Fire Grilled Pork Belly and Beef Short Ribs

Fire grilled is food is one of my biggest additions O(∩_∩)O~   It is also my guilty pleasure as well as comfort food.

On the top of my grilling list are beef short ribs, steaks and pork belly.  They all have something in common.  They are high in fat and loaded with rich meaty flavors.  When grilled with as simple seasonings as sea salt and black pepper, you still get that amazing meaty and a bit of smoky flavors.

For grilled beef short ribs:

1 package of sliced beef short ribs (weighs about 1 and 1/2 lbs)
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon sugar

 

For grilled pork belly:

1 package of thick cut pork belly (weighs about 1 lb)
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse the short ribs and pork belly under running water.  Pat dry with kitchen paper towel.

DSC_7288 2 copy.jpg

Thick cut pork belly with ribs is usually available in Asian grocery stores.

Add beef short ribs and seasonings to a medium bowl.  Mix with hand or a wooden spoon.

Cut pork belly into smaller pieces and mix them with seasonings too.

Preheat the grill to 425F/218C

Add beef short ribs and pork belly

Pork belly is very high in fat and there will be a lot of greasy drippings.  So don’t go away when you are grilling pork belly.  It gets burnt pretty quickly if you don’t keep a close eye on the grill.

DSC_7341 2 copy.jpg

Pork belly pieces are sizzling on the grill and color turns gold brown.

Meanwhile, beef short ribs are looking good too

Grab a cold beer, pull up a chair and let’s eat! O(∩_∩)O~

Roasted Pork Shank Braised in Soy Sauce

Pork shank is a tasty part that has been overlooked by most people.  Just like lamb shank, pork shank is consisted of tough tissues and muscles.  It takes a long braising & simmering time to finally break them down.

There is not much meat on pork shank and hock compared to other parts from pigs.  But once cooked properly, pork shank become soft and tender with a slight gelatinous texture.  I take it further by roasting pork hock after it is done braising in soy sauce for a couple hours. 

Roasting under high temperature tightens the pork skin and meat under.  Pork shank and hock get more gelatinous and a bit chewy, in a good way of course.  That great meaty flavor is intensified.  Wow, I just like it so much!

I posted how to braise pork hock before.  It is one of the most traditional ways to cook pork hocks in China. 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 small pork shank  (weighs about 3 pounds)
1/3 cup of soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce
2 to 3 tablespoon rock sugar
1/4 cup rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 piece of ginger root, smashed
1 spice & herb bag, recipe followed
water for cooking and simmering
salt to taste
cayenne pepper powder
ground cumin
roasted white sesame seeds
chopped green onion



Ingredients for spice & herb bag:

3 to 4 star anises
1 teaspoon Sichuan pepper corns
1 black cardamom pod, smashed
4 to 5 cloves
3 to 4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried ginger
a handful of dried red chili peppers, cut into pieces
1 small piece of cinnamon bark
1 clove of garlic

 

Directions:

Add star anises, Sichuan peppercorns, cardamom, dried ginger, cloves, bay leaves, chili peppers to a piece of coffee filter paper.  Wrap and tie it up to be a spice bag.

I always buy pork shank/ hock from Asian grocery stores.  There is a bigger selection there.  And you can even get extra help from meat department to make custom cuts. 

Rinse the pork shank under running water.  Cook in boiling water for 10 minutes.  Discard the water and fill the pot with fresh clean water and add the shank along with spice bag, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, rock sugar, oyster sauce and ginger. 

Cook over high heat until water boils.

Cover with lid.  Reduce the heat to simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.  And cooking time may be adjusted according to pork shank’s size and personal preferences.

This Le Creuset 4 3/4 quarts soup pot is perfect for brasing.  More importantly it is a beautiful pot too. O(∩_∩)O~

Season with salt and continue to cook over high heat until there is no extra liquid in the pot. Stir with wooden spoon from time to time.

Preheat a toaster oven to 425F/218C.  Transfer pork shank to a cast iron pan lined with parchment paper

Roast for about 20 minutes.  The golden brown color darkens a bit.  The meaty flavor is more intense. 

DSC_8290 2 copy.jpg

Continue roasting for another 10 to 20 minutes.

Carefully take the whole pan out of oven.

Sprinkle with cayenne powder, ground cumin, roasted sesame seeds and chopped onion.

And now go grab yourself a cold beer and then dig in! O(∩_∩)O~

Wonton Soup with Pork and Bamboo Shoot Filling

中文菜谱:

鲜肉春笋馄饨

Wonton soup is a very popular breakfast choice in our house.  It is fast to maker, and it is also nutritious and satisfying.  We have the tradition to eat something hot like wonton soup, noodle soup or porridge for the first and the most important meal of the day. 

The great thing about having hot wonton soup in the morning is that the soup is appetizing and also warms you up both inside and out. 

You are always rushing in the morning? No problem.  The trick is to prepare ahead wontons ahead of time.  Make a large batch when possible, freeze them and store in an air-tight Ziploc bag for up to a month.  All is left to do in the morning is boiling water and gathering seasonings. 

Ingredients:

1lb ground pork
1 package of frozen bamboo shoots (weighs 1 lb.  The fresh version would be better if available)
1 package of wonton wrappers
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar
chicken stock/ water (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
salt to taste
egg wash/ water (for wonton wrappers)

 

Directions:

Add ground pork to a medium bowl, along with ground ginger, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, oyster sauce, corn starch, and sugar.  Whisk with a pair of chopsticks or a wooden spoon.  Gradually add chicken stock/water while whisking.  The more and harder you whisk, the more tender and elastic the ground pork filling will be. 

Thaw the bamboo shoots, drain well and finely chop with a food processor. 

Add chopped bamboo shoots to the ground pork mixture, whisk until well combined.

Season with salt

Wonton wrappers are usually sold frozen.  Remember to completely thaw them ahead of time before using.

Brush the edges with egg wash or water. 

Add a couple teaspoons of pork filling to one corner.

Roll towards the other end.

Pull both long ends and stack them together.

Repeat the process until all the wonton wrappers are done.

Cook a large pot of water over high heat until it boils.  Add wontons.  Cook over high heat.  Soon the water would boil again.  Add 1/2 cup cold water to the pot.  When the water boils again and the wontons float, it is the time you can tell they are cooked through.

Meanwhile, add seasonings for the soup to the serving bowls.  I use mini dried shrimps, seaweed, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, minced garlic, chili pepper oil sauce, chopped cilantro, chopped green onion, and chopped pickled vegetables.

Add wontons along with a ladle or two of hot broth to the serving bowls.

Stir gently with chop sticks or a spoon.

DSC_7154 2 copy.jpg

Bon Appetite!

Sweet Rice Dumplings with Pork Belly and Mung Beans Wrapped in Bamboo Leaves

Dragon Festival 2018 comes on June 18.  It is not only celebrated by Chinese people, but also some other Asian countries too.  The traditions on this day is to take a bath/ shower with herbal medicine; eat some  sweet rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves; and watch boating completion. 

Among these celebrating events, the dumpling part is most attractive to me.  I used to make dumplings together with my mom when I was really young.  I carry on the tradition to make sweet rice dumplings wrapped in bamboo leaves.  And I am hoping someday I can pass it onto my child in the future as a family tradition.  Although we have been living in America for a long time, we still hold on to our cultures and traditions, which I guess is why American cultures are so amazingly diverse and always evolving.  People from all over the world hold on to their origins but also embrace other cultures.

In a way bamboo wrapped sweet rice dumplings are like pasta from Italian families.  Each family has its own family recipes or secret ingredients.

Dumpling ingredients:

2 lbs sweet rice
1 package split mung beans (13.2oz/375g)
1 1/2 cups pinto beans
1 package salted duck egg yolks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
salt to taste
water
large bamboo leaves
marinated pork belly

For marinated pork belly:

2 lbs pork belly
2 to 3 tablespoon soy sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 tablespoons rice cooking wine
1/4 teaspoon white ground pepper
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
salt to taste

Directions:

Rinse pork belly under running water.  Pat dry with paper towel and then cut it into I inch cubes. 

Add the pork belly to a medium bowl, along with soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sugar, ginger, rice cooking wine, ground white pepper, oyster sauce and salt.  Mix well.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight or a couple days. 

Stir a couple times in between so that the pork belly could be seasoned more evenly.

Soak sweet rice and pinto beans with seasonings and water for 2 to 3 hours.

Soak dry bamboo leaves in water until well rehydrated.  Rinse well under running water.  Blanch the bamboo leaves in hot boiling water for a few seconds.  Drain and set aside for later use.

Soak the split mung beans with water and a pinch of salt for an hour.  Drain and rinse a few times until the water drained from mung beans is clear.

Salted duck egg yolks can be found in frozen foods section in Asian grocery stores. Cut each of them into small bite size pieces.

All set to go!

old every two bamboo leaves into a cone shape; add a couple tablespoons sweet rice with pinto beans.

Add a tablespoon mung beans, one piece pork belly and one piece of duck egg yolk.

Add another tablespoon sweet rice and pinto beans.

Fold the bamboo leaves on top and wrap it up

Secure with cotton twine

I make about 40 dumplings.  And this large 9 quarts Le Creuset dutch oven comes in handy.  All of the dumplings fit in one pot. 

This was my birthday gift earlier this year.  And my cat beat me to it O(∩_∩)O~

Fill the pot with water

Cook over high heat until it boils.  Cover with lid and reduce the heat to simmer for about 2 1/2 hours.

Drain well and allow the dumplings to cool down

They taste best when they are hot

The sweet rice, beans, pork belly and salted duck egg yolk almost melted together after such a long time simmering.  Pork inside is so tender and flavorful.  Sweet rice on the outside is soft and glutinous in a good way.   And the refreshing scent from bamboo leaves is a nice touch too.

Stir-fried Pork Belly and Dried Daikon

中文菜谱:

五花肉炒萝卜干

It is a dish I cook over and over again in my kitchen.  It is very simple, quick to make but loaded with tons of great flavors.  Whenever I don’t want to spend a lot of time cooking, I stir fry some pork belly with slightly dried daikon.

Pork belly is perfect for stir fry.  The daikon has been slightly dehydrated before cooking, which produces an extra crunchy texture. 

Ingredients:

1/2 pound pork belly, thinly sliced
1 large daikon (sold in any Asian grocery stores)
a handful dry chili peppers, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
2 gloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 small piece of ginger root, minced
1 to 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil  

 

Directions:

Clean and peel the daikon.  Cut it into 3 mm thin slices.

Dehydrate daikon slices in a food dehydrator for about 4 hours.  The time needed here shall be adjusted according to daikon slices’ thickness and freshness.  

If you don’t have a food dehydrator, that is ok.  Just leave them in a sunny spot in your backyard or deck for half to a full day.  That shall do too.

Thinly slice the pork belly

Heat a cast iron wok over high heat.  Add oil, and then minced ginger, garlic, Sichuan peppercorns and dry chili peppers.  Sautee the spices in oil for a few seconds.  Add pork belly.

Stir fry until pork belly begins to turn golden brown.  Add black pepper, daikon, rice cooking wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and salt.

Continue to stir fry over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes.

Everything in the wok should be evenly coated with shiny, dark golden sauce.

Remove from heat and serve immediately.