Monday, 7 November 2011

Karate Chop!

Cotoletta di Maiale con Sansho, Pepe & Riso
Sansho Pork Chop, with Red Peppers & Rice

Now I don't know much about martial arts- but I DO know that a karate chop is apt to knock you off your feet... as is this simple dish here! I was told at the Kulinart food fair the other week, that Sansho pepper is traditionally used with fattier food: pork belly, eel, salmon etc, so this evening I decided to do just that.

Not knowing much about Japanese cuisine, of course I did things my way- but I can't have made any too drastic mistakes, as the result was pretty good! I decided to keep things simple, the flavors clear and distinct and the combination of sweet, savory and electrifying, made for a great dinner! By no means Japanese- but by any means exciting, tasty, simple and FUN!

And this is how I made it...

The meat I prepared was a boneless pork chop. I cranked up the heat and started frying the  meat in a dry pan, holding it with tongs so that I could brown the outer edges first. I then seared each side of the chop quickly and reduced the heat to a low simmer. Which gave me time to prepare the bell pepper.

I cut a red pepper into thin strips, sprinkled it with salt and a few caraway seeds, and let it cook in its own juices for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. I added a hint of sesame oil and a light drizzle of honey and carried on stirring for a further 2-3 minutes.

Apart from quickly sautéeing a Spring onion, which made for a nice garnish along with a couple of sprigs of thyme- that is almost all the work that was involved- all that was left to do was to EAT!

I served the chop on a bed of rice, with a layer of the caramelized peppers and a light sprinkle of Sansho pepper, a hint of sea salt and the aforementioned thyme. The Sansho has a wonderful kick to it and an intense lemon and lime-type flavor. If you like lemon grass and coriander, you are likely to enjoy this! Just be sure that your taste buds are ready for it!

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