The Chinese believe that there are foods that correspond to each season, nourishing the body for optimum health. But unlike the western calendar, they also believe that there is another season besides summer, autumn, winter, and spring. And that is precisely the time of year we are enjoying right now which is “late summer”.
Late summer is the transitional time between summer and fall. It is the beginning of harvest time. Ripe fruits are falling to the ground and vegetables like squash and pumpkin are growing big and plump. Since Asian cooks believe that the best foods that can be eaten are freshly picked or killed it makes sense that this is the time of year to feast on apples, tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, and zucchini. We can still eat lightly, but as the weather turns colder, it’s time to strengthen the body with slightly heavier and more “yang’ or heating, robust foods that will “warm” the body. In addition to seasonal vegetables, whole grains such as millet, barley and chickpeas are recommended. Pungent herbs such as basil, mint, and cilantro, plus curry, hoisin and black bean sauce not only provide flavor, but they protect the body against the seasonal dampness.
Accordingly, I like to make this Saucy Garlic-Roasted Pork with Broccoli Slaw. (See the recipe below.) In this particular version, I use roasted pork (tenderloin or center-cut pork loin), but if you aren’t very fond of pork, you can easily substitute, chicken breasts, scallops, or tofu and revise the cooking times accordingly. Like most of the other recipes in Simple Asian Meals, this dish is a meal by itself. There are angel hair noodles on the bottom (Once again feel free to substitute another type of noodle including whole wheat, spinach, rice, soba, etc.) with shredded vegetables on top. Using shredded broccoli slaw cuts the preparation time and unlike the cabbage in cole slaw mixes, broccoli remains crisp-tender even after stir-frying. I like to remove the raw flavor by briefly blanching the broccoli slaw for 30 seconds in boiling water, refresh it in cold water, it is delicious with the pungent, garlicy hoisin sauce. Enjoy!!!
Saucy Garlic-Roasted Pork with Broccoli Slaw 4 to 6 Servings
1 ½ pounds boneless pork tenderloin or center-cut pork loin, trimmed fo fat and gristle
Marinade/Sauce: (mix together in a bowl)
¾ cup hoisin sauce
5 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
½ cup water
1 bag (9 ounces) shredded broccoli slaw (3 ½ cups)
1 ½ cups grated carrots
½ pound angel hair pasta
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil.
2. Put the trimmed pork in a bowl. Spoon one-third of the Marinade over the pork and spread to cover the surface. Pour the remaining marinade into a small saucepan and set aside. Place the pork and its marinade in the prepared pan and roast, periodically spooning the marinade on top, for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove and let cool slightly. Cut across the grain, into thin slices. Pour the remaining marinade/sauce into a small saucepan and set aside.
3. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the broccoli slaw and shredded carrots and blanch briefly for 40 seconds. Remove with a handled strainer and place in a colander. Refresh under cold, running water, and drain again. Bring the water back to a boil again and add the noodles. Cook a bit less than the package instructions indicate, until al dente. Drain the noodles into a colander and rinse under cold, running water. Drain again and using kitchen shears, cut into 4-6-inch lengths. Toss the noodles with the toasted sesame oil and arrange on a deep serving platter or in a bowl, leaving a slight well in the center.
4. Bring the remaining marinade/sauce mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally. Keep warm in the saucepan.
5. Arrange the broccoli slaw and carrots in separate piles over the noodles, reserving a few of the shredded carrots to garnish. Place the slices of roasted pork in the center and drizzle a bit of the warm sauce over the slices. Sprinkle the top with the reserved shredded carrots and pour the remaining sauce in a bowl to serve. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled.
© Copyright Nina Simonds 2014