Finally started blogging on food again! I feel so empowered, now that I have a new camera. I’m also excited about the Indian recipes I gleaned from my landlord. I’ve never really cared for Indian cuisine but staying with her changed my mind a little. I still don’t want to bother with searching for official/proper Indian recipes, so, it will not probably be 100% “knowledgeable sounding”.
This dish I made tonight – ok, not to brag or anything, but it was SOO good. I can’t claim originality (chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian sauce), I can at least claim execution 😀 The sour, sharp taste of vinegar cuts through the richness of pork belly, and the matcha (Japanese green tea) rub gives it a refreshing, toasty coat. Mmmm….
Exhausted after chopping so much stuff for the sauce (yes, I know there’s a thing called food processor…), so, with no further ado, recipe!
Matcha roasted pork belly with chimichurri sauce
I used pork belly, but feel free to use pork tenderloin/whatever else. The beautiful thing about pork belly is that you don’t have to add that much olive oil to your chimichurri sauce – the fat rendered from the pork belly is more than enough, and it’s delicious! I still added olive oil though, because the taste goes so well with vingar and parsley.
There are 2 ways to go about this: if you’re in a hurry, you don’t have to marinade the pork at all. Just put salt and pepper on top and let it sit for 20 mins, then rub green tea on it and roast. If you have time, use half of the chimichurri sauce to marinade the pork for 1 hour or overnight. I’ve found that cast iron pans do wonders to meat, and if you’ve got a good piece of meat, salt and pepper are all you need (ouch that rhymes, sorry…).
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 strip of pork belly (by strip I mean the thick strip they cut it at the Asian market. Trust me, they cut it the same way everywhere).
1 teaspoon of matcha powder (or a lot of tea leaves will do, too, except it will be hard to rub it on the pork belly)
If you are doing salt-only pork: start sprinkling salt and pepper on the pork and let it sit while you start chopping stuff/putting stuff in a food processor for the chimichurri sauce. Gotta say it’s my favorite non-Asian sauce to go with any meat, esp. pork.
Turn on the oven to 375 F.
*Like always, I don’t like to give specific amounts. This is not baking, it doesn’t matter if you add one more sprig of parsley – or less. The rule is, the end result should look like a “parsley&oregano salad”. The herbs are soaked in the liquid, but there shouldn’t be too much liquid either.
About 1/2-1 cup of parsley
1/2 – 1 cup fresh oregano (*I used dried oregano, about a pinch or two, and it was fine)
1 jalapeno, deseeded (or 2, if you’re not a coward like me)
6 cloves of garlic (*again, garlic cloves are of different sizes. My 6 cloves might be your 5. I like this sauce to be really garlicky, so 6 big fat cloves for me. If you don’t like garlic that much, 3 will suffice).
About a cup of red wine vinegar (or red wine + any other vinegar you have on hand, put in equal parts)
Juice of 3 limes
1 tbp olive oil (or not; it’s not that crucial to me, but if you love olive oil, it tastes really good with the herbs)
A tiny spoon of sugar (taste it! Put bits by bits until you think it balances out the vinegar. Usually chimichurri doesn’t have any sugar but being the Vietnamese that I am, vinegar/lime juice mixture => sugar!)
Salt (or if you’re, um, “fancy” like me, Chinese/Maggi soy sauce), pepper.
Chop chop chop. Mix mix mix. Or, if you’re smart unlike me, keeeeeeee (that’s how food processors sound, right? no?). I actually ate a spoon or two as if it were a salad..which might have been foolish considering how much vinegar there was. Oh well?
Rub matcha powder on all sides of the piece of pork. Put pork in cast iron pan (*if you don’t have a cast iron pan, well, get one! Just kidding. You can sear 2 sides of the pork belly in your non-cast-iron pan and put them in the oven later. I used to sear them meat on the stove too but usually they got seared beautifully in the oven on the cast iron pan anyway). If you cut your piece of pork in half like me, after 10 mins or so you can turn it over so that it browns the other side. If it’s a big piece, wait a bit longer. The piece of pork should be done in about 20-25 mins. Check with a meat thermometer, when it reads 140 it’s a little pink still. If you want it well done, it should be about 150 I think (I always let it stay slightly pink).
Once both sides are seared and your pork is almost done, turn it upside down so the skin is directly on the pan surface. Crank the heat up to 400, you’ll have beautiful crackling pork skin in 5 mins!
Enjoy the beautiful view of fat dripping down to coat the meat…mmmmm….
Spoon sauce over pork. Eat!