Sunday, December 5, 2010

Caramelised pork with five-spice broth

There is something about Asian food that heightens the senses, walking down Williams St in Northbridge or any other area where there is a high density of Asian peoples and restaurants, gets the old tastebuds going and has my mouth watering.  The aromas and sights, the people moving hurriedly along the streets as they go about their business of sourcing the best products for the evening meal, men on the sidewalk calling the price of broccoli and onions at a yell, cars parked haphazardly along the street and in driveways, all of this just adds to the experience of eating and enjoying good quality simple food, so full of flavours.  These are some of the memories that I enjoy when I cook something like caramelised pork with five spice broth, one of the simplest meals to prepare, but one where all you can think of is sitting down to eat it each step of the way.  Pork basted with hoi sin sauce roasting in the oven, whist ginger, garlic and five-spice are sautĂ© on the stovetop herald the senses into expecting something good, something special, it is time to eat!
Caramelised Pork fillet is the champion of this dish, the hoi sin caramelised outer and juicy succulent flesh is superb, then that simple broth adds so much more depth, the fresh spring onions, coriander and chillies round the meal out as they add a bit of crunch, spice and flavour.  Just sitting here writing about this dish makes me want more, but then it really is one of those meals, that will always have us come back for more.
For 2 people you’ll need
300g pork fillet
1 ½ tbsp hoisin sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand is the best!)
Brush pork all over with hoisin sauce and place in oven which has been preheated to 220C, bake for ten minutes, then turn over, brush a little more hoisin and bake a further ten minutes, rest for 5 minutes in a warm place before slicing.  Prepare 100g flat rice noodles as per packet directions.
For the broth, heat a teaspoon of sesame oil in a pan, then add 20g sliced ginger, a crushed clove of garlic and a ¼ teaspoon of five-spice, cook for about a minute.  Add about 50g of coriander stalks along with 1 litre chicken stock and 2 teaspoons of soy sauce, bring this to the boil and simmer for five minutes.  Strain the broth to remove ginger, garlic and coriander stalks, return broth back to the pan and add a bunch of baby bok choy and cook a further two minutes.

Divide the noodles, bok choy, broth and pork between two bowls, top with coriander leaves, finely sliced spring onions and sliced chillies, then enjoy whichever part of the world the wonderful flavours and aromas take you too!

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