Tag Archives: pork

Char Siu (Chinese Barbecue Pork)

The real deal Chinese barbecue pork is cooked over charcoals, with the meat hanging on hooks. But for us ordinary folks, you can still make Chinese barbecue pork at home that tastes just like store bought, it just has less smokey flavour.


Servings: 6-8 people

Ingredients

Marinade

1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (white also ok)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce (Note 1)
1 tbsp soy sauce (Note 1)
1 tsp five spice powder (Note 2)
1 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola) (Note 3)
2 tsp red food colouring, optional (Note 4)

Cooking:

2.4 – 3 lb pork scotch fillet (collar neck, pork neck) OR pork shoulder (Note 5)
2 tbsp Extra Honey

Instructions

Mix Marinade ingredients in a bowl.

Cut pork in half horizontally to make two long, flat, thin pieces (better flavour penetration).

Place the pork and Marinade in a stain proof container or ziplock bag. Marinate 24 to 48 hours (3 hours is the bare minimum).

To Roast:

Preheat oven to 320F.

Line a tray with foil and place a rack on top (recommended but not critical).

Remove pork from the marinade, save Marinade. Place pork on rack.

Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour reserved marinade in a saucepan. Mix Extra Honey into marinade. Bring to simmer over medium high and cook for 2 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat.

Remove pork from oven. Dab marinade all over, then turn. Baste then roast for a further 30 minutes.

Remove pork from oven. Brush with marinade again, then turn, brush with marinade and roast for a further 20 minutes. If charring too quickly, cover with foil.

Baste again on surface then bake for a further 10 minutes until caramelised and sticky. Meat should be tender but not falling apart, like with pulled pork. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with rice and steamed Chinese greens. See notes for more uses.

Recipe Notes

1. The light soy sauce adds a touch more salt to the marinade, the balance I like. But it’s fine to use all light soy sauce or all ordinary soy sauce. Do not use dark soy sauce (flavour is too intense).

2. You can get Chinese five spice powder (a mix of spices) in the herb and spice section of supermarkets and it isn’t any more expensive than other spices. You can substitute the Chinese five spice powder with 1 tbsp extra hoisin sauce BUT you should reduce the sugar to 1 tsp, otherwise it will be too sweet.

3. Or other neutral flavoured oil.

4. The red food colouring is to make the pork red, like you get at the Chinese barbecue shop. This is optional. Authentic Char Siu uses red bean curd for colouring and a touch of flavour – it can be found at Asian stores, use about 2 tbsp of the liquid and no red food colouring.

I use the marinade in this recipe more frequently than the authentic version because I can get all the ingredients at the supermarket and it has a slightly more intense flavour – makes up for absence of charcoal in this home version.

5. I used to make this with pork tenderloin (Note 6) but I’ve moved to scotch fillet roast and pork shoulder because they are ideal for longer cooking to get amazing caramelisation and the pork is incredibly juicy inside. Scotch fillet is also known as Pork Neck, Pork Collar or Pork Neck Collar. This is what Chinese BBQ shops in Australia use.

Pork shoulder is also ideal – beautifully juicy. If using pork shoulder, using boneless, skinless and trim off most of the thick layer of fat on the surface. Then cut into long thin pieces, like pictured in post with the scotch fillet.

You want thin slices about 1″ thick to get the best flavour penetration from the marinade.

Some people also make this using pork belly but I find that too oily for my taste for this particular recipe.

6. Pork Tenderloin cooking directions (photo here of how it looks): Roast at 350F for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145 – 160F. Around halfway through roasting, baste generously with the reserved Marinade. Sort of dab it on so you get as much Marinade on the pork as possible – this is key for getting the thick, glossy glaze. Then flick to broiler/grill on high and broil for a few minutes until surface is charred and glossy, basting once or twice.


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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Tacos


Servings 8

Ingredients

1 pork shoulder or butt roast (about 3 pounds)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, sliced
1 orange, halved
2 cups barbecue sauce
12 6-inch flour tortillas
Sour cream
Guacamole
Lettuce, shredded
Red onions, cut in a fine dice

Instructions

Generously season the pork with salt and pepper. Combine the oregano and cumin with the olive oil and rub all over pork.

Place the pork in a 6-quart slow cooker. Top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno.

Squeeze the orange over all the ingredients and add the two halves to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Remove the pork from the slow cooker and, using two forks, shred the meat and place in a bowl.

Place barbecue sauce in a skillet over medium heat. When warm, add the shredded pork and stir to coat.

Pile the pork onto soft flour tortillas and top with sour cream, guacamole, lettuce and red onions.
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Japanese Gyoza (Dumplings)


Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings) – A traditional Japanese recipe. Plus a Video to learn how to wrap them.
Servings: 40 – 45 pieces

Ingredients

Filling

1 1/2 cups green cabbage, very finely chopped
1 tsp salt, separated
1 lb ground pork (mince) (fattier the better)
1 cup garlic chives, finely chopped (Note 1)
1 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cornstarch / corn flour
2 tsp soy sauce

Gyoza

1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) – for tray
40 – 45 round wonton (gyoza) wrappers (Gow Gee wrappers) – 1 1/2 packets (Note 2)
3 tbsp vegetable oil (or other cooking oil)

Dipping Sauce

Soy sauce
Rice wine vinegar
Chili oil (Rayu is Japanese chili oil)

Instructions

Combine cabbage and 1/2 tsp salt in a small bowl, then set aside for 20 minutes to allow the cabbage to wilt slightly.

Place remaining Filling ingredients (including remaining 1/2 tsp salt) in a large bowl. Squeeze out any excess water from the cabbage and add to the bowl.

Use your hands to mix the Filling.

Sprinkle a baking tray with 1 tsp of cornstarch / cornflour.

Place 1 gyoza wrapper on your palm (left hand for right-handed people). Dip your finger in water and run it around the edge of half the gyoza wrapper (to seal).

Place 1 slightly heaped tbsp of Filling on the wrapper. Fold wrapper over and use your right hand assisted by your left hand thumb to create 4 pleats. Press to seal and place on the tray. Repeat with remaining wrappers. (See video for demo)

To Cook

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium high heat.

Place about 12 gyoza in rows, slightly overlapping each other. Cook until the underside is light golden, then pour 1/3 cup of water around the gyoza and place the lid on.

Cook until the water has completely evaporated (so the golden underside is not wet and soggy) and the wrapper is slightly translucent on top – about 3 to 4 minutes. (See video)

Use an egg flip to transfer onto a plate upside down i.e. golden side up.

Serve with Dipping Sauce.

Dipping Sauce

Serve each ingredient separately so people can mix according to their taste. I use about equal portions of soy sauce and vinegar with a generous splash of chili oil.

Recipe Notes

1. Garlic chives is the authentic way to make this but if you can’t find any, you can use either normal chives or the green part of shallots/scallions + 1 garlic clove. The flavour is not exactly the same but it is pretty similar.

2. Round wonton wrappers are also referred to as Gow Gee and Gyoza wrappers. They are available at Coles and Woolworths in the refrigerator section alongside noodles (usually next to tofu, pasta / lasagna sheets).

They usually come in packs of 30 so you will need 2 packets.

3. Freezing: In an airtight container, place raw gyoza in a single layer and top with cling wrap (for extra air tightness / or multiple layers). To cook, cook from frozen using the same method, just add a splash of extra water and cook for 2 minutes longer. It won’t burn the underside because you add a bit of extra water.

Refrigeration: Same as frozen but won’t require longer cook time / extra water.
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Pork Chop Marinade


Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 bone in pork chops, 4/5″ thick about 9 oz each (Note 1)
1 tbsp oil

Marinade:

1/3 cup soy sauce (light or all purpose, not dark)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper

Instructions

Place Marinade ingredients in a ziplock bag. Massage to combine.

Add chops. Massage to coat in the Marinade. Marinate for 1 – 24 hours. (Note 2)

Take the chops out of the fridge 20 minutes before cooking.

Brush BBQ grill or drizzle oil in pan, heat on medium high. Add pork and cook for 4 minutes or until the underside is caramelised and the pork releases from the grill, then turn the chops and cook for 3 minutes (Note 2 for thin chops).

Baste both sides with residual marinade in ziplock bag, then cook the basted side for 30 seconds before serving. The chops should have a great crust.

Transfer chops to a plate, cover loosely with foil. Rest for 3 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

1. I used thick, bone in pork chops that were just under 1″ thick. On the bone, slightly trimmed but not much, I like keeping some fat on the edges to keep the pork really juicy. This recipe will work with any quick cook cut of pork – chops, steaks, even tenderloin.

2. Minimum marinade time:
* Thin chops: 1/2″ thick – 1 hr+
* Thick chops 4/5″ thick – 3 hrs+

Cook Time for just white (juicy, no pink, reduce by 1 min for hint of blush):

* Thin chops – 3 minutes first side, 2 minutes second side, then 30 seconds on each side for basting.
* Thick chops – 4 minutes first side, 3 minutes second side, then 45 seconds on each side.

If your chops are thicker than the Thick Chops, then I’d recommend starting on the stove and finishing in the oven at 350F until the internal temperature is 145F.

3. Troubleshooting / tips: Once you put the chops on the BBQ, DON’T TOUCH IT. Once it is cooked, it will release naturally from the grills. If it sticks, it’s not ready to turn. If your chops are cooking too quickly and start to burn because of the sugar in the marinade, turn the heat down. Remember, these chops are meant to have a gorgeous chargrilled crust.
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Vietnamese Caramel Pork


Servings: 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tbsp water
2 lb pork shoulder (butt) or boneless skinless pork belly, cut into 1.2″ pieces (Note 1a)
1 1/4 cups coconut water (Note 1b)
1 eschallot / shallot, very finely sliced (Note 2)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp white pepper

Garnishes:

Red chilli and finely sliced shallots/green onions

Instructions

Place sugar and water in a large pot over medium heat. Stir, then when it bubbles and the sugar is melted (it looks like caramel), add the rest of the ingredients.

Stir, then adjust the heat so it is simmering fairly energetically. Not rapidly, not a slow simmer (I use medium heat on a weak stove, between medium and low on a strong stove).

Simmer for 1.5 hours, uncovered. Stir once or twice while cooking.

At around 1.5 hours, when the liquid has reduced down and the pork is tender, (see Note 3 if pork is not yet tender), the fat will separate (see video).

Stir and the pork will brown and caramelise in the fat.

Once the liquid is all gone and it’s now stuck on the pork pieces, it’s ready.

Serve over rice, garnished with fresh chilli and shallots. Simple pickled vegetables are ideal for a side because the fresh acidity pairs well with the rich pork.

Recipe Notes

1b. Other proteins/cuts: This recipe is suitable for slow cooking cuts of pork like shoulder/butt and belly. Please don’t try this with tenderloin or loin – it will be too dry, there is not enough fat in those cuts.

This recipe will also work great with beef – use slow cooking cuts like chuck, gravy beef and brisket. I don’t think the flavours will work with lamb. And I’ve now shared the chicken version – Vietnamese Coconut Caramel Chicken (it’s stickier / saucier).

1b. Coconut water is different from coconut milk. It’s more like a whitish water, and it tastes salty / sweet, and not really of coconut at all. It’s sold at supermarkets here in Australia in the drinks aisle – it’s popular for “healthy” smoothies and the like, and costs $2 – $3 (Asian stores are cheaper).

This recipe does actually work great with coconut milk as well, and I’ve since shared a coconut milk version using chicken – Vietnamese Coconut Caramel Chicken.

2. Eschallots are also known as French shallots / French onions and look like small onions. Don’t get too hung up on this – you can even use normal onions. Just finely chop 1/4 cup. Eschallots are good because they are more delicate than normal onions so they add the flavour but dissolve into the sauce.

3. Pork Tenderness: The variable in this recipe is the time it takes for the liquid to reduce down vs pork being tender. If your pork is not quite tender enough by the time the braising liquid is almost evaporated, just add 1/2 cup water and keep cooking.

4. Simple Pickled Vegetables: Use a carrot peeler to peel ribbons from 1 carrot. Slice 2 cucumbers. Place 1/2 cup rice vinegar (or cider vinegar), 1/4 tsp salt and 1 tbsp white sugar in a bowl, stir. Add carrot and cucumber, stir. Set aside for 20 minutes until the vegetables soften then drain. Coriander/cilantro and mint are great additions to a simple pickled veg like this. Serve with pork.
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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Author’s Note: Juicy, moist Pork Carnitas with gorgeous golden brown crunchy bits! Incredibly easy, made in the slow cooker or oven.

Servings: 10 – 12

Ingredients

5 lb pork shoulder (pork butt), skinless, bone-in (4lb without bone) (Note 3)
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, deseeded, chopped
2 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oranges, juice only (or sub with 3/4 cup fresh orange juice)

Rub

1 tbsp dried oregano
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

Rinse and dry the pork shoulder, rub in salt and pepper.

Combine the rub ingredients then rub all over the pork.

Place the pork in a slow cooker (fat cap up), top with the onion, jalapeño, minced garlic (don’t worry about spreading it) and squeeze over the juice of the orange.

Slow Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 6 hours (or 1h 30 m in an electric pressure cooker on high. If using stovetop pressure cooker, please see notes).

The meat should be tender and falling off the bone. Remove from the slow cooker and let cool slightly. Then shred the pork using two forks.

Skim off the fat from the juices remaining in the slow cooker and discard the fat. Then if you are left with a lot more than 1 1/2 to 2 cups of juice, then reduce it (either in the slow cooker on the sauté setting with the lid off, or in a saucepan). The liquid will be SALTY, it is the seasoning for the pork. Set aside.

To Serve

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large non stick pan over high heat. Place shredded pork into the pan, drizzle over some juices. Wait until the juices evaporate and the bottom side is golden brown and crusty. Turn and just briefly sear the other side – you don’t want to make it brown all over because then it’s too crispy, need tender juicy bits.

Repeat in batches (takes me 4 batches) – don’t crowd the pan.

Remove pork from skillet. Drizzle over more juices and serve immediately (if you are using defrosted carnitas, this is not applicable as the juices are already on the meat – see Note 4c).

If you are reheating the carnitas (Note 4), then flip and cook the other side briefly just to warm through. I really recommend only making one side crusty and leaving the other side juicy and moist.

Recipe Notes

1. If you are using a piece of pork that is not the size I use, you MUST reduce the salt accordingly. If your pork is more than 1 lb / 0.5 kg larger or smaller than the prescribed size, ensure you adjust the other ingredients accordingly as well, not just the salt.

2. To make this in the oven, add 1 cup of water to the braising liquid. Place in 325F/160C oven for 2 hours, covered, then roast for a further 1 to 1.5 hours uncovered. Add more water if the liquid dries out too much. You should end up with 1 1/2 to 2 cups of liquid when it finishes cooking.

If you make this recipe in the oven, you could skip the pan frying step because you will get a nice brown crust on your pork.

3. Use pork with the skin removed but leaving some of the fat cap on. The fat adds juiciness to the carnitas!

4. Taco Fixing suggestions: Diced avocado or make a real proper Guacamole, Pico de Gallo or Restaurant Style Salsa or even just sliced tomato, grated cheese, sour cream. Sliced lettuce or pickled cabbage / red onions would also be great, but unlike other tacos, you don’t need it for the texture because the carnitas have the crispy bits!

Make Ahead:

a) For overnight or up to 3 days, the best option is to shred the meat without pan frying, keep the juices separate, refrigerate, then pan fry to make it golden and reheat the meat, pouring juices over while it is browning per recipe.

b) To brown the meat ahead, the meat actually holds up pretty well in terms of staying crispy. It’s even pretty good refrigerated overnight – but a) is definitely better. Keep the juices separate and pour it over just before reheating the pork. You can reheat in the microwave, quickly reheat in the pan or if you have loads, in a foil covered roasting pan in the oven at 180C/350F for around 8 – 10 minutes.

c) To Freeze: This holds up great in the freezer. Pour the juices over the pulled pork (pre browning) and store in ziplock bags or airtight containers. Freeze in small batches for convenience. To use, defrost completely before following the recipe to brown the pork.

6. Stovetop Pressure Cooker – use a rack to elevate it from the base OR add 3/4 cup of water. Then once the pork is cooked, remove it then simmer to reduce to around 2 cups of liquid.
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Oven Roast Pork Chops Recipe with Garlic Sauce


Servings: 4

Ingredients

4 pork chops (we used 3/4″ center cut loin chops, 8-ounces each)
4 Tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil, divided
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3 Tablespoons ketchup
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dijon mustard or yellow mustard
2 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
3-4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
black pepper, to taste (preferably fresh cracked pepper)
1 pound small potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
2 large carrots, cut into bite sized pieces or 1 cup small baby carrots, halved
Minced parsley for garnish, optional

Directions

Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.

Make the marinade: in large ziplock bag, combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire, ketchup, onion powder, mustard, brown sugar and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Rub the bag between your hands to combine all the ingredients. Place pork chops in the bag and massage the marinade into the pork chops. Seal the bag and marinade the pork chops for at least 30 minutes.

Toss the potatoes and carrots with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Take pork chops out of the marinade bag and place on baking sheet. Add the potatoes and carrots on same baking sheet around the pork chops. Brush leftover marinade over the potatoes, carrots, and the pork chops.

Bake the pork chops for 35-50 minutes, or until the pork chops are cooked through or internal temperature reaches 145F.

Change the oven setting to “Broil” with the oven rack about 6-8 inches from the heating element. Broil the pork chops for about 3-7 minutes or until a nicely browned crust forms.

Garnish with minced parsley, optional. Serve warm.

Author’s notes: Pork chops vary in size and thickness, so adjust cooking times as necessary. Our recipe was made with 3/4″ thick center cut pork loin chops at about 8 ounces each. If you’re cooking with thinner and smaller chops, reduce cooking time and check the chops earlier for doneness. You can cook these on a skillet and sear them first before you put them in the oven, which skips the broiler method in the end.
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