German weather is as fickle as it was back in my native Virginia. There was a short burst of warmth (70’s) for a few days and now it’s back to the bleak, rainy and overcast low 60’s that it has been for weeks. I started some herb seedlings indoors a few weeks back and they were finally ready to be transplanted into bigger pots. For most of my life I have had patio gardens, seeing that about all of my adult life I have lived in apartments. So this year I have a few varieties of tomatoes, sweet red peppers, various herbs and a new plant I am trying: Shiso (also known as Perilla). Believe me, once it’s able to be harvested, I will be coming up with a recipe for it!
Germany has a lack of good Chinese food, and by Chinese I mean american-style Chinese. Don’t get me wrong, I love authentic Chinese food. I’ve had fried duck tongue, braised spicy chicken feet and all kinds of other oddities at a Cantonese restaurant back in Virginia Beach. But, I was craving something fried, glazed and smothered in sesame seeds. Making it paleo was another story….
I played around with the flavors a bit-like using cilantro instead of scallions. Not traditionally used in American-style Chinese food, but I love it! I also served this with steamed broccoli, you can always steam some on the stove top or buy one of those nifty steamer bags in the freezer section at the grocery store.
Paleo Sesame Pork
- 1 cup poultry stock
- 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or lard, more if needed (I use rendered bacon fat)
- 2 lbs pork loin, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp tapioca starch, divided
- 1 tsp kosher, more to taste
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 tbsp sesame seeds
- handful of cilantro, chopped
1. In a saucepan, combine the sauce ingredients. Bring to a simmer over med/low heat, then reduce the heat to low to gently simmer as you prepare the rest of the meal; stir occasionally.
2. Preheat your oven to 250F. In a wok or large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Combine 1/2 cup tapioca starch and 1 tsp each salt and pepper. Toss the pork pieces with the starch mixture, until evenly coated. With your fingers, dip a starchy pork piece in the egg, shake off the excess egg, then add to the oil. Repeat until you have filled your skillet; be careful not to overcrowd the pork pieces. Fry the pork until cooked through, flipping every two minutes, about 6-8 minutes per batch. As you finish each batch, place the cooked pieces on a plate lined with paper towels; put them in the oven to stay warm. You should be able to cook the pork pieces in about 3 or 4 batches, depending upon the size of your skillet. The oil should reach halfway up the pork pieces, add more oil if needed.
3. Once the pork has cooked through, finish the sauce. At this point, the sauce’s flavors should have married nicely; taste the sauce and add more salt or pepper if needed. If the sauce is too dark and strong tasting, add a little more chicken stock to thin it out. At this point, the sauce should be about as thick as tomato soup and should have a sharp but not overwhelming flavor. In a small bowl, add 1 tbsp of tapioca starch and a little cold water; stir together to make a slurry. Raise the sauce temperature to medium; once bubbling, add the tapioca starch slurry and stir until thickened. Remove from heat.
4. Toss the pork pieces with the sauce, then garnish with sesame seeds and chopped cilantro. Serve with steamed broccoli.