Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Japanese Boiled Pork Dinner by Tom

Boiled Pork (Yudebutaniku no nikomi)

Continuing on our food adventure in Japan, I volunteered to find something to make after our return from Scottsdale.  Looking in the cookbook "Japanese Cooking Pure & Simple", I found many interesting recipes that unfortunately had ingredients that I knew our local Wegman's would not carry.  So that limited my choices.

But I did find one that sounded interesting, if not sounding very appetizing initially.  I really do not think of boiled meat in water as that appealing unless it is corned beef or something like that, which admittedly has a spice packet to enliven the taste.  But plain water as a starting point did not sound that good.

Fortunately this recipe after the initial water boiling step does get a flavor infusion from soy sauce, sake, ginger and sugar.  In fact the meat really does pick up these flavors intensely, and this became a very flavorful dish.

This is an easy to make meat dish.  Just budget a good hour and a half to two hours to make it.  I started late, so we ate later than normal.  But it was worth the wait!

       ---Tom
David Scott's cookbook that was easy to use and follow.

Boiled Pork
(from Japanese Cooking Pure and Simple by David Scott)

Serves 4

1 1/2 lb. boneless pork loin (I could not find a small pork loin, so I used a pork tenderloin.)
1 1/2"-2" piece of fresh gingerroot, pared and very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 teaspoons sugar
2" piece of scallion, white part only, minced

Cut the pork in half so that it will fit in a medium sized sauce pan.  Since I used a pork tenderloin, I cut it lengthwise in half and then each half in half again.
Cover the pork with water and bring to a simmer.  Let simmer uncovered for one hour.  Most of the water will evaporate from the saucepan during this process.
Remove the meat from the saucepan and let it cool a bit.  It will be pretty grey and unappetizing looking at this point in the cooking process.  While it is cooling, rinse out the residue from the saucepan. 

Cut the pork into roughly 1" size pieces, and then return to the saucepan.  Now the flavor infusion process begins!
Add the sliced ginger, sake, half of the soy sauce and 1 tablespoon (3 teaspoons) sugar.  Add  enough water to barely cover.  Stir the mixture up to distribute everything evenly.   Bring to a boil, cover the saucepan, and then simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes of simmering, remove the cover.  Add the remaining soy sauce and sugar, and simmer uncovered until the liquid has evaporated.  This will take another 20 minutes or so.
Remove the pork from the saucepan into a serving bowl, and serve immediately.  The color will be a nice brown and the flavor will be wonderful from the infusion of the added ingredients.  Sprinkle the minced scallion over the meat.
I served this with green beans with sesame dressing (Ingen no gama joyu ae), and white Japanese rice which will be posted later this week.

This boiled meat recipe was very good.

     ---Tom

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