Archive for Pork

Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans

Ham hocks and beans go so well together.  For those who’ve never heard of it before, a ham hock is the pork knuckle and is usually salt-cured and smoked. It’s typically cooked long and slow until tender, with added beans and broth for the ultimate comfort food.

The Chamorro way to cook this is with mongo (or mung) beans and coconut milk. (Read below for what my grandmother and mom think about this addition. 😁)

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it.

HAM HOCKS WITH MONGO (MUNG) BEANS

 

You’ll need:

Mongo Beans:

  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)

 

Ham Hocks:

  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk

 

You can find my full, printable recipe at the bottom of this page.

 

The first thing we need to is prepare the mung beans.  Ideally you’ll do this the day before you intend to cook your ham hocks.

Place the dry beans in a medium sized bowl.

 

Add water and soak overnight.  Make sure to add enough water to go at least 2 inches above the beans.

 

The next morning, pour out the soaking water, if any is left. Rinse once more and drain.

Look how plump the beans have become after soaking in all that water overnight.

 

Add the mung beans to a medium sauce pan. Add more water, enough for it to reach about 2” above the beans.  Stir in the dashida, onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper.

 

Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low.  Simmer (covered) until the beans have softened, about 1 hour, stirring periodically. Add more water if required (you don’t want the beans cooking “dry”). Note: you should not need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.

This is what the beans look like after one hour of cooking.  Remove the pot from the heat and set the beans aside.  The beans will not be not fully cooked at this point.  It will continue cooking with the ham hocks later.

 

Place the ham hocks in a large pot.

Note: Smoked ham hocks are usually what’s used for this dish.  However, I could only find “regular, uncooked/raw” ham hocks.  I will make a note of recipe adjustments where required for when using smoked ham hocks.

 

Add water until the ham hocks are submerged.  

 

Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water, being careful not to burn yourself.  Don’t worry about seasoning the water at this point since the intent is to cook off a lot of the fat beneath the skin as well as to tenderize the meat.

 

Repeat the previous step once more (add water, bring to a boil, cook, drain).

 

After you’ve drained the cooking water, this is what the ham hocks should look like.  This is optional, but I like to cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and discard the thick skin.  Place the cut pieces back into the pot.

 

Add the diced onions, soy sauce, vinegar, black pepper and liquid smoke.  If you’re using smoked ham hocks, omit the liquid smoke.

 

Cook the ham hocks as if you’re cooking estufao.  Cook until the liquid has reduced—you want a relatively dry pot (no or not too much gravy/kådu).  This should take about 10-15 minutes over medium-low heat.

 

When the liquid has dried down, add more water (as much water for the amount of kådu you want, but keep in mind that you’ll be adding coconut milk and the cooked mung beans got the pot as well).  I added 3 cups of water.

 

Turn the heat up to medium; cook for a few minutes, just long enough for the water to heat up (achote powder dissolves better in hot liquid).  Add the achote powder, stirring until it dissolves in the liquid.

 

Add the partially cooked mung beans to the pot.  Taste and adjust your seasonings at this point.  I added a tiny bit more salt as the ham hocks I used were not smoked and needed a bit more flavor.

Turn the heat down to low.  Simmer for 45 more minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender.  If you want to cut down on the cooking time, you can transfer the mixture to a pressure cooker at this point.  I like to cook this the slower stovetop method as I can periodically check to see if I need to add more water if it’s drying down too much.  Speaking of which, if your mixture is drying down too much during this last hour of cooking, add some water, about a half cup at a time.  Don’t forget that toward the end of the cooking time, you’ll be adding more liquid in the form of coconut milk.

 

When the ham hocks are tender enough to your liking, stir in the coconut milk.

My grandmother and mother never added coconut milk to their ham hock kådu.  My grandmother always said you don’t eat pork with coconut milk.  I rather like it myself. 😉

 

Serve with hot steamed rice and enjoy!

 

Ham Hocks with Mongo (Mung) Beans
 
Author:
Ingredients
Mongo Beans:
  • 1 bag mung beans
  • 1 tablespoon Dashida seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Water (initially, 2 inches above the level of beans)
Ham Hocks:
  • 1 package ham hocks (smoked, if you can find it), about 3-4 large pieces in a package
  • Water
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup vinegar
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 package achote powder
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (omit if you are using smoked ham hocks)
  • 1 can coconut milk
Instructions
Mongo Beans:
  1. Place the beans in a medium sized bowl. Add water to 2 inches above beans and soak overnight. The next morning, pour out any remaining soaking water. Rinse the beans and drain.
  2. Place the soaked beans in a medium sized pot. Add more water, again up to 2 inches above the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer (covered) for one hour. Add more water if required. Note: you shouldn’t need to add more water if you’ve soaked the beans overnight.
Ham Hocks:
  1. Place the ham hocks in a large pot. Add water to cover the ham hocks. Bring to a boil and cook for 30 minutes. Drain the water.
  2. Repeat once more (add water, cook 30 minutes, drain).
  3. Cut the ham hocks into smaller pieces and return to the pot.
  4. Add diced onions and garlic to the pot, as well as the soy sauce, vinegar and black pepper. Add liquid smoke if you are not using smoked ham hocks.
  5. Cook over medium-low heat until the liquid has dried down.
  6. Add more water (add as much as you’d like for a soup) to the pot (I added 3 cups of water). Cook for a few minutes to allow the water to heat up.
  7. Add the achote powder; stir until the powder dissolves in the water.
  8. Add the mung beans to the pot. Taste and adjust your seasonings.
  9. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 45 minutes to one hour, or until the ham hocks are tender. Add water periodically if the liquid is drying down too much.
  10. Stir in the coconut milk when the ham hocks are tender.
Serve with steamed rice and enjoy!

 

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Thai BBQ Pork

My Thai BBQ Pork is one recipe you’ll definitely want to try.  The secret is really in the marinade and basting sauce.  Cilantro, soy sauce, lots of garlic and fish sauce form the base for this yummy marinade.  Lime juice not only adds wonderful flavor to the meat, but the acid also serves to break down the meat, allowing the marinade to work its magic.

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The basting sauce, a mixture of rich coconut milk and some of the reserved marinade mixture gives you an added layer of flavor.  The heat from the grill caramelizes the basting sauce as the meat cooks, creating beautifully browned and juicy pork with a slightly sweet and savory coating.

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Now that I’ve got you drooling, here’s how to do it.

Place the cilantro (leaves AND stems) and garlic in a food processor along with the soy sauce.  You’ll need the liquid in there to help break down the cilantro.

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Pulse or grind the mixture until your mixture looks like the photo below.  You want the cilantro chopped as finely as possible.

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Place the cilantro mixture into a large bowl or pan.  Add the rest of the marinade ingredients to the bowl, stirring to combine it all.

Remove about 1/4 cup of the marinade mixture; place it into a small bowl along with coconut milk. This will be your basting sauce.

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Place the pork into the marinade.  Use your favorite cut of pork, but make sure you use something that has some fat; lean pork will dry out too quickly for this dish.  I like using pork shoulder or pork butt, cut into strips or cubes (for shish kabobs).  Let the pork marinate for 2 or 3 hours, longer if desired.  Keep the mixture refrigerated if you don’t plan on grilling this right away.

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To make shish kabobs, place several pieces of cubed pork onto a skewer.  I have metal skewers so there’s no soaking required.  If you use bamboo or wooden skewers, be sure to soak the skewers for several hours (overnight is good too) before grilling.

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Skewer the meat AFTER it’s been marinated.

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Place on a hot grill and baste immediately.

Grill the meat over relatively high heat.  I have a Traeger grill that has a temperature gauge built into it.  I grilled this at 325 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, basting and turning every 15 minutes.

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Turn the meat over occasionally, basting each time.

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The coconut milk mixed with the reserved marinade caramelizes into a lip-smacking coating that will have you oooh-ing and ahhh-ing (trust me, it’s that yummy). 🙂

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I know some people who absolutely won’t eat charred BBQ, but that little piece of charred goodness in the photo below was TO-DIE-FOR-delicious!!!

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Mmmmmm…soooo good served with hot steamed white rice and fina’denne’.

The next time I make this, I’m going to make just a little bit more marinade, reserving some to use as a dipping sauce when the pork is done.

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Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

 

Thai BBQ Pork
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (I like Three Crabs brand)
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 4 pounds pork (preferably boneless pork shoulder), cut into strips or cubes
Instructions
Make the Marinade:
  1. Place the cilantro, soy sauce and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well blended. Pour the mixture into a large bowl or pan.
  2. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, and lemon juice to the cilantro mixture. Stir to mix the ingredients together.
Make the Basting Sauce:
  1. Remove ¼ cup of the marinade mixture and place into a small bowl. Add the coconut milk; mix to combine and set aside.
Grill the Meat:
  1. Place the meat in the marinade mixture. Let the meat marinate for 2 to 3 hours (longer if you like, but refrigerate the mixture).
  2. Place the meat on the grill. Immediately baste with the reserved coconut basting sauce. Turn the meat occasionally, basting each time. Stop basting when
  3. Grill until the meat is done and nicely caramelized.
Serve and ENJOY!

 

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Siopao

Siopao is a favorite snack on Guam that is of Chinese (Cha Siu Bao, or Chinese BBQ Pork Buns) or Philippine origin (Siopao Asado).  The Philippine version of these buns are normally steamed, while the Chinese version of these delicious snacks are also baked.

You can prepare siopao COMPLETELY from scratch, but there are a couple of shortcuts I take to make the preparation quicker and easier.  I do make the dough from scratch, but I save a whole lot of time by using leftover pulled pork from my Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe.  Unless you are feeding a large crowd, you will most certainly have enough pulled pork leftover to make siopao (I use a 9-10 pound pork shoulder to make my pulled pork).  All I do is add a few more ingredients to the pulled pork to turn it into a sweet pork filling for my siopao. 

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Pork Siopao

Siopao - 16   Siopao - 18

Dough:

  • A doubled batch of my yeast donuts dough recipe (find it here)

Filling:

  • About 4 cups leftover Hawaiian Pulled Pork (find my recipe here)
  • NOTE:  To make chicken siopao, use shredded cooked chicken (I like to use a rotisserie chicken) instead of pulled pork
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup water mixed with 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • Optional:  6 hard boiled eggs, quartered (so you have 24 pieces of boiled eggs)

Materials:

  • Parchment paper, cut into 3-inch squares, 24-36 pieces (amount depends on the size of your siopao)
  • Steamer basket or pot

Directions:

Make my Hawaiian Pulled Pork recipe, then set aside about 4 cups of pulled pork.  Enjoy the rest of the pulled pork for your dinner.  In the next day or two, used the leftover pulled pork to make siopao. 🙂

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Prepare the dough using my yeast donuts recipe.  Ensure you double all of the ingredients required for my yeast donuts recipe.  Follow the directions up to step number 5 (letting the dough rise).

Siopao - 05

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, prepare the filling.  Place the leftover pulled pork into a medium sized pot.  Add the garlic, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and hoisin sauce.  Bring the mixture to a boil then quickly stir in the water-corn starch mixture.  Return the mixture to a boil, cooking until it thickens.  Set the pork filling aside to cool (I placed the filling into a bowl and placed it in the freezer to cool while my dough was rising).

Siopao - 07

Cut the dough into 24 pieces (for larger siopao) or 36 pieces (for smaller siopao).  I made 24 larger pieces that measured about 4 inches in diameter after it was cooked/steamed.

Siopao - 10

Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of dough into a circle about 6 inches in diameter.  Keep the center of the circle slightly thicker than the edge.  Place two tablespoons of filling in the middle of the dough.  Optional:  Add a piece of egg on top of the filling.

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Pull the dough up around the filling, pinching to seal.  The sealed part becomes the bottom of the siopao.

Siopao - 12

Place the siopao on a piece of parchment paper, pinched side down.  Continue filling the remaining pieces of dough.

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After all the dough is filled, place in your steamer basket.  I can fit about 6 large siopao in mine.  Don’t let the siopao touch the sides of the steamer, and leave about an inch or two between each one.  Place a clean kitchen towel between the steamer pot and the lid to prevent the condensation from dripping back onto the siopao.  Steam for 20 minutes then remove from the steamer to cool.

Siopao - 14

Enjoy while still warm. 🙂

Siopao - 20   Siopao - 19

Freeze any uneaten (and already steamed) siopao.  To reheat, defrost the siopao in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave for 30 seconds.

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Hawaiian Pulled Pork

This is a cross between two of my family’s favorites — Kahlua Pork and traditional pulled pork with BBQ sauce.

The pork has that hint of smokiness like with Kahlua Pork, thanks to a bit of liquid smoke.  The addition of pineapple juice and brown sugar gives the pork a touch of sweetness, but not too much sweetness that you can’t eat the roast pork with our Chamorro standard fare of steamed rice and fina’denne if that’s what you prefer. 😉

In fact, my household is split in how we eat this succulent, fall-apart, fork-tender pork roast.  My oldest daughter and I like to create pulled pork sandwiches topped with my sweet and tangy Pineapple BBQ Sauce.  My husband and youngest daughter prefer it without the sauce — hubby likes it with rice, fina’denne’ and Tabasco, and daughter dearest likes it as a sandwich with a side of the broth (au jus) to dip her sandwich into.

If you’re as busy as I am, you’re usually looking for quick meals to prepare.  One of the last things I want to do when I come home from work is figure out what to cook for dinner.  Thankfully, this is a very easy recipe to prepare.  The pork itself cooks for several hours in a slow cooker or crock pot, and the sauce takes only minutes to cook.  Start cooking the roast in your crock pot when you wake up in the morning, and you’ll have dinner ready by the time you get home from work later in the day.

If you have any leftover pork and sauce, mix them together for the perfect filling for siopao.

Give my recipe a try.  I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Hawaiian Pulled Pork

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Ingredients:

  • 9-10 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons SEA salt (do not use regular table salt or it will be too salty)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Directions:

1.  Rinse the pork and trim off any excess fat.  Poke holes over the entire piece of pork (or pierce it with a sharp knife).  Place the pork into a crock pot with the remaining ingredients for the roast.  Give it a stir to roughly mix the ingredients together.  Set the crock pot to it’s medium-high setting (I use “auto-shift” on mine).  Cook the pork for at least 8 or 9 hours, 10 if you have the time.

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2.  After 8-9 hours of cooking, the pork will be tender enough to shred.  Skim off the fat from the broth and discard.

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3.  Serve with rolls and top with Pineapple BBQ Sauce or with some broth in a small dish on the side to dip your sandwich in.

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ENJOY!

 

Pineapple BBQ Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (you can also use chili sauce)
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Pinch of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice mixed with 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions:

1.  Place all of the ingredients into a small sauce pan, EXCEPT FOR the pineapple juice-corn starch mixture.  Bring the mixture to a boil.

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2.  Whisk in the pineapple juice-corn starch mixture.  Cook for a minute or two, just until the sauce thickens.

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Serve with my Hawaiian Pulled Pork and ENJOY!

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If you have any leftover pulled pork (about 4 cups of meat), use it to make my Pork Siopao.  Find my recipe here.

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Tomato-Braised Pork Ribs

One of my family’s favorite ways for me to cook pork ribs (other than Chamorro BBQ) is to braise it in a thick and sweet tomato sauce.

My mom used to make this for us growing up, only she used tomato ketchup (I still make it this way sometimes).

What is braising, you ask? Braising is a form of cooking with liquid so that the moist heat breaks down connective tissues in tough cuts of meat, leaving them quite tender and fall-off-the-bone good.

I usually cook this dish in a large soup pot (I start it a couple of hours before I intend to serve it), but if you’re pressed for time, you can easily prepare this in a pressure cooker.

Give my recipe a try. I think you’ll like it. 🙂

Tomato-Braised Pork Ribs

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Ingredients:

  • 2 slabs baby back pork ribs
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses

Directions:

Rinse each slab of ribs, then trim off any excess fat. Separate each rib then place into a large pot over medium high heat.

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Add the soy sauce, vinegar and garlic to the pot. Stir to evenly coat each rib with the liquid and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning.

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Add the onions and water to the pot.

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Stir in the crushed tomatoes and molasses. Blackstrap molasses is not too sweet, but adds just the right amount of sweetness for this dish. If you don’t have molasses, you can add a couple of tablespoons of brown sugar.

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Now it’s time to start the braising process. Cooking the ribs in this delicious tomato sauce, long and over medium-low heat, is the key to creating fall-off-the-bone yumminess. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Place a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil over the top of the pot, tightly sealing it. Place a lid over the foil. Simmer the ribs for at least 2 hours.

This is what the ribs looked like before braising.

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This is the “after” photo. Notice how the sauce reduced and thickened (it’s so good poured over steamed white rice!).

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Serve with hot white rice (don’t forget the sauce, too) and ENJOY!

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