Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I'm back!

Oh hi! I’m finally back. Seems like I’ve been on one long vacation. First Mexico, then after only a few days home, our neighbors invited us to join them at the beach. As if we’d say no to extending our vacation! So we re-packed our bags (they weren’t really unpacked) and headed to the Oregon Coast for the long Independence Day weekend. I guess it’s not surprising that I’m finding it hard to come out of the vacation stupor. I'm sorry if I've been slow at responding to emails and comments. Suppose I better come to quick, though. Mom and the whole Vegas crew are arriving on Friday. Lord, save me!

I also need to get my butt in gear seeing as how I’m hosting Weekend Wokking and wouldn’t it be just shameful if I didn’t have an entry? (Good thing I’m the host and Wandering Chopsticks is such an understanding gal because the deadline’s already past. The round-up goes up tomorrow or the day after :-) Anyhow, cilantro is the theme ingredient, and luckily for me I’ve got some growing in the garden. Or rather, I had. It bolted while I was away, and there’s not quite enough to take from the younger plants. No problem since I use the roots.

I’m not going to launch into the awesomeness of cilantro roots because I’ve already done that and you can read about it here. I’ll just go straight to the dish, a pork stir-fry flavored with a paste made of garlic, white peppercorns and cilantro roots. Don’t forget the dipping sauce! Enjoy!

Pretty simple, but tastes great! Spruce it up with tomato and cucumber slices and serve with the dipping sauce.

Garlicky Pork Stir-Fry
Serves 3 to 4
  • ½ oz cilantro roots, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns (black is okay too)
  • 1 pound pork, sliced for stir-frying
  • 1 to 2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 to 2 tbs light soy sauce (regular is fine too, but use less)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • fish sauce to taste

For the dipping sauce:
  • Juice of 1 juicy lime
  • fish sauce, to taste (about 1 tbs)
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • chopped chilies, to taste
  • white sugar, to taste (about 1 to 2 tsp)
Using a mortar, pound the cilantro roots, garlic and peppercorns until you get a uniform paste. You want to make sure to thoroughly break down the cilantro roots because they can be tough and fibrous otherwise. Mix the paste with the pork and allow to marinate for about ½ hour.

Meanwhile make the sauce by combining the oyster sauce, soy sauce and sugar.

Make the dipping sauce by combining all the ingredients and adjust flavor to taste.

When you’re ready to stir-fry, get your wok good and hot. Proper heat is the trick to this dish. If your wok is not hot enough, the meat is not going to sear. Instead it’s going to release juices. The wok also has to be hot enough to caramelize the sauce once it hits the wok. Otherwise you will have a watery, boring dish. This dish should be fairly dry and the flavors concentrated.

Use about 3 tbs oil. Grapeseed or another vegetable oil is good; olive oil is bad for stir-frying. Once the meat is seared and just about done (approx 2 to 3 minutes), add the soy sauce mix down the side of the wok and toss the meat to coat. It’s done when the sauce is caramelized and the meat is cooked through. Adjust flavor with fish sauce, if necessary. Total cooking time is about 4 or 5 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce and steamed jasmine rice. I like to serve sliced tomato and cucumber on the side as well.


Manggy said...

Ceeeeelaaaantroooo! My nemesis! Kidding ;) I'd totally have big plate of this with some piping hot rice!
I'm glad you had a (two?) great vacations! Nice to have you back.

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I just realized I've only been home for a total of about a week in the past month. It's so hard to get back to blogging after being away. And hey, you could have been even later and I wouldn't have minded. Especially since I'm still trying to get the Korean Regional Recipes round-up posted. Hopefully by tonight or tomorrow. My internet keeps blinking in and out, which drives me nutso. Hope you're well, and take your time, I still have to do my cilantro entry. ;)

dp said...

Manggy, are you one of those who thinks cilantro tastes like soap? You must be missing the cilantro-enjoyment gene. Usually it's linked to the Asian gene, but clearly something went awry :-) I won't hold it against you though. And thanks! It's nice to be back.

WC, I'm still trying to get myself into *real-life* mode. I haven't gone through all my emails yet, and I suspect some of them may be important. *shudder* First I need to catch up on my favorite blogs, then maybe I'll tackle those emails. Maybe :-)

Lars said...

looks great! i still owe you big time for introducing me to cilantro roots. Must try this one soon. And welcome back.

dp said...

Lars, I'm glad you're into using the roots. Cilantro is one of those herbs that you can use every part, leaves, roots and seeds. And they all taste different.

Jason said...

Sounds yummy, I pretty much love pork in any dish!
Wasn't the coast beautiful? I ran over for a day and hung out on the beach, I'm waiting for the winning lottery ticket so I can buy a beach house!

Paula said...

Welcome back! Sounds like your summer has gotten off to a fun start! You didn't miss much around here. The sun visited for a while, but promptly hid again! Glad you're back! I love this dish! We are pork fans in this family, and this dish with some rice would please my entire crew! Oh, and we always have cucumbers with our pork! YUM!

Mary Bergfeld said...

I just stopped by to say hello and found that gorgeous recipe for garlic pork. Wow!

dp said...

Jason, we totally lucked out with the weather at the beach. It's the first time I've done July 4th at a beach and it was so much fun...bonfires and fireworks. We all agreed it should be our new tradition.

Paula, Yes, this dish if family friendly for sure! And let's hope the sun comes back; I've got people visiting and they are used to warm, sunny weather

Mary, hello there! Three weeks is a long time to be away from blogging. You were smart and organized to have posts planned while you were away!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Yeah, our cilantro plants are all bolty!! Never used cilantro roots. I guess this is the best time to try, with those bolty plants.

Puna said...

I never eat anything like this without that dipping sauce. My favorite. That and rice, a perfect meal.

Admin said...

A late welcome back from me. :) And with this pork dish -- what a comeback! This over a bowl of Jasmine rice and a side of Prik Nam Pla would be heavenly.