
- salt & pepper
- cilantro leaves (for garnish)
- 1 scallion, chopped (for garnish)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Pat pork dry and season with salt & pepper. In a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, cover the bottom with vegetable oil and brown the pork on all sides. Do it in batches if needed. Don't overcrowd the pot. Remove the browned pork and reserve.
Discard any excess fat from the pot and add fresh oil. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add soy sauce and vinegar. Let simmer and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, chili paste and clementine zest and juice. Let simmer 5 minutes.
Return the pork to the pot, cover and place in the oven for two hours. After one hour, turn the pork pieces over. After another 30 minutes, remove the lid and let cook uncovered for the last 30 minutes. Remove the (very tender) pork from the pot and reserve. Place the pot on the stove top over medium heat and simmer the sauce until it thickens. Serve the pork with the sauce.
For the veggie spirals, you'll need:
- 2 zucchini (spiralized)
- 1 daikon (spiralized)
- 3 large carrots (spiralized)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- waterchestnuts, 1 small can, sliced
- ladleful of sauce with garlic and ginger from the pork pot
- cilantro (for garnish)
- 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce
- 1 tbsp. hoison sauce
In a wok or large fry pan, add a bit of vegetable oil and the sliced onion. Saute the onion until browned. Add a ladleful of sauce from the pork pot, making sure to scoop bits of garlic and ginger. Stir in hoison and teriyaki sauces. Add carrots, daikon, zucchini, waterchestnuts and saute for 3-5 minutes until the vegetable soften a bit, but not completely. (al dente)
Pour into a serving dish and top with cilantro, if you wish.
For each serving, we piled the veggie spirals onto the plate and topped with one or two pieces of pork.
xo & a pinch,