GRILLED BUTTERFLIED PORK LOIN WITH CHAR SIU, GARLIC SAUCE AND CURRIED MAI FUN (char siu is Cantonese barbecue sauce, mai fun is rice vermicelli, for six to eight)
For the barbecued pork:
a butterflied pork loin
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
4 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine) or dry sherry
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced garlic
¼ cup minced scallions
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons water
For the garlic sauce:
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Asian chili oil, or 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil plus Tabasco sauce to taste
- In a bowl whisk together the hoisin sauce, wine, soy sauce, garlic, scallion, sugar, five-spice powder and salt. Place pork in a shallow dish large enough to accommodate it spread flat, and pour the marinade over both sides. Marinate pork, covered and chilled, for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Prepare the grill for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open the vents in the bottom of the grill, then light the charcoal. When charcoal turns grayish white (about 15 minutes after lighting) hold your hand 5 inches above the grill rack. Fire is medium-hot when you can hold your hand there for just 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat it on high, covered, for 20 minutes, then reduce heat to moderate.
- Lightly oil the grill rack. Drain the pork, leaving some marinade clinging. Grill pork on one side for 10 minutes, turn, and grill on other side for 5 minutes. Put the lid on grill, leaving it slightly ajar (so that the coals don’t die out) and continue cooking 15 minutes more, for a total of 30 minutes. (Cover the grill completely if flare-ups occur).
- Stir honey and water together in a small skillet over medium heat until warm. Transfer pork to a cutting board, brush with honey and let stand for 20 minutes, loosely tented with aluminum foil.
- While pork stands, stir the garlic sauce ingredients together in a small bowl until the sugar is dissolved. Carve pork in slanting slices across the grain and drizzle it with the garlic sauce and any juices that accumulate on the cutting board. Accompany with curried noodles.
NOTE: If it rains on your parade, broil the pork under a pre-heated broiler about 4 inches from the flame for 15 minutes on each side. The pork can also be roasted in the middle of a pre-heated 425* oven until the meat registers 140* on a meat thermometer, about 30 minutes.
adapted from Gourmet Magazine, July, 1994 and Bon Appetit Magazine, May, 2007