My parents like to order large quantity of pre-sliced Matsuzaka pork directly from the vendor and stock up in the freezer. Usually we get thinly sliced Matsuzaka pork and mostly cooked in shabu shabu or quick stir fry styles. This time, they specifically asked for thick cut Matsuzaka pork and man...it was double the awesomeness. The meat is still very tender but also carries a nearly crunchy/chewy texture after searing. The fat is clean, crisp, and not greasy at all. With such high quality pork, all you need to do is sear, sear, and sear!
Seared Matsuzaka pork served with pepper salt mix -
- 0.5 lb of thick cut Matsuzaka pork
- 1 lemon or 2 kumquat
- Some pepper salt mix (can be substitute with yuzukosho)
Cut the Matsuzaka pork into 1 inch wide strips. Don't worry about the difficulties trying to bite into the pork after cooking. For such high fat content part of the pork, the meat can be easily separated with just a little force from the teeth.
Use a grill pan and turn to medium high heat. There is no need to brush the pan with oil. Simply add in the pork slices and sear each side till slightly golden browned. Watch out for the heat during the process. If the fire is too low, the pork won't be able to cook through. If the fire is too high, you'll get the grill marks too soon while the center remains under-cooked.
Once ready, serve the seared pork with Taiwanese pepper salt mix 胡椒鹽 or Japanese yuzukosho 柚子胡椒. Also serve with few wedges of lemon or a better alternative - halved kumquat. *Kumquat matches well with Taiwanese pepper salt mix.
Perhaps with additional one or two bottles of beer?
The grill marks helps bringing out the clean and meaty aroma from the pork. It also adds a slightly crunchy texture when biting into the tender meat. The acidity from the lemon wedges or kumquat also gives a refreshing citrusy finish to this simple dish. Not a bad side dish or appetizer choice in this hot and sweaty summer time.