I’m managing to totally befuddle myself. Up to a few weeks ago, I was pretty clear on the principles of Fusion Cooking. As I understood it, all one had to do was add some chilli, garlic, coriander leaf and a slice of lime to any tried and trusted European dish. Hey Presto! – Fusion Cooking. A regular beef stew could be transformed by the adding of a couple of bashed lemongrass stalks and a ghost chilli. Fusion was easy to understand, if less easy to comprehend. So, when I decided to cook some Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin Chinese Style, it was more confusion than fusion.
- My ingredients list was pretty ‘Oriental’ in it’s origin. Ingredients
- 2 pork tenderloins
- 1 tablespoon of 5 spice powder
- 1 tablespoon of Szechuan peppercorns
The rest of the ingredients are used to make up the noodles. I served five of us with this lot.
- 6 portions of noodles
- 10 dried Chinese mushrooms
- 2 bell peppers
- 6 to 8 spring onions
- A big handful of green beans
- A big knob of ginger
- 2 tablespoons of rice wine
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
First trim and prepare the tenderloins.
Crush the peppercorns and mix with the 5 spice powder. Cut the tenderloins in half and roll in the spice mixture.
Vacuum seal the meat.
Side note on confusion: I have never come across any Oriental dishes cooked sous vide. Why is that? The sous vide method was originally tried out by a Brit, abandoned and rediscovered by some French and Americans and, as far as I can see, never used by the Orientals. Yet, it seems to be so appropriate to this type of dish. I’m discombobulated!
Set the sous vide machine to 53ºC for an hour and pop the bags of meat into the water.
Then get on with chopping the ginger, mushrooms and the vegetables. Get the ginger into shreds, the mushrooms and vegetables into small bite size pieces.
Cook the noodles and reserve. Heat some oil in a wok and add the ginger. When this releases some aromas, add the rest of the vegetables.
Add the rice wine and stir fry until the colours get high and the veg is ‘al denté’ (strange to use an Italian term. for Oriental cooking). Add the soy sauce and stir it a bit.
Add the noodles and get ready to do a lot of heavy lifting. There is a lot to be stirred in the wok.
Turn the heat off. Take the pork out of its plastic wrapper. It looks and feels pretty strange at this stage.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and quickly (It happens very quickly) brown the pork. Slice it and serve it on a bed of the noodles.
My state of bewilderment was complete at this stage. This was the most delicious piece of Oriental anything I have ever tasted. I can’t understand why nobody (or so it seems to me) has not confused fusion cooking by adding in sous vide. I’ll be doing a lot more of this.
Wine paring: My wine choice for this was not wine at all. Very confusing, I know. I served it with a glass of Rosé Lillet. It stood up well to the spice and salty soy.
If you get a chance to cook sous vide, try this. You will be left as befuddled and perplexed as me. Why has it not been done before? It’s a form of fusion confusion.