Sticky pork with asian greens and coconut rice.

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It's been another busy week in my little world. The warm weather has brought everyone out from their winter hibernation and the cafe trade is steadily increasing. We have been crazy busy everyday and I am so proud of my amazing little team for putting in the hard yards. It is so rewarding to finally see the hustle and daily grind paying off. I love the buzz and ambience that radiates through the cafe when everything is pumping. 
When I take the time to stop and reflect I realise that I am one of the lucky ones. I love what I do, and I am grateful everyday that I get to do a job that fills me with so much joy. But...I will happily admit that by the end of a big week my team and I are usually pretty spent and I look forward to the weekends as a chance to relax and recharge. 

I'm learning how important that recharging process is. Without rebooting my energy levels with rest and sleep I am no good to anyone. It's a slow learning process. I'll admit that some days I forget to look after myself and push to try and get everything done even if that means sacrificing sleep and rest. For too long now I have held onto the belief that rest and relaxation go hand and hand with laziness. And although my rational brain realises this is not true sometimes I have to be reminded by my partner Tom to pause and let things go. 

This past weekend I took my own advice and on Sunday afternoon I found some time to unwind, chill out and cook. These days cooking is usually something that gets squeezed into a spare second of the day and often loses any of the joy I normally associate with it. So I have to admit I really enjoyed immersing myself in the kitchen again. It was nice to embrace my creativity again and I think the results paid off in this delicious feast. 

I decided to go for an asian style cook up this week. I used pork belly which is one of my all time favourite meats. The sticky fragrant glaze on the rich pork is delicious and pairs well with the fresh zesty greens. The coconut rice balances out the whole dish and it really is the perfect spread to serve up family style with a few beers and some good company! 

STICKY PORK WITH ASIAN GREENS AND COCONUT RICE.

INGREDIENTS 

PORK
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chinese five spice
2 tsp salt
1 tsp chilli flakes
a good crack of black pepper

700g of Diced pork belly

RICE
1 cup jasmine rice
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup coconut water
1 tsp salt

ASIAN GREENS
1 small bunch each - baby broccoli, pak choy, baby buk choy and choy sum
3 large garlic cloves
20g of fresh ginger
3 spring onion
1 red chilli
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp salt
juice of one lemon

GARNISH 

fried shallots
Fresh coriander
chili

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METHOD 

To make the pork marinade, mix together all of the ingredients (excluding the pork) in a bowl. Cut the pork into 2x2cm squares. Add to the the bowl with the marinade and mix well to coat evenly. Cover with clingfilm and leave in the fridge for 1 hour or overnight. 

Next make the dressing for the asian greens. Grate garlic and ginger on the 'fine' side of your grater. Place in a small bowl with finely chopped spring onion and chilli. Add the olive oil, sesame oil, lemon juice and honey. Mix well. Season to taste with salt. 

Turn on your oven grill. Place a large frying pan on the stove top on high. While the pan is heating put your rice on to cook.

To cook rice put all the ingredients in a small pot. Bring to the boil and then add the lid and reduce to a simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand with the lid on until ready to serve. 

Remove pork from the fridge and drain off the marinade - reserving in a small dish for later use. Using tongs place all the pork into the hot pan skin side down and cook until crispy. Turn and cook on all sides until well browned.  Pour over the reserved marinade and place under the grill for 10 minutes turning the pork occasionally. 

While the pork is cooking roughly chop the asian greens into medium sized pieces. Bring a pot of water with a steamer basket to the boil. Once boiling add the greens into the steamer pot and leave for 5 minutes to cook. Remove from heat and place on a serving platter. Drizzle with some of the delicious zesty dressing and serve the rest on the side for people to help themselves. 

Remove the pork from the oven. Spoon into a serving bowl and pour over the sticky marinade. 

Stir the rice to fluff up with a wooden spoon. Place in a bowl and garnish with crispy shallots and coriander. 

Serve extra shallots, coriander and chopped chilli in small bowls. Serve up this meal family style at the table! ENJOY. 

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Georgia Clarke-Edwards