HELLO friends, I am back and extremely excited to cook in my kitchen again. The 3 weeks family holiday in Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok was so very enjoyable, despite the H&H (hot & humid) weather. Of course, the highlight for me was to meet my family and friends. Best of all, I met my super duper adorable baby nephew who has quite the chubby cheeks *pinch*pinch*. And then there was the eating, lots and lots of eating – we ate from places to places, tasted various Malaysian and Thai dishes while reminiscing all that authentic flavours and spices … savouring, remembering every single bite and taste. Even my mom has a few new dishes to show off! We ate like there’s no tomorrow.
“With the first bite, time stood still – nothing can distract me now. All that matters is that precise enjoyment of breaking down that all too familiar authentic flavours and taste that I so remember and treasure.”
Now that we’re back, we have a small problem and that is my under-stocked kitchen! So, I went easy with our dinner meal yesterday and made donburi (a Japanese rice bowl dish). This dish is so simple and only requires 6 ingredients. Simply speaking, in a donburi, cooked chicken, meat, vegetable or seafood is served on a bed of steamed rice in a large bowl and then deliciously sauced. And yes, it is that easy!
The use of shiso leaf in this dish sparked subtle hints of minty flavour into the sauce, making it very tasty! It’s uniquely seen as a large teardrop-shaped green, purple leaf with jagged edges. You may not have heard of shiso leaf but I’m pretty sure you’ve seen or tasted it, perhaps in a Japanese restaurant?
Pork Belly with Shiso Butter Soy Sauce Donburi (adapted from Aki Watanabe’s Donburi)
250 g pork belly strips, sliced into 5cm pieces
12 whole shiso leaves, finely shred and set aside some for garnish
20 g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
3 tbsp mirin
1 tsp vegetable oil
1. Heat oil in a frying pan and pan-fry pork belly pieces until brown. Remove and set aside.
2. In the same fry pan on medium heat, melt the butter. Then mix in soy sauce and mirin. Stir and add pork and shredded shiso leaves to glaze. Continue to stir and mix them well while the sauce continues to bubble gently. Once the shiso leaves blackened a little in a matter of about 2-3 minutes, turn off the heat.
3. Scoop steamed rice into 2 deep bowls. Top with glazed pork pieces and shiso leaves. Pour that sweet irresistible sauce over the pork. Garnish with the remaining shredded shiso leaves.