19/09/2012

Belly Pork Stir Fry with Marinated Cucumber Salad

Inspired by Ching-He Huang's appearance on the BBC's 'Saturday Kitchen' this Saturday last, I thought I'd make a reasonable approximation of what she cooked, but keep it close to paleo - no bean paste, sugar and so on ...

What are we making? Stir-fried belly pork in a chilli sauce with cooling marinated cucumber salad.

First, pre-cook the belly pork. Ideally, after cooking, the pork should be refrigerated to firm up. This would only really be practical by doing this first cooking the day before. I found it worked out fine just to bunging it in the oven, setting the timer, going to work and dealing with the rest when I got home.

So, cut your belly pork into sections about three inches wide, immerse in water in a large oven-proof bowl and cook it for a couple of hours. Refrigerate if you can, otherwise don't worry - just let it cool enough so that you can hold it to cut it for the stir fry.

Get everything else ready ...

Take a cucumber, cut in quarters longways and core it. Cut these strips into smaller sections about an inch and a half long. Splash some vinegar over - rice wine vinegar is the obvious choice, but cider vinegar or white wine vinegar will do just fine.

Slice some spring onions on a really sharp angle to create horse ears. Add these to the marinading cucumber and fold through regularly.

Make up your chilli sauce ...

I went with a straight-up chilli paste, no dubious ingredients, a little tomato puree and let out with sherry and lemon juice, soured with a little rice wine vinegar and sweetened with just a touch of mirin. More flavours - minced garlic, celery salt, white pepper, fresh ginger and ... a good splash of Worcestershire Sauce.

Make up your chilli sauce however you like and according to your own principles when it comes to alcohol, sweetener and condiments.

Last, assemble the remaining ingredients for the stir fry ...

Shred up a red pepper and any other vegetables you want to include.

Cut the belly pork into slices about a centimetre thick. This is easiest with the pork firmed up and skin side down.

To wo[r]k ...

Get your pan smoking hot and drop the belly pork in. Cook through well, colouring up and collecting any further fat that renders out.

Toss in the shredded red pepper and combine.

Pour in the chilli sauce, cook through and reduce.

Plate up with the stir fry on one side and a good handful of the marinated cucumber on the other.

Eat, enjoy!

2 comments :

  1. Looks delicious. I've been working my way through Ching-He Huang cookbook and paleofying as much as I can. She's got some great tasting recipes.

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    1. It was delicious. I still had alcohol and Worcestershire Sauce in mine.

      I'm very much in two minds about how safe things like soy sauce and fermented beans are. Part of me wants to say, "sod it ... it's fermented" and carry on, but the rest says, "no ... you're paleo for a reason ... keep those things out of your diet".

      The line has to be drawn somewhere - I've drawn mine where I am happy with it, and I know it's a lot further out than many would call paleo.

      I keep meaning to pick up one of her books. I like the simplicity she brings.

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