When I was in my 20s, I worked at a software company in Pelham, NY. I remember walking into a Chinese restaurant nearby at lunch-time. I said "what's good today?" The nice man said "Chinese Roast Pork." I naturally said, "well, I'll have some of that!" It wasn't the little bits you find in fried rice. This was big red chunks of pork, marinated in that sweet crimson sauce that contains who-knows-what. I don't think I have had anything that comes close to that. Until now, that is.
I found this recipe online, and it seemed from the ingredients that it would be close. Of course, I had to substitue the sugary stuff with something else, but that was not as hard as I thought it would be.
Everything is the same, except for the contents of the marinade, which I have outlined here:
- 3 tablespoons xylitol (or other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon white (or black) pepper
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon sherry
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon hoisin sauce (careful of carbs!)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon hot water
- red food coloring (optional)
The recipe calls for 3 pounds of pork shoulder meat cut into approximately 3/4 pound chunks. You'll need to marinade the pork overnight in a vaccuum-sealed bag for best results.
Simply mix up the marinade, set about 1/4 cup of it aside (and refrigerate) and completely coat the pork with the marinade. Seal in a vaccuum-sealed bag and refrigerate overnight.
When it comes cooking time, place the oven rack on the second-highest position. Pre-heat the oven to 475 F. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil, and place a metal rack on top. Add 1/2 cup of water to bottom of pan. Place the pork (with as much space between chunks as possible) on the rack.
Bake at 475 for 25-30 minutes. Flip the meat and add more water if necessary. Bake for another 25-30 minutes. Then, turn the oven to broil and watch it carefully. You don't want it to burn, just crisp up. A convection broiler will work well here.
Take meat out, let rest for a couple minutes, slice, and serve!