This char-siu was initially made for my ramen. Japanese style char-siu is deceptively simple, and involves simply tying up a hunk of pork (loin or belly) and stew the pork in a mixture of water, soy sauce, sake, and sugar, while staying somewhat vigilant to scoop up any gunk that floats around. The soy sauce mixture used to stew the pork can later be boiled down and reused for stewing other bits of pork, or as a savory, porky alternative to soy sauce. In the case of this rice bowl, the reduced sauce was poured on top. Wonderful stuff served with some stir-fried bok choy.
Tag Archives: rice stuff
So in the last thing I wrote, I noted that I used the turkey breast for turkey porchetta char-siu, and the turkey back and carcass for ramen broth. I was stuck with the remaining wings and thighs, and I was coming down with a fever and a hangover, so I decided to do the easiest thing possible and just throw them in a pressure cooker, cover them with the least amount of water possible (to produce a concentrated broth) and left it on the stove until the meat were falling off the bones (about 20 min). I separated the meat from the bones, and the broth from whatever was left in the liquid.
The first batch I used to make khao soi. I combined Andy Ricker’s recipe from Pok Pok and Kenji Lopez’s recipe from Serious Eats.
And yes, I did not have any cilantro on hand, so I sprinkled some green onions. I regret that part, but that’s what home cooking is like. It’s balancing out the ideals represented in the cookbook with the realities of your pantry.
The second part I used to make Chiayi style turkey rice. It’s one of those extremely homey dishes that you get for dirt cheap, but is somehow memorable. It’s also the easiest dish to make if you already have some poached turkey and turkey broth on hand.
The turkey rice actually doesn’t have that much turkey on it. A lot of the flavor comes from the turkey fat (that you can get by skimming the broth after it congeals) and the oil from the fried shallots.
So you start out by either frying up some shallots and garlic in a pool of oil until they become brown and crisp, or purchase some fried shallots from an Asian supermarket. They are sometimes called fried onions. It’s all the same. I think. I actually can’t tell the difference between shallots and onions sometimes. I personally think that this fact disqualifies me from writing about food at all.
Reserve the oil. Put shredded turkey in a pot and cover with very little amount of turkey broth. Salt and pepper. Throw in an awful lot of fried shallots/onions and stew on low for five minutes. Add some of the oil, enough so that the dish would be a bit too oily for your liking. Dump the whole thing onto some rice, and the oily-ness will become balanced.
If you have one of those artificially sweetened, artificially yellowed radish pickles they sell in Asian markets, garnish the dish with those.
Excellent with tofu mixed with preserved duck eggs, or clear broth with Chinese chives and congealed pig blood.
Complimenting on the cookbook Pok Pok at this point is like stating that cats are fluffy. People have acknowledged it, and already moved on. However, I just cannot get over how every dish I made from the book has turned out amazing. Sure, the dozens of homemade condiments listed in the ingredients are time consuming to make, and I did end up subbing a lot of ingredients (although it is explicitly stated not to do this) due to the large number of hard-to-find or hard-to-use-up ingredients. But even with my constant bastardizing of the dishes with Japanese/Korean ingredients, every dish provided a wholly novel flavor that took me out of the monotony of my home cooking.
I love this cookbook as dearly as I love the Thai recipes from the blog She Simmers. Besides the obvious commonality that they both feature Thai cuisines is that they both take a critical stance against the notion of authenticity.
So here are some of the highlights:
Khao Phat Muu: stir-fried rice. I thought I was bored, tired of any iterations of fried rice dishes. I was wrong.
Khao Tom: Rice soup. Wonderful for warming your body, getting over colds, and hangovers.
Yam Makheua Yao: eggplant salad
Phat Fak Thawng: stir-fried squash. My partner’s new favorite way of eating squash. Actually, her only favorite way of eating squash.
Tam Taeng Kwaa: Cucumber salad
Holy basil chicken without the holy basil. I feel remorse.
Yam Khai Dao: Fried egg salad. I am not sure if I would qualify this as a salad. But it’s delicious.
Kung Op Wun Sen: glass noodles and shrimp baked in a pot. This one’s one of the more Chinese influenced dishes in the cookbook. It’s one of the few noodle dishes that actually pairs wonderfully with rice.
Khao Soi Kai: Northern Thai curry noodle soup with chicken. It’s hell making this dish without a mortar and pestle (I used a cylindrical baking pin with pint glasses.) But it’s worth it. If this dish involved less work, I would seriously consider replacing this with my curry udon recipe as my hangover morning food.
Minced onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté. Sauté ground pork. Throw in turmeric, paprika, and hot pepper powder. Diced tomatoes, until they lose shape. Water, boil, garam masala. Throw it on rice.
The sushi rice in the bowl is a throwaway of the lack of authenticity in my dish.
I sometimes add a bit of soy sauce, to match the gravy with the rice. My dirty soy-sauce covered secret. And it’s not the only one.