Korean Pork Bulgogi-style Rice Bowl

  • 2 lbs pork shoulder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 T grated gingerroot
  • 1 small pear or green apple (Asian pear/Nashi is ideal)
  • 1 medium onions
  • 2-3 scallions, chopped (for serving)
  • 1/4 c sake or Soju
  • 3 T mirin
  • 2 T soya sauce
  • 1 T fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 T sesame oil, divided
  • 1 T sesame seeds
  • 2 T gochujang (Korean red pepper paste)
  • 1 T gochugaru (Korean red chili powder)

Cut the pork into 1/2″ x 2-3″ long strips. Season the pork with a salt, 1/2 T of sesame oil, the garlic and the ginger and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. Peel the apple and onion and very roughly chop. Put into a food processor and process until a paste forms. Mix all the remaining ingredients except scallions together to form a sauce and set aside.

Brown the pork well on all sides in a large sauté pan. Once the pork is browned, add in the onion and apple mixture and cook for a couple minutes until cooked through and lightly browned. Add in the sauce and simmer on low until the sauce reduces and coats the pork and the pork is tender. If the sauce gets too thick before the pork is ready just add in some water and keep simmering.

Serve with hot short-grain rice and garnish with sliced scallions. Serve with a side of kimchi, pickles and any other banchan you like.

 

Cambodian Grilled Lemongrass Skewers

  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh lemongrass
  • 15 Kaffir lime leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 T minced fresh ginger
  • 1 T minced fresh galangal
  • 8 medium garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 medium red onion, diced OR 4 scallions
  • 1 T turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 t fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 T Three Crabs Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 T vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c Panko

Place all ingredients aside from the meat, egg, and breadcrumbs into a food processor and pulse until a thick paste forms.

Combine with the meat, breadcrumbs and egg until thoroughly mixed.

Mould onto bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water overnight. Grill over medium-high heat until charred on the outside and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Cabbage Roll Stew

  • 2 lbs raw bratwurst, cut into 1″ coins
  • large onion, medium dice 
  • 2 bell peppers, (red, yellow or orange), medium dice
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 T spicy Hungarian paprika
  • 1 T smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 C white wine
  • 1 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 6 C chicken broth, divided, plus more if needed
  • 1 C basmati rice
  • 1/4 C red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 head of a medium cabbage, chopped
  • 1 C chopped flat leaf parsley

Sauté the bratwurst in a cast iron dutch oven in 2 batches until well browned. Remove from pot and set aside. Sauté onion with a little kosher salt over medium heat 2 minutes until softened. Add in garlic and peppers and cook 2 minutes more. Add in paprika, thyme and red pepper flakes and stir until combined. Add in white wine and cook until reduced by half, scraping the fond from bottom of pot with a flat edged wooden spoon.

Meanwhile pour can of tomatoes into a large bowl and with clean hands, crush the tomatoes slowly and carefully so the juice doesn’t spray all over. Add tomatoes and their juices to the pot along with 4 C of chicken broth. Add the sausage back to the stew, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30-45 minutes.

Add in the cabbage and rice and remaining 2 C of chicken broth and cook for 25 minutes more until rice is done. Stir in the red wine vinegar and parsley, and adjust seasoning with salt if needed.

Vietnamese Shrimp and Pork Shu Mai

Shu Mai Filling

  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb raw, peeled, deveined shrimp (smallest size you can find)
  • 2 red thai chillies, scraped of seeds and membranes and minced
  • 2 T garlic-ginger paste (or 1 T each of grated ginger and minced garlic)
  • 2 T very finely minced lemongrass
  • 2 T fish sauce
  • 1/2 C minced cilantro
  • 1/4 C minced scallion

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 C light soya sauce (I use a Japanese seasoned soya sauce that is infused with seaweed, mushroom and various kinds of fish for extra flavour)
  • 1/2 t garlic-ginger paste
  • 2 scallions, minced
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T mirin

Place thawed shrimp in a small food processor and pulse until about the same consistency as the ground pork, OR mince finely. Add all ingredients together and gently but thoroughly mix together with wet hands. Let sit for at least an hour for the flavours to meld.

Spoon a small amount of the filling into a round dumpling wrapper and gather it up in a slight twist so the wrapper pleats around the filling and just a small amount of the filling is visible. Repeat for all of your filling.

Place in a steamer basket lined with a couple lettuce or cabbage leaves. Steam for 6-7 minutes until the filling is just cooked through. Serve with dipping sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce with Sausage and Rapini

  • 1 1/2 lbs cherry or grape tomatoes, halved if they’re large, quartered if large than 1 1/2″
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 T red wine vinegar
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 links Italian sausage, sliced into coins
  • 1 large onion, finely diced 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T capers, drained and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped olives, kalamata or green
  • 1 anchovy, mashed or 1/2 t anchovy paste
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 C dry white wine
  • 1 pound pasta (I like either linguine or rotini with this)
  • 1 large bunch rapini or other bitter green, rinsed and roughly chopped, tough stems removed
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (you probably won’t use all of this)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2-4 oz finely grated hard Italian cheese like Pecorino

Brown the sausage coins on medium heat with a little oil in a large oven-proof skillet. Remove sausage and set aside. Toss the tomatoes with olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and thyme sprigs and add to the pan. Be careful to not over-salt at this stage as you’ll be adding in rather salty ingredients next. Stir gently to deglaze and then roast in the oven at 375°F for 20-30 minutes, stirring once. Meanwhile prepare the onions, garlic, capers, olives, anchovy, red pepper flakes and mix all together with the wine. Add to the tomato mixture and return to the oven, roasting for a further 20-30 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring half-way through. Remove thyme stems before adding to pasta. Add in a ladle or two of the starchy pasta water if needed to thin it out.

While roasting the sauce for the final time, boil your pasta water and prep your greens. I like to get the younger rapini bunches if possible so you can use more of the tender stems which means both less waste and less prep. Slice the greens into approx. 1″ ribbons and chop the flower heads and tender stems into 2″ long pieces, discarding any stems any thicker than about 1/4″, or any stems you can’t easily eat raw.  Boil the pasta in salted water for just under the recommended al dente time (since the pasta will finish cooking with the sauce), adding in the greens 1 1/2 minutes before the pasta will be ready. Immediately drain and add back to the pasta pot along with the hot sauce and reserved sausage pieces. Dress with chopped Italian parsley, olive oil, grated cheese and lemon zest to taste, reserving some of the parsley, oil and cheese to use as a final garnish at the table.

This recipe can easily be made vegetarian by omitting the sausage and anchovy.

Sweet & Sour Pork Spare Ribs

Have your butcher cut a slab or two of spare ribs (depending on how many people you’re feeding) into several 1″ wide lengthwise slices so that you can cut them apart and have 1″ x 1″ (approx) riblets. But don’t cut them apart just yet!

First you need to season them with a dry rub made of:

  • kosher salt (not too much, as the sauce itself is quite salty)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • ginger powder
  • garlic powder

Rub this liberally on the ribs and then grill over medium high heat until the outside is nice and well done with bits of lovely charring, but the inside is still raw-ish. All you’re doing here is giving the ribs flavour, not cooking them.

At this point you want to cut the ribs into nice little bite-sized pieces – which would be impossible if we hadn’t had the butcher slice through the bones for us. Like I said, you want to have pieces of about 1″x1″ or so – smaller is ok too.

Place all the cut up riblets into a large, very deep roasting pan and add this sauce:

  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 1/4 C white or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 C Japanese soya sauce – Kikkoman works well here
  • 2 T corn starch

For 4-5 lbs of ribs you’ll need a triple batch of the sauce, or so. You want just enough so that the sauce doesn’t quite cover the ribs. You can make less sauce than you think you will need and then add one more batch if you really need more. Whisk all ingredients together and pour over the ribs.

Bake in a 350°F oven for approximately 2-2 1/2 hours, stirring every 45 minutes and removing the lid for the last half hour. Essentially you want to bake it until the connective tissues break down and the meat is very tender and coming off the bone, but not totally falling apart. I usually just take the lid off whilst I’m making the rice after having baked for 2 hrs, and once the rice is done, so are the ribs.

Serve over steamed brown or white rice and with any veggie. I like steamed broccoli or garlic sautéed long beans. What this turns out to be is basically umami meat crack. It’s severely addicting.

Chipotle Pulled Pork Enchiladas

This recipe makes approximately 20-24 medium-sized enchiladas or enough to fill two 9×13 pans

3 lb pork roast, preferably bone-in, with some marbling

Sauce for the pork:
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
2 T adobo sauce
1/4 C cider vinegar
2 t smoked paprika
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 T spice mix (see below)
1 t oregano
3 bay leaves

Enchilada sauce:
3 14 oz cans tomato sauce
15-20 small dried chilli peppers
3 garlic cloves
2 t oregano
1 1/2 t cinnamon
2 t – 1 T spice mix (see below)
1 T smoked paprika*
1 T sweet paprika (Spanish or Hungarian)*
juice of 1 1/2 – 2 limes
kosher salt to taste

Enchilada filling:
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 lb shredded Monterrey or Monterrey-Jack cheese, divided
1 12-14 oz can black olives, pitted and sliced
10 scallions, chopped
1 1/2 – 2 bunches cilantro, chopped

2 dozen medium-sized corn tortillas

Spice Mix:
2 T cumin seeds
2 T coriander seeds
1 1/2 t allspice berries

To make the pork, sauté the onion and garlic in some olive oil until soft and slightly caramelised. Meanwhile, toast your spice mix in a dry sauté pan over low heat until the spices are fragrant and just barely begin to smoke. Remove the spices from the heat and grind into a fine powder. Add the can of tomato sauce and the rest of your spices and sugar to the pot and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the outside of your pork with kosher salt and a generous amount of the spice mix (the cumin, coriander and allspice), and brown the roast in a very hot (preferably cast iron) pan until well browned on all sides. Place the pork and sauce into a slow-cooker and cook until very tender and falling apart – tender enough to shred with forks – around 5.5 hours on high, 8-10 on low.

To make the enchilada sauce, soak the dried chillies in about 1 1/2 C hot water for an hour or so until softened. Depending on how hot your chillies are and how spicy you want your sauce, you may want to remove some or all of the seeds. They’ll be strained out at the end, but they still contribute quite a bit of heat (depending on type of pepper you use). I like to use the smaller red chillies which are pretty spicy, and I leave about 1/4 of the seeds in. Once the chillies are soft, put them, along with the soaking water, into a blender and blend until completely puréed. Then pass the mixture through a sieve to remove all the seeds and pulp. Lightly sauté the garlic being careful to not let it burn or scorch. Add in the three cans of tomato sauce and the chilli sauce and the rest of your spices. Simmer for about 15 minutes, adding the lime juice at the very end. Let cool and set aside until you assemble your enchiladas.

Once the pork is done, remove it from the sauce and shred it with two forks. Reduce the sauce down (removing the bay leaves) in a saucepan on the stove until there’s just enough to keep the pork moist and juicy, but not overly liquidy when added back to the shredded pork.

At this point, preheat your oven to 375-400°F (depending on whether you’ve got convection). Put some of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of each pan and begin to stuff your enchiladas. I put down a spoonful of the meat, then beans, cheese, olives, onion and lastly the cilantro. Roll and lay into the pan seam side down. Do this for both pans, top with equal amounts of the sauce. I usually have left-over olives, scallions and cilantro and I top the enchiladas with this and then add about 1/4 lb of cheese to each pan.

Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes or until the cheese is lightly browned and the sauce is bubbly.

Serve with sour cream, guacamole, Mexican rice and fresh pico de gallo.

*Some people will refer to smoked paprika as Spanish paprika which can be confusing. While smoked paprika is an originally Spanish product, “Spanish paprika” is simply paprika from Spain. Make sure your smoked paprika is actually smoked as “Spanish paprika” can be sweet, spicy or smoked. I said use Spanish or Hungarian paprika for the sweet paprika because they’re usually very good quality, high flavour paprikas, unlike what is often sold in N. American grocery stores as paprika which turns out to be a flavourless red dust. See this article.

If you don’t have whole spices (and I highly recommend you try them!) go ahead and use pre-ground spices to taste. All the amounts are approximate anyhow because I never measure when I cook – I just throw in what seems appropriate and adjust to taste.