Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Barbecued Pork (Cha Shiu)

I don't think that the name "barbecued pork" describes this dish very well. The little slices of meat are delicately flavored and roasted in the oven, then served with a variety of dipping sauces. My recipe is based on a Chinese version that I found in my old Complete Asian Cookbook, by Charmaine Solomon. I have given you a link to the latest edition; my tattered old copy was published in 1976.

1/2 pound pork loin, cut in 1/4 inch slices

3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tbl. soy sauce
1 tbl. honey
1 tbl. sherry (I substituted white wine, and it worked just fine)
1/2 tsp. five spice powder

Grind up the garlic with the salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the ginger, soy sauce, honey, wine, and five spice powder. Mix well and pour over the pork slices, stirring the meat around until well coated. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Pour an inch or so of hot water into a flat pan and arrange the pork slices on a wire rack placed on top of the pan. (I used a round pizza pan with holes in it, sprayed with Pam, and placed over a broiler pan). Roast the meat for 15 minutes, turn the slices and baste with any remaining marinade and roast another 10 to 15 minutes until done.

Serve with steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, and some dipping sauces. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce
Peanut Sauce

Plum Sauce: Mix 1/2 cup plum jam (raspberry works, too), 1 tbl. chili sauce, 1 tbl. soy sauce, pinch of grated ginger, and Chinese rice vinegar to taste.

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