If you've been reading this blog regularly, you've probably figured out that my surreptitious goal is get everyone out of their regular grocery store comfort zone and into Asian markets. Don't be afraid! You can find wonderful treasures at your local Korean or Japanese market, for example, like thin-sliced pork belly and fragrant shiso leaves.
Shiso is a fragrant herb that tastes not quite minty, not quite basil-y. It's perfumey like both of those herbs, but it has a subtle, flowery flavor all its own. You often find it in sushi rolls (maki) paired with ume (pickled plum). Pork belly is basically bacon, but unsmoked and cured. Together these two items are sublime.
The next time you are looking to impress your friends and family, try these super-simple pork and shiso skewers. Only four ingredients...once you find them. My brother, sister and I cooked together on Friday night (something I love to do) and this is what we came up with.
PORK BELLY AND SHISO SKEWERS
We made these as well as chicken-shiso skewers and shiitake mushroom-green onion skewers. When you make skewers part of the fun, I think, is making lots of different ones.
- 1 package (about a pound) of thinly-sliced pork belly
- 1 bunch of fresh shiso washed and spun dry
- sesame oil
Season pork belly with salt and sesame oil. Place one shiso lead atop each piece of pork belly. Roll up, skewer and grill. Optional: add a piece of green onion and roll that up, too.