Happy Chinese New Year!
(Incidentally, if you’re perusing my site for Asian-inspired Paleo recipes to help ring in the Year of the Snake, please don’t attempt to make Tong Zi Dan. That particular dish brings you good luck only on April 1st.)
I’m in the middle of a week of graveyard shifts at the hospital, but when I got home in the morning, the boys greeted me with a cheery chorus of “Gung hay fat choy!” (Then, they held out their hands for their red envelopes. Even at this early age, they know not to turn down free money.)
By tradition, we’re supposed to eschew meat on the first day of the lunar calendar, but that ain’t happening in our house – especially given that we’ve got a big pork belly in the defrost bowl waiting to get transformed into crispy porcine goodness.
I’ve been tinkering with a new recipe for siew yoke (燒肉) – a.k.a. crispy Chinese roast pork belly – though I’m finding that the preparation is a bit intensive. (I’m not even going to show you the pictures of me using tweezers to yank out the hair from the skin.)
First I mixed together a marinade…
…then I grabbed a medieval instrument of torture….
…and stabbed a bunch of tiny holes in the skin.
I blanched the pierced skin with a scalding-hot alkaline solution….
…rubbed on the marinade…
…and stuck the pork belly in the fridge to marinate until tomorrow.
Since I was already in a cooking groove, I decided to keep going. I grabbed two racks of lamb…
…sliced them up into tiny chops…
…and seasoned them with salt and pepper.
I improvised a quick chimichurri sauce using some rinsed salted capers…
…herbs, vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil.
With the sun out, I happily pulled out our backyard grill and cooked the tiny chops.
I transferred the chops directly from the grill to the sauce and let the meat rest for 10 minutes.
I took a taste…
…and so did my Mini Me. (Well, the older one, anyway.)
And that’s how I pre-made dinner before heading to bed.
When I woke up in the evening, we simply re-heated our chops and roasted a tray of broccoli, and supper was on the table in a flash. I even had time to squeeze in some quality time with the boys and their Legos.
Lil-O showed me his latest Lego mini figure acquisition: Melicious back in her roller derby days!
See the resemblance?
She’s so fierce – kicking ass, taking names, and…
…facing off against evil enemies (when she’s not penning awesome cookbooks).
How did everyone else celebrate the first day of the Lunar Calendar?3