Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Watalian Pork in Cabbage Leaves

I found a great recipe for pork fillet dipped in beaten egg and coarsely ground hazelnuts, then rolled in cabbage leaves and baked in chicken stock flavored with cumin and caraway seeds....then bedded down in a cheesy sauce made with the remaining stock. Sounds wonderful, but somehow this is what happened when it moved into my lazy kitchen...

Watalian Pork and Cabbage Rolls

1 liter of water simmered with whatever chicken you feel like making stock out of. (Wings can be grilled, drumlets simmered adobo-style, and other meat could be turned into sandwiches or salad, but really needs to become chicken cream croquettes). With the caraway flavoring, excess stock is best suited to a germanic cabbage/potato soup.

Add to the broth:

100 ml white wine or 2 T mild vinegar and about 1 t sugar

1-2 T cumin seeds

1-2 T caraway seeds

If you have no access to cumin or caraway, try warm, bright/aromatic herbs such as rosemary with ginger, or ginger in the broth, with shiso or yuzu garnish

Salt to taste

Bring stock to the boil.

About 4 big or 8 small cabbage leaves. Take a whole cabbage, and cut right through the bases, then ease the leaves off from the base upward. Don't fret about minor splits. Cut some of the thickness off the main rib, and toss each leaf into the simmering stock. Pull out and drain when a little soft. Some seeds will adhere, don't fret.

1 pork fillet - divide into portions and slice each portion. Pork fillet is sometimes very cheap, but if not, "roast" is probably more tender.

2 beaten eggs

1 pack good quality ground sesame (usually about 70 g)

1/2 t salt

Mix eggs and ground sesame, drop pork in and coat all sides.

Roll up each serving. This is so easy, no zillions of ingredients, no kneading of meat mixture - just slip onto a leaf, slop on more mix, roll up, and slap in a pot. Done. Doesn't need to be too neat, the egg encourages it to hold together anyway.

Bring a little of the stock to the boil in a frypan or saucepan, pop in the rolls, cover, and simmer about 20 mins till cooked.

Serve with just a little of the cooking liquid, and a drizzle of ponzu (citrus juice/soy sauce) on top, or ginger juice and shoyu...as you prefer.  You could slice partway through each roll to make the dish more chopstick-friendly.

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