Wednesday, October 13, 2010

simmered eggplant with slow roasted kakuni (braised pork)

1 pound pork loin (cut crosswise into halves)
2 tsp. vegetable oil
1 large eggplant
1 1/2 cups dashi broth (recipe below)

simmering liguid:
1 quart water
4 tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup sake
3/4 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup reserved liquid
1/4 cup dashi broth (recipe below)
2 tsp. sake
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. potato starch
2 tsp. water

vegetable oil for deep frying
chives (thinly sliced)
dijon mustard

dashi broth:
8 cups water
2 pieces of dashi konbu (about 5"x5")
1 1/2 cup bonito flakes (packed)
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/3 cup mirin
2 tbsp. sugar

cook time: 1 hour 30 mins.
place the 8 cups of water and the konbu pieces in large pan. bring to a boil then lower heat to low, cover and low simmer for 30 mins. remove the konbu pieces and add in 1 cup of the bonito flakes. cover and low simmer for another 30 mins. strain the broth into a bowl, and add liquid back to the pan. add the remaining bonito flakes to the broth and low simmer for another 30 mins. strain again, and pour broth back into the pan. add in the soy sauce, mirin, and sugar and mix together. cool and place in the refrigerator.

broth will last 3-4 days chilled in the refrigerator or pour into ice cube trays and freeze for later use.makes about 8 cups of dashi broth.

eggplant and kakuni:
heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. when smoking hot, add the porn loin and saute until slightly browned all over. in a dutch oven, add all the ingredients of the simmering liquid together with the pork loin, and simmer on low for 4 hours. reserve 1/2 cup of the simmering liquid for later.

when the pork is almost done, prepare the eggplant. cut off the tip and score a few lines on the skin to prevent the eggplant from exploding. heat the oil to around 340 degrees and deep fry until soft, about 4 mins. plunge into water and peel off the skin. cut lengthwise in half. in a small sauce pan add in the dashi broth, bring to a simmer, and remove from heat and set aside.

for the sauce, in a small cup, dissolve the potato starch in water. in a medium sauce pan add the reserved liquid, dashi broth, sake, soy sauce, and sugar and bring to a boil. lower the heat and add in the potato starch to thicken the sauce. cut the pork into bite size pieces. cut the eggplant lengthwise into 2-3 pieces. arrange onto a plate and ladle the thickened sauce over. garnish with chives, and a touch of mustard.

enjoy :)


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