Monday, 6 June 2011

2 ways with Char Siu Pork: #1 - Char Siu Pork Wraps

I'm not that into sandwiches. So lunchtimes can be a time where I can struggle to find something good to eat. I gave up on the sandwich shops near my work a long time ago. The good ones cost a small fortune and the bad ones..... Well, I am sure we have all encountered those sandwiches which sit in nasty plastic boxes on a refridgerated lorry for hours before sitting in a chiller cabinet for a few more hours, waiting to be bought. By the time you do, they are soggy and cardboardy. Not much of a treat after a morning's worth of hard work!

Some shops do wraps, but again, if they have been knocking around too long, they too taste past their best. The only way, therefore, is DIY; make your wrap of choice by yourself. You get something as fresh as you like, for a fraction of the price of a sandwich shop and because you have to buy a pack of 6-8 wraps, you have plenty left for the rest of the week! Even Charlie Sheen would agree that you're winning!

This idea for a tasty lunch came from my trip to See Woos in Greenwich. See Woo is a Chinese supermarket which sells everything you need to make your own Chinese, Thai and Japanese food. They keep fresh fruit, vegetables, and herbs for any kind of Pan-Asian cooking. Their freezer section has all those wonderful things you get from the take-away; spring rolls, edemame beans, sesame toasts. If you are more adventurous: sliced hot pot meats, mussels, prawns and whole fish. They also sell a full range of rice, noodles, sauces and tea. Some of my favourite things there are the cooked meats (crispy belly of pork and char siu pork) and their baked goods (particularly the buns).

On my last visit I bought a large piece of Char siu pork. If you have never tried this before, it is wonderfully tasty, glossy, barbequed pork. Usually made of shoulder, it has been marinated and glazed with honey, red tofu, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine (shaosing) and five spice before being cooked. Sound delicious? Because it is!

So I am going to post my Char siu wrap recipe and a Thai style salad for you (to follow), since these were the dishes I made with my bumper size piece of pork. You can make your own roasted pork for these recipes, but I wanted to make my life a little easier for myself.

Here is Nigel Slater's recipe for making the pork from scratch:
This recipe comes from Chinese food author Deh-Ta Hsiung:

100g char siu pork
1 wheat flour tortilla
2 spring onions, cut in half vertically
1 handful rocket leaves
1 large / 2 small ripe tomatoes, sliced
good dollop hoi sin sauce

Slice up the pork finely.
Put the tortilla on a plate and spread hoi sin sauce in a strip across the middle.
Lay the pork on the sauce.
Add the tomatoes and spring onions.
Add the rocket.
Roll up and cut in half. If your wrap threatens to unravel, use cocktail sticks to pin it together.

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