Porcine dreams and a lazy recipe ... Char Siew with ready pastes



It's lunch time. There are rotis that Banu made yesterday. And some potato and pea sabzi. At some point I will need to get up. Go to the canteen, heat it, and eat it. I am hungry. Yet, I am in no hurry. I know K says says that I need to realise that every meal will not be great. The mind understands. Not the heart.

And so my thoughts wandered, towards pork, my favourite meat. My heart yearns for it. Just what doctors and medical science warn you against. The old science versus poetry, rationality versus emotions arguments.

We rarely cooked pork at home. The idea was to restrict the cholesterol sins of lust and porcine flesh to outside of home. Pork was not cooked in our houses while growing up. It is not a meat I am familiar with unlike, say, Goan Catholics.

I have been experimenting with pork quite a bit these days. My friends are my er, guinea pigs. I cook the pork in an Oriental theme with ready made sauces and mixes. Getting the consistency of the meat right has been my biggest challenge.

I think I have finally cracked a good way to get the texture right. Here's how ...

  • Pork chops. Cut into small cubes. As suggested and bought from Meghna Agra, Pali Market, Bandra
  • Marinated with Lee Kum Char Siu sauce, easily available, gifted to me by my friend and food Santa, Ranjit. A touch of honey. Less than the recipe calls for. Seasoned with some fish sauce. Thai, I know, but I love fish sauce. Add some chopped bird's eye chillies if you want. Would irritate the Chinese even more, but the Thais would understand
  • Microwave for ten minutes
  • Transfer contents on to a non stick pan. Slow cook ever a low fame till the pork begins to char a bit and the sauce becomes sticky. About 20 minutes with very little tending
  • Take it from me, and from those who ate with us that night, meat was rarely as seductive and sensuous
And now I will head to the cafeteria with my roti and alu. While I wish I could be back at Singapore's Chinatown, tearing into some real char siew.

So help me God.
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