Friday, February 25, 2011

Inspired by Japan

Kon'nichiwa! That is hello in Japanese. Tonight, I'm going to treat you all to the flavors of Japan. I've always love Japanese food and culture. They have a very unique way of life. It's easy going, but very evolved. Today, I've decided to dive into Okinawa, Japan. 
Okinawa is part of Japan's southern prefectures, the Ryukyu Islands. Okinawa is the furthest northwest of all of the Ryukyu Islands. The capital of Okinawa is Naha, or Naafa in their cultural language. Anyway... I am getting off track from the point of this blog: FOOD. So, today we are going to try out something with pork. It's called:

Okinawa Shoyu Pork

You will need the following:

    • 1 1/2 pounds whole pork belly
      • 1/2 cup soy sauce
        • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
          • 1/2 cup water
            • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet wine)
              • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
                • 1 clove garlic, or to taste

                NOTE: You can find all of these items at your local market or specialty Asian markets in your town.

                1. Place pork belly into a large pot, and cover with water about 1-inch above the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and simmer for 2 minutes. 
                2. Discard water and fill pot with fresh water about 1-inch above the pork. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until the pork begins to soften, about 1 hour.
                3. Remove the pork from the water, and place on a cutting board. Allow pork to cool for a few minutes, then slice off the thick skin and discard.
                4. Cut the remaining pork meat into 1-inch wide slices. Set aside.
                5. Combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, 1/2 cup water, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat.
                6. Add the sliced pork belly, then bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to low, and place a sheet of aluminum foil directly over the meat and sauce.
                7. Simmer uncovered until the pork is tender, 30 to 45 minutes, turning the pork several times to cook evenly.
                8. Serve.

                So, there you go. It's a little harder than the other recipes that we have tried, but with patience and time, you will have a delicious meal. I know you all can do it! Go have some fun! Night everyone.