Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Porky Night

♥ home-made charsiew
This is yet another pinkcocoa's kitchen project.

This one is inspired by Renee of Shiokadelicious simple recipe on making char siew (chinese sweet barbeque pork). I developed a long craving for char siew kolo mee and was about to grab myself the charsiew sauce from Lee Kum Kee to make my own char siew when Renee's recipe came in the right time.

I was very tempted to buy char siew from one of the chinese bbq store in chinatown but I dont quite like the way they chop up the char siew when you buy take-away instead of dining in. The meat is not sliced up thinly like you would have enjoyed if dining in. The chef simply chopped up the large chunk of meat in pieces. It's a very care-free way of chopping i must say. Often the meat is so chunky that it's too hard to chew. Either I bear with the chunkiness and chewiness or I have to slice them up again myself . But what's the point of take-away when you have to get your hands on it to make it edible.

This char-siew is made without the food colouring and I have to agree that maltose indeed produces an unique aroma to the marinade. I had fun as a little girl playing with the maltose and eating them. Dip the spoon into the maltose and pull, pull, pull. how fun! Mum used to bring back large can of maltose from taiwan and if I was good, I got to eat this yummies by dipping in a metal spoon and pull, pull, pull. Twirl the maltose around the spoon. Instant lollypop!

♥ foodies date: 27 July 2004
♥ where: pinkcocoa's kitchen

♥ marinating!
I used about half a kilo of pork shoulder. My butcher adviced me that pork neck is used in the making of char-siew because of its higher fat content. I was going to buy pork neck at first but sadly my butcher wont cut it into long strip. He cuts them into large round roll. So i decided to use shoulder instead and cut them into strips myself. I made the marinade for 1kg quantity even though i only used half a kg of pork. I would just like to have a lot of leftover sauces. *grin* You can call me sauce-maniac! I can see the marinade in my other dishes too. hmmm Very nice in kolo mee too!

By the way, I marinaded them in the fridge overnight. ShinChan commented that I should have marinaded it longer! Maybe next time i should start marinading the morning the day before the night cooking it. That's only ShinChan's comment though. I find the char-siew very well macerated already. Heavy-taste eater! *pinkcocoa shaking her head*

♥ before
I followed Renee's recipe closely. Call me a copycat! I was worried about the dryness of roast so i decided to follow in Renee's footstep and added hot water to the roasting pan to keep the roast moist.

♥ and after!
Even without the red food colouring, the char-siew still bore a redness to it! The picture is a little deceiving because the meat appeared so much redder than its deeper darker red. Not sure how to describe the colour exactly. Perhaps i can call it caramel red?

I didnt cook for the charred bits by basting the char-siew with warm maltose and chuck back in the oven for 5min. Charred bits arent that good for health so best to avoid them wheneven you can!

♥ basting with more marinade
I don't have a pastry/basting brush or brush of any kind so I used a spoon and sprinkle little bits of the marinade (re-boiled or course) onto the char-siew.

♥ bbq pork kolo mee
Here you goes. My long craving finally satisfied! This is ShinChan's portion of bbq pork kolo mee.His kolo mee is of the saltier side; made using a tbsp of charsiew marinade, 2 tbsp of taiwanese dark soy paste and a few drops of sesame oil plus a pinch of salt.

♥ pinkcocoa's baby kolomee
I had a smaller portion. I like my kolomee sweeter so it's 1 tbsp plus a little more of the marinade, a hint of oyster sauce and pinch of salt.

I do have to mention that my char-siew is a little dry because i over-cooked it a little. But thanks to the hot water in the roasting pan, it wasnt as dry as I thought it would be. My char-siew pieces were a little smaller and i should have adjusted the cooking time. I used 10minutes interval but with the small size, I think 5-7min would be more appropriate. So hopefully my next char-siew project will be a moist and softer one!

On another thought, it might be the type of pork i used too. The shoulder I bought was lean without much fat. So perhaps i really should just buy a large chunk of pork neck and make char-siew in large batches.

♥ konnyaku basted in char-siew marinade
I have a rice-bowlful of char-siew marinade leftover. While using it as a dressing on the blanched kailan, I thought the marinade might give my konnyaku a nice flavour. So i basted my konnyaku in about a generous tablespoon of the marinade and let simmer until all the marinade has been absorbed. Afterwhich i mixed in some chopped shallots to give the dish a nice colour.

For many in search of a healthy diet would have come to know about konnyaku, a translucent, gelatinous cake made from the starch of a yam-like tuber known as devil's tongue (duped from epicurous food dictionary). It has no noticeable flavour, no fat. Its high fibre content and low calorie means it is a dieter's delight! It helps with passing problems too i heard.

Find out more about konnyaku here. I used noodle-type konnyaku here. It is readily available Asian groceries stores. I have yet to try out the block-type, found in fridge section of the store.

♥ ShinChan's BBQ pork bento
I always pack a bento for ShinChan whenever I cook. I dont cook extra dishes for bento though. Whatever we have for dinner will be his bento the next day. I wonder if he ever gets tired of eating my bento. It can be boring to eat the same dinner and lunch!

I still have half a bowl-ful of marinade leftover in the fridge. The marinade bears exactly the same taste of dressing you get in chinese bbq restaurant! I cant believe how easy it is to made. I think the maltose gives the marinade a distinct taste. Yessss! Maltose is the way to go!

What happened to the other half-bowlful of marinade? ShinChan is the one to ask! He enjoyed the marinade so much that he ate a large amount of kailan (which he doesnt quite like) with the marinade drizzled onto. Maybe i can get him to eat bittergourd next time with the marinade! *evil grin*