GOHAN LAB/ Twice-cooked pork: Sweet and spicy seasonings give depth to Chinese dish ‘hui guo rou’

Editor’s observe: The concept of Gohan Lab is to assistance individuals make basic, tasty “gohan” (meals).

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If cooking is something you do only once in a while, it is handy to use pre-mixed seasonings or meal kits full with the essential ingredients.

But if you cook dinner on a regular basis, the range of flavors will extend if you have Chinese or ethnic seasonings on hand. The aim of the four-portion series starting off this 7 days is to learn seasonings from close to the environment.

1st arrives the Chinese dish “hui guo rou,” identified in Japan as “hoikoro.” The sweet and loaded Tianmian sauce (“tenmenjan”) and the doubanjiang, which is not only spicy but provides a subtle bitter aroma, are seasonings that add depth to the dish. While each were being initially fermented foodstuff, merchandise bought now differ in the elements utilised and how they are made.

In kanji figures, hui guo rou is created as “return pot meat.” Meat is cooked to start with and eradicated, then returned to the pot following the vegetables are stir-fried. The methods are quick, and the vegetables have to have not be parboiled but stir-fried with a little bit of drinking water.

At the time you get the hang of it, you can improvise by applying greens in your fridge or switching the meat to rooster or thick deep-fried tofu. The spiciness can also be adjusted by the total of seasonings, and you will sense a surer perception of accomplishment than when cooking with a meal kit.

How very long is storage time period after opening bottle?

How speedily should we use up seasonings like the doubanjiang following opening them?

In accordance to a spokesperson for Youki Foodstuff, a food items maker that handles seasonings from close to the earth, an sign is “one to two months in the refrigerator” just after opening for seasonings that consist of h2o.

Granular seasonings these kinds of as the chicken soup base are excellent for “two to 3 months in the refrigerator.” Doubanjiang can also be retained in the freezer, and the spokesperson claims, “The indicated periods are just advisable by the manufacturer. If the seasonings are managed well, they can be utilised for a more time time period.”

If you desire to learn various techniques to use them, it is helpful to use websites of seasoning suppliers or retrieval sites in Japanese these types of as “Ryori Memo” (cooking memo) made available by asahi.com the place you can lookup by typing in the names of elements.

Simple COOKING Technique

(Supervised by Katsuhiko Yoshida in the cooking element and Midori Kasai in the cookery science facet)

 * Ingredients (Provide two)

130 grams pork stomach slices, 150 grams cabbage, 2 inexperienced peppers (“piman” selection), 1/3 extended onion (“naganegi” assortment), 40 grams eryngii mushroom, 1 clove garlic, 1 Tbsp oil, 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp Tianmian sauce, 1 tsp doubanjiang, 1 tsp sugar

 About 385 kcal and 2.5 grams salt for every part

1. Reduce cabbage and environmentally friendly pepper into chunk-measurement pieces. Slice extended onion at an angle. Cut size of eryngii in fifty percent, slice lengthwise. Finely slice garlic also. Lower pork slices into width of 4 cm (Image A). Evaluate seasonings. Tianmian sauce could be changed by 1 Tbsp each of miso and sugar.

2. Pour oil in frying pan and area on medium heat. Insert pork and cook dinner whilst loosening pieces. When shade has transformed, switch off heat and eliminate meat. Do not wipe pan.

3. Flip on heat once again, increase all veggies and stir-fry on substantial heat. When vegetables grow to be tender, include 100 ml water and seasonings and combine (Picture B).

4. When seasonings have absent around, return meat and blend gently as if bringing the elements jointly (Photo C). It is done when meat and veggies are mixed. Some sauce may possibly continue being.

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Katsuhiko Yoshida is the owner chef of Jeeten, a cafe in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Uehara district offering Chinese property cooking.

Midori Kasai is a professor at Ochanomizu College and chairwoman of the Japan Society of Cookery Science.

 Organized Version

Pickled daikon radish

This is a compact side dish to get pleasure from the contrast in between the solid taste and the refreshing flavor of daikon radish. Cut 150 grams daikon into dices 2 cm on a side. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt, mix very well and depart for 10 minutes. Tightly squeeze out h2o and area in a plastic bag. Include 1 Tbsp Tianmian sauce, 1 tsp each of doubanjiang and sesame oil and knead frivolously by way of the bag. The taste will settle following about 30 minutes. It could be held in the fridge for two to 3 days.


Doubanjiang is a seasoning like spicy miso wherever broad beans are fermented by “koji” mould, combined with salt and chili pepper and matured. Tianmian sauce is like sweet miso the place koji is additional to wheat flour and salt. Umami and sweetness are designed when the enzymes of the koji mold break down the proteins and carbs. The aroma is improved through heating.

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From The Asahi Shimbun’s Gohan Lab column

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