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Hey everyone! Made these gorgeous pork belly tacos tonight and would love to share how I did them. I was going for some Mexican and Asian flavors, and couldn't have been happier with the result. The only issue at all was a light spot on the pork due to liquid pooling there during the cook because the belly was a bit big for my standard Joe and I had to scrunch it a little. PORK BELLY 1. I brined it for about 14 hours in a mix of pineapple juice, teriyaki, and soy sauce after scoring the fat sight relatively deeply 2. Dried the belly and rubbed it with Killer Hogs BBQ Rub on all sides 3. Smoked on Kamado Joe at 240 with some cherry wood to add a light fruity smoke favor (no wrapping because I wanted some meaty bite in the taco) 4. When I had internals around 185, I glazed the belly and cooked for another 20ish minutes 5. Broiled the belly inside for 2 minutes to tighten up the glaze and crisp the fat even more 6. Rested the meat for about 40 minutes (should have gone longer but people were too hungry :D ) GLAZE 1. Mix together raw honey, soy sauce, salt, worcestershire sauce, peach preservers (wanted pineapple to go with the brine but couldn't find it), apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, black pepper, hot bone sucking bbq sauce, and some secret super hot scotch bonnet hot sauce I bought in Anguilla. All of this is unmeasured and I mixed to taste. 2. Simmer on the stove until the mixture reduces a bit and thickens up, allow to cool off the heat TOPPINGS 1. Home made guacamole (avocado, lots of lime, onion, kosher salt, pepper, cilantro) 2. Home made Chipotle Crema (sour cream, heavy cream, lime juice, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, adobo sauce, kosher salt) 3. Grilled pineapple on the same grates I cooked the pork on 4. Cojita Cheese 5. Cilantro 6. Home made pickled onions (red onion, apple cider vinegar, kosher salt, sugar, water) Please enjoy the pictures, and as usual, ask any questions!
I thought long and hard on what to cook for the Asian Cooking Challenge. After much researching I finally came up with this. I’ve made the Spring Rolls before but followed a recipe from Chef John of Food Wished for the others. First I made the Peanut Dripping Sauce. Here are most of the ingredients. Next I grilled up some chicken breasts and a shrimp for the Spring Rolls. Sliced up the breasts, the shrimp, and the veggies. I set up my work area and took some rice paper and wetted it and placed it a damp towel. Placed some greens, bell pepper and carrots, and some Daikon Radish, and some Thai Basil. Then some chicken and rolled it part way and then two shrimp and rolled it the rest of the way. (Sorry but no pics) I placed them on wet paper towels until later. Now I turned my attention to the Spicy Caramel Chicken. Here are most of the ingredients for the sauce. Finely minced the garlic and grated the ginger. Poured in all the wet ingredients and then prepared the chicken. I skinned and deboned 5 thighs and cut them into approximately 1” chunks. I placed them in a bowl and poured half the sauce over them and then stirred. I then cut up the veggies and heated up my 12” C.I. skillet on the kamado. After approximately 5 minutes the sauce was starting to caramelize. Here’s what you want it to look like. Stirred in the Jalapenos, bell peppers and peanuts. Then the other half of the sauce. Once the sauce started to caramelize again I stirred in the green onion. And now the sauce is ready. Here’s the plated shots served over some steamed rice. This was a lot of work but it was worth it. Thanks for looking.
Today I tried the BBQBros.net recipe for Asian Style Cedar Plank Pork Tenderloins. I had both my kamados in use. Kamado Joe Jr for Filippina style chicken thighs and Vision ClassicB for cedar plank pork loins. Pork tasted nice but I think it would have been better with rub. But I want to taste recipe by itself. It is one I would do again. My son made the twice baked potatoes. I think I see a Big Joe in my future. Maybe next year.
Asian Confusion Meal It was good to get back in the kitchen (and back posting cooks on the Forum) after a much too long series of travel, family and work commitments preventing me from doing any serious cooking for many months. When you look at the ingredients and seasonings in this dish you will understand my naming motivation for the meal/post that goes beyond a “fusion “ meal. Plus it is a mix across cuisines – US, Chinese, Japanese, and who knows what else… And even the cooking method in the Dutch oven could be considered unorthodox. Asian Confusion Meal However, I had an idea how I wanted to build this dish and it worked well as a rather quick to prepare, stomach filling and tasty meal that has a great rich flavor profile. It is also not too bad for the dieting I am doing. A key element to this spur of the moment “in-store” meal planning for dinner was the fresh wild caught USA shrimp on sale in my international market. 2 ¾ lbs seemed just right. I butterflied these. And the other ingredients were handily there also - Snow peas, baby bok choy, red bell pepper, carrots, raw corn I cut off the cob, onion, green onion, celery, garlic, ginger. Add some Cajun seasoning on the shrimp, and in the main dish red pepper, soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve with Japanese pepper seasoning blend for extra kick. The Assorted & Diverse Ingredients Since I was making enough for lunches and leftovers, I used the large 7.5 qt Dutch oven instead of my wok. I find that it can work well for dishes like this. First Stages of Stir Frying (proceed by order of anticipated cooking time) and the Initial Liquid Addition Rather than do an udon soup approach for the broth, I straddled a soup and a sauce with a restrained addition of tapioca starch in the dish to add a measure of body to the seafood stock liquid component. Final Broth Addition and Thickening Step The udon noodles were separately cooked and rinsed in cold water ahead of the main dish and then folded all together in the end. Adding the Cooked Udon Closing Out the Confusion This is one dish that was easier to cook on the stove than the Kamado. It is also going to make a wonderful lunch tomorrow. Hope this sparks some ideas for your own cook confusion.