Culinary Adventures With Chef Ann – Your Local Asian Market, Part 1

Welcome to the first installment of Culinary Adventures with Chef Ann. This will be an ongoing series where she explores new culinary territory. Have ever gone to your local Asian Foods Market? So much to explore! We went to one near our office and lost all track of time looking at all the incredible products. We picked out a variety of items then Chef Ann went to work to come up with recipes using them. First up is Asian Market Pork Belly (AIP). Don’t be freaked out by the “pork belly,” just think of it as big thick bacon. The cooking process of boiling, frying then glazing results in a dense, morsel of sweet and savory goodness that needs to be experienced.

Asian Market Pork Belly (AIP)
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Slow Cooked Pork Belly
  1. 2 # pork belly slices chopped in half
  2. 4 cups bone broth
  3. 1 thumb sized piece of ginger peeled and finely chopped
  4. 3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped in half
  5. 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  6. 1 tbsp. honey
  1. 2 tbsp olive oil
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 2 T. ginger peeled and minced
  4. 2 tbsp Honey
  5. 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  6. 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  7. 1 tsp lemon grass powder
  1. Add all the slow cooked pork belly ingredients to a pan (not the glaze ingredients) bring to a boil, then place a lid on, turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
  2. Turn off the heat and drain the pork. You can reserve the liquid for a soup.
  3. Chop the pork into bite sized chunks. Add 1 tbsp. of the oil to a frying pan, and then mix the remaining glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Heat the oil and add in the pork, and salt, frying on a high heat until the pork starts to turn golden.
  4. Now pour the glaze over the pork and continue to cook until the pork looks dark and sticky. Remove from the heat and serve with some sautéed Yuchoy or other Asian greens.
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There were many varieties of eggplants available, most we had never seen. We purchased these small Thai eggplants as well a some Thai Basil (Yum!). Achieving the familiar Asian flavors in the AIP world isn’t easy, but Chef Ann is up to the challenge. Stay tuned for Part two of the Culinary Adventure with Chef Ann, Your local Asian Market!

Thai Eggplant with Chicken & Thai Basil (AIP)
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  1. 8 oz. chicken breast or thigh, sliced into thin strips
  2. 2 tablespoons water
  3. 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for cooking
  4. 1½ teaspoons coconut aminos
  5. 1 teaspoon arrowroot
  6. 1 lb eggplants, cut in half
  7. 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  8. 3 scallions, sliced 1½ inches long on an angle, separated into white and green parts
  9. 1 large bunch of Thai basil or basil, stems removed (about 1 cup loosely packed)
  10. 1 tablespoon coconut or apple cider vinegar
  11. 2 teaspoons red boat fish sauce
  12. ½ teaspoon coconut sugar
  13. 2 T. coconut aminos
  1. In a medium bowl, marinate the chicken with 1 teaspoon oil, 1 ½ teaspoons coconut aminos, and 1 teaspoon arrowroot until well coated.
  2. Set aside.
  3. Heat your wok or saute pan over medium-high heat and coat it with 2 tablespoons of oil.
  4. Spread the Thai eggplant out evenly in the pan and let sear with the cover on for 2 minutes.
  5. Turn the eggplant pieces over and pour another tablespoon of oil around the perimeter.
  6. Cover the pan and turn heat to medium-low for another 2 minutes until the eggplant is just tender. Next, raise the heat to high to cook the eggplant to a golden brown color about another 2 minutes.
  7. Transfer to a plate.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to your pan and heat until just smoking. Add the marinated chicken and spread it around the wok. Let it sear for 30 to 60 seconds on each side and transfer to the plate with the eggplant.
  9. Heat the pan over high heat, add another tablespoon of oil, the garlic, the white parts of the scallions, and the basil. Fry for 30 seconds and add back in the chicken and Thai eggplant.
  10. Add the coconut vinegar and stir everything together.
  11. Add the fish sauce, and sugar and stir until everything is combined, about a minute.
  12. Finally, add the green portion of the scallions and serve.
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