A Salad in Hand

Steamed Pork in Spicy Garlic Sauce, page 440
Mushibuta no Shoyu Ninniku-zuke
Monday, 7 January 2008

Mushibuta no Shoyu Ninniku-zukeThe weather is crazy: 65°F in January, in Michigan!! This is a nice summery meal with lots of vegetables and cold pork roast. We wrapped thin slices of pork and julienned vegetables with romaine lettuce leaves and dipped them in a spicy, garlicy sauce. It would have been very nice to have this out on the patio because it was a bit messy to eat, but though we were warm, we were also very wet.

I cooked and marinated the meat the day before and prepped the vegetables just before serving. Vegetables are good, but they are work to get them into shape: washing, drying, peeling, cutting. I always forget how long it takes me to do it all. It was worth it for this meal.

serves 4-6

The day before, cook the meat:steamed pork

  • 3 cups grated daikon
  • 1 1/4 pounds pork loin
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1 naganegi (Japanese onion), or leek, cut
  • 1″ piece of ginger, peeled and quartered

Japanese Steamed PorkSet a bamboo steamer over plenty of water over high heat. In a heat-proof bowl (which will fit into the steamer), put 1 cup grated daikon to cover the bottom. Put the pork on top and pour 1/2 cup of sake over it. Put the long onions and ginger on the pork and cover it with the remainder of the grated daikon. I covered the bowl with another bowl because the pork was too high to cover the bowl with plastic wrap as per the original recipe.

Steam this for 1 hour over high heat. Check that your water has not boiled away: my steamer is black for a reason.

Also the day before, prepare the marinade:

  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. toban jiang (chili-bean sauce)
  • 1 TBS sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander

In a small pot, combine the above ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil on medium heat. Transfer to a bowl large enough to hold the pork and let it cool.

When the pork is cooked, put it into a bowl of lukewarm water to rinse off the daikon, ginger, and onions. Dry the pork and place it in the marinade. Marinate overnight, turning it when you remember. Mine went for 24 hours.

Steamed Pork in Spicy Garlic SauceServing day:

  • 12 large romaine lettuce leaves (I like the look of the red variety)
  • 1 cup julienned carrot in 3″ lengths
  • 1 cup julienned celery in 3″ lengths
  • 1 cup julienned daikon in 3″ lenths
  • 1 cup julienned green onions or negi
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves
  • (10 shiso leaves—not in stock in Tess’s kitchen)

Steamed Pork in Spicy Garlic SauceRemove the pork from the marinade and slice it into thin slices, then cut into strips. Heat the marinade and strain it through a seive (do you think I did that, after all the cutting up I’d been doing in the kitchen?). Put dishes with all the vegetables, sliced pork, and sauce on the table and let diners make their own salad rolls. We ate this with rice on the side.

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