Last night was a very tasty dinner that required a little advanced planning. This pork roast requires 24 hours of marinading for the best flavor. I would be interesting in trying to let the pork marinade for 48 hours. There was some good flavor going on, but I'm wondering if longer is better in this instance.
I served the pork with my carrot/cilantro salad.
For the salad, I started with the recipe located here as inspiration. I used the vegetable peeler to make ribbons from the carrots. The cilantro was very tender, so I didn't chop it, just torn it apart. (mistake!) The dressing was lime juice, rice vinegar and olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper. I didn't have any sesame seeds or sesame oil; which I wanted to use for an additional layer of flavor and texture. The salad was good, except the cilantro really was over powering! Next time, no matter how rustic and easy I'm trying to make something with cilantro, I will chop it.
The pork was really easy. Mix, pour, marinate, roast, rest, slice, serve. And you can do most of the work the night before. Don't be tempted to add an additional star anise pod, you'll see in the recipe, it's flavor is strong and aromatic, which is good, but like the cilantro in the salad, can be over powering. Use just one! Next time I make this, I might consider brush with some reserved marinade/sauce, then placing under the broiler for a minute prior to serving, to get the outer layer extra caramelized and crunchy!
Leftovers of this pork would be divine in stir-fried rice!
Chinese Barbecued Pork
Adapted from: 5 Second Rule
3-4 lb pork loin roast, cut into 2 large pieces
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 TB dry sherry
1 tsp 5-spice powder
2 scallions, smashed
2 stems cilantro, smashed
1 pod star anise
Mix sugar, soy sauce, sherry and 5-spice.
Place pork in a dish or zip top bag, pour soy mixture over the pork. Add scallions, cilantro and star anise. Zip the bag shut and give everything a good solid squish around.
Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Turn and squish once in awhile.
Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and parchment (the sugar will make a huge mess as it caramelizes, the foil makes clean up easy, the parchment prevents the roast from sticking and tearing the foil). Remove pork from the marinade and place in the center of the baking sheet.
Strain and reserve the marinade. Simmer reserved marinade for at least 10 minutes, watch carefully as it reduces to a thick sauce.
Roast pork for 30 minutes, basting once or twice with reserved sauce. Flip the pork, baste again, and roast for an additional 10 mintues. Until the pork caramelizes and just begins charring at the edges.
Transfer meat to cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Drizzle some additional sauce over the sliced pork.