I still had some soy pudding and lime sugar from the Alinea beef recipe I made recently and I hate to waste any (or at least waste much since that recipe made a lot of lime sugar) so for the pork belly I again thought about Asian flavors. This time it was more Japanese though. For the pork belly I marinated it in teriyaki sauce in a sealed FoodSaver bag and then cooked it sous vide for 12 hours at 170F. It was then cooled, and chilled with a weight on it to make sure it stays nice and flat. For service, I seared te pork, glazed it with Teriyaki sauce and sprinkled it with sesame seeds. This belly was skinless and I had a tough time getting a nice flat -seared cross hatch pattern on it. I am going to try leaving the skin on next time to see how that works out.
This was my first time using burdock root, a very common product in Japanese cooking. It’s like a long carrot with brown skin. I’ve read recipes where it is cooked and mashed, rolled in beef in yakitori and in salads. This particular recipe is from Shizuo Tsuji’s great book, “Japanese Cooking A Simple Art“. The burdock is peeled and shaved thin with a peeler. It is then sauteed in oil and seasoned with sake, soy and sugar. It looks like Linguine noodles with a slightly crunchy texture and a delicious nutty taste. This, along with the pork of course, was the highlight of the dish. I ate the leftover burdock “salad” cold the next day, very good as well.
The pork is served on a sushi rice block. I cooked it also following Tsuji’s instructions. It’s seasoned with a little sugar and rice wine vinegar. The bok choy was cooked in dashi (staple Japanese stock, made with giant kelp and bonito fish flakes) in which a little miso was mixed, basically miso soup. I wish I could say everything in this dish was perfect, but the bok choy was certainly wrong. It looked odd on the plate and tasted funky. Also the lime sugar was superfluous. The dish would’ve been perfect with only the rice, pork, burdock and soy pudding.