Friday, March 13, 2009

Recipes, bento, and donuts!

Homemade Taiwanese pork chop

First up, see that gorgeous pork chop at the top? Yeah... despite the white Chinese takeout container, coincidentally from Hua Ji, it was homemade, and every bit as good as I hoped it would be. Actually, to be fair, it doesn't really stack up the ones in Chinatown, but hey... it's the price you pay for knowing all the ingredients that go into it *ahem* no MSG. In any case, making a crispy pork chop in the 'Taiwanese style' is way easier than Chinese people would let on. Recipe is as follows...

4 oz. pork chop (I guess maybe 6 oz. bone in)
1 tsp. dark soy sauce
1 tsp. hoisin sauce
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. 5 spice powder (五香粉)
1 tbsp. chili seeds (辣椒子)
1 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
additional sesame oil for pan frying

Basically, combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, sugar, garlic, sesame oil, pepper, and 5 spice powder into a bag and marinate your chop for a couple of hours in th
e fridge, try to press the pork chop as much as possible prior to marinating (both to increase surface area for marinate, and also to tenderize). Oh, and make sure to cut small slits in the edge of the meat too... first time I made this, I didn't realize that the pork chop would actually curl back inwards when fried... d'oh. After marinating, go ahead and heat your pan/wok... whatever you feel like using with the sesame oil. While you're waiting for this, prepare your breadcrumb batter by mixing the chili seeds and bread crumbs. Straight from the bag, make sure to coat your pork chop evenly with the crumb and chili mix on one side, and pop it into a preheated oven at 350 for just about 5 minutes. Now take the pork chop out, coat the other side, and pop it back in the over for maybe 3 minutes. With the meat halfway cooked, drop it, not literally, straight into the hot oil... don't ask what temperature it should be at... I'm not Alton Brown, and I don't have a thermometer for these kinds of things (basically just medium high heat). I fried each side for about 30 seconds, but basically you'll see it start to brown when it's good and done. Remove the chop from the heat, plop it over some white rice, and you've got yourself Taiwanese pork chop! I added a crapload of 'oil vegetable' (油菜) on the side for color (and for the sake of being nutritionally concious). See? Mad easy, and ridiculously good too.


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