Wednesday, December 27, 2017
Chinese BBQ Pork
Here's the most important ingredient for really great Chinese BBQ pork: Time. The second most important ingredient? Patience. This is a dish that really benefits from a long soak in a marinade so the aromatic flavors of scallion and garlic really permeate the meat. The other parts of the marinade are Chinese rice wine (or sherry), hoisin sauce, soy sauce, and a little sugar. There is no fire engine red food coloring. The redness of this meat comes from the smoke ring, which means Time + Patience.
Two days before you want to eat, pick up either a 2 lb. slab of pork butt or some country style pork ribs (which may just be strips of pork butt--who knows). If you got the slab, cut it into strips that are about 1.5 inches wide and thick. Smash about 8 cloves of garlic and slice 6 scallions into 2 inch lengths, smashing the white part with the flat of the knife blade to release the onion pulp, and add them to the meat in a non-reactive bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons sugar, 2 tablespoons of hoisin, 2 tablespoons of rice wine, and a teaspoon of sesame oil to the bowl, and mix thoroughly. Cover tightly and let it sit for a day. Give the meat a mix, re-cover for another day.
After two days of marinating, build yourself on offset fire on your BBQ, with a half can of coal. Place a block of fruit wood on the fire (I use blocks rather than chips because it just lasts longer), and a piece of foil or a foil pan under where the meat will go opposite the fire. Put on your grate and place the meat on the cool side of the grill, reserving the leftover marinade at the bottom of the bowl. Cover the grill and let it smoke two hours with the vents half open (about 275 degrees).
After two hours it will be very tempting to just grab one of the strips and dig in, but wait--it will be worth it. Turn the meat, and pour the marinade over it, re-cover the grill and wait patiently for another hour.
Take the meat off, cover, and let it rest for about a half hour. Finally, cut the meat against the grain in 1/4 inch slices. Spread them on a platter with some toasted sesame seeds and hot mustard, or enjoy the delicious medallions on their own. I use them in fried rice, and in stir fried Shanghai style rice cakes with bok choy.