Asian Pulled Pork

pulled porkI developed this recipe from the idea of a pulled pork with Asian flavors, and adjusted my recipe until I was happy with it. This pork takes a long time to cook, so it must be done on a day when you’ll be at home; or it would certainly do well in a slow-cooker, though I haven’t tried that yet. I always use pork loin, as it is a relatively cheap cut of meat in Japan, but I think any cut would do as long as it’s not too fatty..

Ingredients
300g (10oz) pork loin
salt and pepper
1 tsp each canola and sesame oils
1/2 onion, sliced very thinly
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp finely minced garlic
360mL (1-1/2 cups) green tea (I normally put a teabag in my measuring cup, fill it with hot water, and steep for a few minutes.)
1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
1/4 cup brown sugar (if you prefer your pork less sweet, use half this amount)
1 tsp rice vinegar

Instructions

Season the pork loin with salt and pepper on all sides. Heat the oils in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Place the pork loin carefully into the pan and sear, turning it carefully until it is browned on all sides.

Add all the remaining ingredients, cover, and simmer on very low heat for at least 3 hours. If too much liquid evaporates during cooking, add some water. By the end, most of the liquid should be gone.

When ready to serve, cook uncovered on high heat for a few minutes. The pork can also be refrigerated after the 3 hour cooking time and then reheated on the stove on medium-high heat.

You can eat the pork however you like – add it to a salad, on top of rice with some veggies, or in a wrap – our favorite. I’ll write another time about how we make our pork wraps.

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Matcha Green Tea Latte

IMG_7051This drink is very popular in Japan, and I think it’s gaining popularity in America as well. It’s sweet but not too sweet, due to the almost bitter matcha flavor, and can be drunk warm in the winter or cold in the summer. The only downside for me was that it can be expensive in cafes, so I wanted to make it at home instead.

Ingredients (for 1 serving)
1 cup (240 mL) milk (I have used both regular and reduced-fat with good results)
1-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp matcha (powdered green tea)

Be careful about the matcha. It is a special product, not the same as just any green tea made into powder. It should be a bright green, unsweetened powder, like these images. When I lived in the US I could only find it at Asian supermarkets, so try there if you’re having trouble. It is an expensive ingredient, even in Japan, but a little goes a long way. I bought 35g, about 1.2 oz, for 525 yen, around $5. In Japan, look for the word 抹茶, matcha, or ask someone for help.

Instructions

Heat the milk in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the sugar and matcha and whisk until the powder is completely dissolved. Continue to whisk until the milk steams. Don’t let it boil!

When the milk is hot, pour into a cup and enjoy!

Note: the matcha powder will start to separate and go to the bottom of the cup after a little while, so I recommend stirring or swirling your cup occasionally!