An oriental twist on streaky slices – sweet, sour, spicy and sticky
What do you think you smell of?
My mum used to say that she could tell where people came from by how they smelt.
She’s a bit bonkers is my mum, and I stopped trying to reason with her on matters like this a long time ago.
The last time we had this discussion was probably a good 8-10 years ago when my husband and I were back in Singapore for a visit.
At that time, she argued that Chinese people have a kind of smell (a nice one obviously), and men like my husband ie ‘western/white’ (and please don’t think she/I are saying this in any racist way because we’re not), smell very differently (also nice but different though ).
She knows everyone has their own unique, personal smell but she still believes she can tell most nationalities apart by the way they collectively smell. To this day, I’m still not convinced but I love that she thinks that way.
She’s never really fully explained what the different nationalities of people actually smelt like to her either, save to say that she said my smell changed after I moved away.
Obviously, diet must have a large part to do with how we smell and my diet’s changed significantly since I moved away from Asia. However, if you believe that you are what you eat, then that unfortunately makes me smell like a …pig!?!
Why? Because pork is seriously my all-time favourite type of meat.
I suddenly realised that pork recipes on my blog probably outnumber other meats by at least 3 to 1, and I have yet another pork recipe to post today (she says blushing).
But what does this have to do with my story about my mum’s theory of smell?
Absolutely nothing whatsoever. Sorry.
Because I was writing up this recipe, it made me think about pork, and as I thought about pork, I suddenly realised how much of it I ate, which then triggered my memory of the surreal conversation I had with my mother all those years ago.
It’s been over a year since we’ve seen my mum so I’m going to make a mental note to ask her how I smell again the next time we see her. If there is any truth to her theory though, it’s best I feed her some of this pork first. She might not think I smell as piggy then if she reeks of it too.
As for this recipe, what can I say? If you’re a fan of pork like I am, I think you’ll love these streaky slices. They’re basically larger slices of the same cut of pork as streaky bacon that hasn’t been smoked. The marinade works for all cuts of pork too, and is brilliant if you’re barbecuing. It’s still less than 5 degrees here so I did ours in the oven though putting them under a grill will get you that lovely charred effect as well. I actually take a chef’s blow torch to burn the pork just around the edges when it comes out.
For this recipe, I make a lot of marinade and effectively bake the pork slices in all of the marinade so that they’re almost being poached by it in the oven. Half way, I pour off the marinade into a saucepan and simmer it down even more while the pork browns off in the oven.
As for the taste; it’s sweet, tangy, spicy and sour all at the same time, and you get all the stickiness of ribs without the mess.
All you really need is some plain rice and freshly steamed veg (no seasoning required) to help cut through the richness of the sauce.
If you manage to keep any pork left over, it tastes even better the next day, especially if you put it into a sandwich with some crisp lettuce and fresh tomatoes.
Lots of love
Sticky oven-baked streaky slices (Feeds 2-3 people)
5-6 streaky pork slices (skin off)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
1 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar (you can use red/white wine vinegar too)
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon chohula sauce (mild hot sauce with garlic)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon five spice powder
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 tablespoons golden syrup/honey
(extra – not for the marinade) 1 tablespoon hot sauce
(extra – not for the marinade) 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
(extra – not for the marinade) 2 teaspoons cornflour mixed with 2-3 teaspoons water
Put your pork slices, sauces and spices into a bowl and mix well. Allow to marinade for an hour or as long as possible.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Lay your slices flat on a baking tray or roasting dish, pouring all of the marinade over the meat. Cover with aluminium foil and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Remove the foil and bake your slices for another 10 minutes, turning once. There’ll still be quite a lot of liquid.
Pour this liquid into a saucepan but leave about 1-2 tablespoons in the pan with the pork.
Oven bake the streaky slices for another 15 – 20 minutes, turning and basting every 5-7 minutes. Remove and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing.
While your pork is still roasting, finish the glazing sauce. Set the marinade sauce to simmer and add the extra hot sauce and 1-2 tablespoons of water. When your pork is out of the oven and resting, thicken the sauce with the cornflour mixture. Pour this over your sliced pork and sprinkle the sesame seeds all over.
Serve with plain rice and steamed vegetables.