Steamed Pork with Ponzu Dressing

Again! I am trying to empty my freezer—to use the food I bought because it was such a great bargain. When I had a freezer full of bargains, it became impossible to find anything without getting hit on the head with a frozen chicken skin. It was easier to buy what I wanted than to risk my health for dinner. J wouldn’t even open the door.
I have made some progress: I can see the light—why would anyone design a freezer with the light way in back?
There are several packages of peas (why do I keep buying a vegetable I don’t especially like?), a couple of partial bags of shrimp, and one of scallops. And how did a package of ground round from 2006 survive past freezer purges? Note to self: write the contents of the packages as well as the dates! Just because chicken breasts and pork loin slices look very different from each other as one puts them into the freezer, they look amazingly similar in their frozen state.

Actually, the pork loin wasn’t sliced…
it was only about 12 ounces, but it was so good we could have eaten a lot more!
You’ll see.

Ponzu Dressing
page 73
½ cup dressing

Ponzu dressing is made with yuzu, a kind of citron. Ms. Shimbo says yuzu tastes like a mixture of lemon, lime, and grapefruit.
It is good on grilled, pan-fried, or deep-fried fish, meat, or vegetables.

  • 3 Tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar)
  • 2 ½ Tablespoons mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 2 Tablespoons yuzu citron juice
  • 5 Tablespoons shoyu
  • 6 Tablespoons dashi

In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients, and bring them to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat, and let mixture cool. Store in fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.

Steamed Pork
Mushibuta Ponzu-zoe
first cooked in February 2008
page 445
serves 4

Cooking the pork:

  • 1 ½ pounds boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat (or tenderloin)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 naganegi (Japanese long onion) (or 3 green onions), green part only
  • 2 cups grated daikon
  • ⅓ cup sake

Place a steamer basket over plenty of boiling water in a deep pot over high heat. Cut the pork tenderloin into 2 pieces to fit the steamer basket. Because I used a loin, the meat was thicker and shorter, so no cutting was needed. Rub the meat with salt and pepper; let it sit for 10 minutes. Into a heat-proof dish that can fit in the steamer, spread half the long onion and 1/3 of the grated daikon. Place the pork on top, and pour the sake over the meat. Scatter the remaining onion and daikon over the meat. Cook in the steamer, over high heat, for 45 to 50 minutes.
Remove dish from the steamer, and let it rest for 15 minutes.
Note: Because I used a pyrex bowl to cook the pork, it is too tall to fit into the steamer with its regular cover. I used a second steamer basket placed upside down over the first basket, seal with tinfoil if your baskets are warped, then put the steamer lid over that.
In a bowl of lukewarm water, rinse the pork to remove the daikon. Dry the pork and set aside, covered to keep warm.
Vegetables to Accompany:

  • 1 onion, cut into paper-thin rings
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • vegetable oil for frying

In a bowl, toss the onion slices with the buckwheat flour. In a wok or skillet, heat 1″ of oil. Cook the onion slices in batches until they are golden. Drain on paper towels. (These are good, but I didn’t make them this time.)

  • 2 cups shredded head cabbage, or lettuce (I used the tender leaves of Chinese cabbage, no stems)
  • 1 carrot, julienned in 2″ lengths
  • 1 Japanese cucumber, julienned in 2″ lengths
  • (½ green bell pepper, julienned in 2″ lengths—did not use)
  • ½ red bell pepper, julienned in 2″ lengths (I roasted and removed the tough skin of a lovely sweet long red pepper)

Cut the pork into thin slices, a little less than 1/4″ thick. Serve the pork with the raw vegetables alongside, the fried onions on top, and ponzu dressing, for dipping the meat, in a saucer. This meal is also good served cold or at room temperature so it can be made ahead.

winter shadow


6 thoughts on “Steamed Pork with Ponzu Dressing

  1. What no okra??

    Tess – I love the winter shadow and it makes such a good foil for the colour and snap of your vegetables. The whole dish looks so well plated and the kitties sweetly curled awaiting their chopstick duties.

    I’m to bed now *yawn* after vicariously eating another of your gorgeous suppers!

    • I’m thinking about a stir-fry with the okra I just bought. Or maybe tempura: I am afraid of hot oil, but really, how can I cook Japanese food without at least attempting tempura?

      By the time we had a sunny day (shadows and sun, dark and light) most of the snow had melted. But in this lightened version, stretched to fill the background, one can not tell that the greyish splotches are grass poking through.

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