Saturday, November 26, 2016

Lomi Noodles with Pork Belly, Baby Bok Choy and Sweet Banana Flower Sauce

     Pork Belly and Noodles!
     One of the hot items in recent creative cooking trends is pork belly.  There are so many great traditional pork belly recipes around the world, that creating a totally new pork belly recipe is not an easy task.  It seems like every island in the South Pacific has great pork recipes.  Some of the very best pork belly recipes can be found in the Philippines.  Most Philippine pork belly recipes involve slow cooking over a long period of time.  
     Today's Pork Belly and Lomi Noodles recipe is not really a slow cooked entrée, but it does feature flavors that are common in Filipino cuisine.  Tart tasting banana flowers, sugar and soy sauce create a traditional Philippine cuisine flavor that is perfect for pork.  Lomi Noodles are thick fresh egg noodles that are popular in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.  

     Pork Belly, Baby Bok Choy and Sweet Banana Flower Sauce with Lomi Noodles:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Lomi Noodles are fairly easy to make.  Fresh Lomi Noodles are also available in Asian food markets.  
     Whole banana blossoms, banana flowers and dried banana flowers can be found in Asian food markets.  The long thin banana flowers are revealed when peeling off layers of banana blossom petals.Banana flowers have a bitter flavor.     
     Step 1:  Keep a pot of water boiling, so the fresh Lomi Noodles can be cooked later in the recipe.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan or mini wok over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add about 6 ounces of skinned pork belly that is cut into large bite size cube shape pieces.
     Sauté the pork belly till it is light golden brown on all sides.
     Step 3:  Add 2 crushed garlic cloves.
     Add 1/4 cup of julienne sliced onion.
     Sauté till the garlic and onions turn a golden color.
     Step 4:  Add 1 cup of light pork broth.
     Add 1/4 cup of rice wine.
     Add 1 tablespoon of thin soy sauce.   
     Add 1 tablepoon of rice vinegar.
     Add 2 tablespoons of raw sugar.
     Stir the ingredients.
     Step 5:  Add 10 dried banana flowers that have been rinsed.
     Add 1 pinch of crushed dried red pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of yellow curry powder.
     Add sea salt and white pepper to taste.
     Bring the sauce to a gentle boil.
     Step 6:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Gently simmer till the banana flowers are tender and the flavors meld.  (About 5 minutes)
     Step 7:  Raise the temperature to medium heat.
     Mix 2 teaspoons of cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of cold water to make a slurry. 
     Add the slurry while stirring, to thicken the sauce to a very thin consistency.
     Step 8:  Add 4 baby bok choy that are cut in half lengthwise.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce, till the bok choy is al dente and the sauce is a thin consistency that can glaze a spoon.
     Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     Step 9:  Place 1 portion of fresh Lomi Noodles in the pot of boiling water.  
     When the noodles are fully cooked and hot, drain the water off of the noodles.  (Fresh Lomi Noodles only take about 1 minute to cook!) 
     Step 10:  Add the lomi noodles to the ingredients in the pan.  
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Step 11:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the Lomi Noodles, pork belly, and baby bok choy on a plate.  Try to expose a few of the pork belly pieces, banana flowers and baby bok choy on the surface, so they can be seen.
     Pour any remaining sweet banana flower sauce over the noodles.      
     No garnish is necessary!

     Philippine style bitter sweet banana flower sauce is tasty with pork belly and bok choy! 

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