Friday, December 21, 2012

Asian Style Pork and Peppers

On flipping through my prior 70+ entries, recipe rotation dictated that it was over and above that time for a substantial protein intervention. Baking marathon characteristic of any given December had me parading through and vast, scrambling to scribble in the insane cookie recipe here and a confection series there, with not much being done for proper sustenance. Am I right? You know, the kind of meal making that's done daily (in my case, several a day basis) and never gets jotted down. Realizing I had to break off the perpetual sugar high this family was on, in addition to bring in check my ever expanding midsection (ugh!), I was desperate to find an answer for some good plated fare. And with due diligence, my poor pondering head came through.

The inspiration here most definitely came from the innards of my freezer box, wherein it's dark depths was found a tightly bound pack of pork tenderloin. Yes, it helps that it is so totally JZ's favorite white meat and it regularly occupies space back there. This hero has been previously showcased in my sis- in- law's spicy vindaloo, ground into an epic cannelloni, breaded and baked, chops style, to colossal meal status. So forth I knew, the One coming up would be much needed therapy for our Lollie ambushed souls.

And how cinchful it was! Since bottled condiment provision duly rested on the sides of my refrigerator door. The ultimate scavenger hunt, focusing on Asian flavors was completed in an effortless and very craveworthy, like- takeout meal. Asian style pork and peppers seemed the end of all white boxed blah and scooted it's way to being The Absolute Awesome. An incomparable one at that, be it side or main.

A great attribute of pork is that it adapts incredibly well to its surroundings. Roast nuggets of perfect seasoned pork, get part braised into a rich bed of flavor. These wonderful cuts then go on to sponge up a lovely pepper thickened sauce. This same gravy may seem a bit oil-heavy at first, but it is just right on spectacular, cradling and permeating every juicy edge and fiber of meat.

An element that deserves honorable mention, here is the tablespoon or so (I am of the or so set) of fermented soybean paste,which took this whole pork and pepper profile into a wonderfully umami-fied experience. Let me tell you, locating Doenjang will be your next Ta- Da To Do, the task which will steer you from humdrum cooking, straight to fierce, bonafide fabulous Asian cuisine.

Incredible, excellent and easy. Need I say more? Requiring less time than a batch of cookies, consider it my present to you.
Merry Christmas, my friends!

  • 5 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 "cubes
  • 2 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 green peppers, sliced lengthwise in slivers
  • 1 tbsp chili garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp fermented soybean paste
  • 1/4 c rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Salt ( according to taste)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Pour 2 tbsp oil in a foil lined baking sheet. Mix together cayenne, ginger, black pepper, salt and sugar. Toss in pork cubes and coat completely with the ingredients. Loosely cover with foil and bake pieces for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  • In the meantime on medium high flame, heat remaining oil.
  • Stir in onions, ginger, garlic, and saute till wilt and slightly crisped.
  • Add green peppers, saute for a couple of minutes. 
  • Add soybean paste, chili garlic paste and stir to combine .
  • Add in vinegar, soy sauce. Mix well and allow sauce to come to a boil. Add in water if you need thinner gravy.
  • Taste and if needed add salt.
  • Spoon in pork mixture and sesame seeds, cook with sauce for an additional minute. 
  • Serve warm piled on a bed of white rice/ cooked noodles.

With Christmas being just a few short days away, I don't know if I will be finishing up my fruitcake post before the date. If not, I don't want to take leave without wishing you all a beautiful and truly blessed Christmas.
Isaiah said it nearly 700 years prior to Jesus birth~

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will  be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince Of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

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