It wasn’t like it was rocket science, or some exquisite, gourmet creation involving the most expensive items out there. The ingredients were quite simple: pork belly, spices, onions, cilantro & tomatoes. That’s it. What left me so incredibly smitten was the combination of flavors, the way such a simple lineup of ingredients could form such an intensely flavorful, aromatic dish.
I can’t recall exactly which cookbook she said she got the recipe from; nor can I recall exactly what went into the dish, since I was busy playing sous chef & server while she handled the big stuff. All I remember are the enticing aromas & flavors that left me addicted to their memory for days afterward.
Since then, I’m occasionally struck with a random craving for that type of experience again: a warm, inviting plate of savory, spicy goodness that’s equal parts exotic and comforting. This weekend I decided it was finally time to put the craving to rest and doctor up my own version of this meal. And with the help of this amazing deal, I scored on some pork loin, I got to work.
Pork belly enthusiasts are probably gasping in horror right now at the fact that I would forsake the sacred belly for tender, meaty loin. It’s not that I don’t like pork belly; how can anyone resist such flavorful, porky, fatty goodness?
But that’s the thing: pork belly is very fatty, a lot fattier than I care for under normal circumstances and, therefore, something I won’t normally buy (that & the fact that it takes a bit of hunting to find in my neck of the woods). Lean pork loin makes this a much lighter meal without sacrificing a bit of flavor. The tomatoes, onion, cilantro & spices take care of the rest. I added a bit more texture by adding some crisp red bell peppers, then cooked up a nice put of udon noodles over which I could spoon my tasty little concoction. The result was a delicious, deceptively easy to make dinner that I’d gladly eat a couple of days in a row.