Pork and Peppers, Kyoto Style

So, this meal is my take on an exceptional dinner that was cooked for us by a Japanese friend. He is a ceramicist and makes the most beautiful ceramics I’ve ever seen. He also moonlights at the local (and frickin awesome) craft beer brewery, Kyoto Brewing Company. Once a month he invites people to his house slash studio and cooks up a feast… And I mean feast. We arrived at 8pm and food was still being served (alongside a keg of craft brew and a couple of bottles of pre-mixed dry martinis) until about midnight! 

Nom.

I love the Japanese way of serving food – when it’s done it comes out. You eat as its ready so it’s all fresh and yummy. Kind of like Spanish tapas style. So anyway, we were served the juiciest pork steaks I’ve ever had the pleasure of putting in my mouth, along with a tomato and cucumber salad and these tasty af peppers. I didn’t ask for the recipes (stupidly) but here’s my take on what we ate, with just a few tweaks. Enjoy! 

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Kyoto Peppers and Pork with Garlic Rice and Tomato and Daikon Salad
(serves two)

Tomato and daikon salad:

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6 yellow cherry toms
6 red cherry toms
6cm piece of daikon (skin removed). Use radishes if you can’t find daikon.
4 oba leaves (the most delicious Japanese herb, no most delicious of all the herbs… The herb Queen in my opinion). Use a mixture of mint, basil and coriander if you can’t find oba)
1 Spring onion

Dressing (same as sauce for garlic rice)

1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp moron
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil (mine has added chilies as I enjoy the spice!)

Half the cherry tomatoes, quarter the daikon lengthways and then thinly slice so that they look like little triangles. Shred the oba leaves and thinly slice the spring onion. Add all ingredients to the bowl and add ONLY 1 tbsp of the sauce mixture from above (the reminder will be used in the garlic rice).

Kyoto peppers 

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Red and green Japanese peppers
Dark soy sauce
Sesame oil
Bonito flakes (you can buy from a Japanese supermarket, don’t worry if you can’t find them-the peppers are just as tasty without!)

Mix 1 tsp sesame oil with 1 tsp soy sauce, coat the peppers and oven until soft but still with a bite. Plate up and cover with a handful of bonito flakes.

Garlic rice

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1 cup cooked Japanese rice
3 cloves garlic
1/2 spring onion
Sesame oil
Dressing from above

Chop the garlic into small pieces and fry in a tbsp of sesame oil, be careful not to burn! They only take a minute or so to cook, they want a little color but still to be soft. Remove the garlic from the oil. Fry the cooked Japanese rice in the oil from the garlic for about 2 mins or until heated through. Move the rice to one side of the pan and add the spring onion to the other. Fry for a further 1 min. Add the sauce to the pan and mix all together. Serve piping hot.

Pork


2 big fat juicy pork steaks (size totally dependent on your level of hunger at the time)
Pepper 
Oil (olive or vegetable)

Rub a tiny bit of oil onto each side of the pork steak so it is covered but not dripping. Season with pepper. Leave the steaks to acclimatise to room temperature. Fry those bad boys up, I like to use a griddle pan for the yummy charcoal lines. Cook to your liking but remember it is recommended that pork is NOT served pink. An average (300g steak) takes around 5 mins on one side, 3 mins on the other and 2 mins to rest.

Plate everything up and tuck on in! Cheese plate to end is optional (and very hard to find in Japan! I found these beauties in Meidi ya)…

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