...It's the most wonderful time of the year
It's the hap-happiest season of all
With those holiday greetings and great happy meetings...
Oops, it's not Christmas yet. This song is playing over and over again in my head. The year 2011 is almost over. Can you believe it?! I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are going to have a fabulous Christmas!
My inspiration for this dish is from Joule, a modern with Korean influenced restaurant in Seattle, WA. I had been wanting to come here. My wish was granted on my birthday. I ordered pork belly clam rice as a main dish. I was excited when I saw pork belly on the menu. I had to say I was disappointed. The pork belly wasn't roasted but steamed and cooked in a rice. It wasn't what I wanted. However, I ordered grilled beef tongue as an appetizer. Man, this was money! The beef tongue cooked perfectly and has a charred flavor from grilling. It was served with Asian pesto and some sauce. I'm not sure what's in the pesto or sauce but I got the idea.
As shown in my past post a way to cook pork belly that Lazaro from Lazaro Cooks suggested - slow cook and a low temperature, I've come to realize that my mom has cooked it by roasting it too! The difference is that my mom cooks in a really high temperature in a shorter period of time. I decided to try her way for this dish. I roasted at 450 F for about 45 mins or so. The skin turned out to be somewhat crispy and the meat was perfect. If you leave out skin, please adjust shorter time accordingly. So, I think it's up to you which way you like better. I encourage you to try both and let me know or you can suggest a new way for me to try!
|Espresso salt, black pepper, chopped garlic, and truffle oil|
I also made 2 marinades to see which one I like better. The first one is salt (I used espresso salt), pepper, chopped garlic, and truffle oil. The second marinade is a mix of pear puree, soy sauce, pepper, chopped garlic, seseme oil, Siracha, sugar, and vegetable oil. Yeah, the second is a winner. My friends who got to try confirmed that too. It has a sweetness from pear but not too much and has more flavor.
For Asian pesto, my version has cilantro, green onion, salt, lime juice, pepper, chili flakes, garlic, and olive oil. The secret sauce has lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and olive oil. I also served it with sea bass too. You can serve with either meat or seafood or both. I like variety and I am greedy so I want both - hahahaha.
Seasoned Sea Bass and Roasted Pork Belly with South East Asian sauce
Ingredients for Pear marinade:1 riped pear, peeled, pureed
1 Tbs soy sauce
1/2 Tbs seasoning sauce (Golden mountain brand). If you don't have it, you can use only soy sauce.
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs sesame oil
1 splash Siracha hot sauce
2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
Directions:Blend or mix everything together. Pour over pork belly. Let it marinade for at least 2 hrs or more.
Ingredients for Asian pesto:1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp chili flakes
1 garlic, peeled
Directions:Put everything in a food processor. While it's processing, add olive oil until it becomes like a paste and to your desire of thickness. Adjust seasonings.
|I call it secret sauce - SE Asian style|
Ingredients for Secreat Sauce:1 lime juice
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs fish sauce
Directions:Mix eveything together and put in a microwave for 15 secs for sugar to dissolve. Adjust flavor.
Cooking Seabass and Pork Belly:
Season with salt and pepper. Heat up a pan and add 2 Tbs butter and 1 Tbs olive oil. When butter melts and oil is hot, place seabass in a pan. Spoon melted butter over the fish repeatedly. Finish it in an oven. Cook until the fish becomes flaky.
For Pork belly,After marinade for at least 2 hours, discard marinade. Roast it on the oven at 450 F for 45 mins or so. If using thermometer, it should read 160 F. Let it sit for about 10 mins. Slice it.
|Cooking sea bass before finishing them in the oven|
Spread the pesto on a plate. Place pork belly and Sea bass on top. Drizzle with the secret sauce on pork and fish and also on the side.