Your Next Perfect Porchetta Sandwich is from Chinatown

I guess I am currently in the middle of what one would call, a blogger limbo.

We have “officially” moved out of Beijing, so to speak.  But in the next 3 weeks when our apartment is under renovation, we are going to be staying in a hotel where the closest thing to a cooking vessel is the bathroom sink with hot tap water (hotel sous vide?).  How do I create something delicious when the mere act of making fruit smoothies posts challenges?  Then I realised, the answer lies just around every corner in this city.

Cantonese-style roast pork.  Something as abundant in Hong Kong as Starbucks are in New York.  This awesome thing, is everywhere.  Even if you didn’t live here, chances are you’ve seen it in your nearest Chinatown, a staple in Cantonese cuisines.

Typically served with rice, which I’ve always had my doubt on.  I mean, it is a great piece of roast pork, with salty yet juicy flesh and gloriously blistered skins.  But on its own, and paired with yellow mustard, in my opinion, it just isn’t the most flattering companion for steamed rice.   It is however, the most perfect yet most under-utilized sandwich candidate, practically an half-way porchetta sandwich.

Here’s what you do.  You chop up a whole box of these porky awesomeness, then you make a “dressing” out of minced scallions, ginger and red chilis, with pungent savouriness from fish sauce and a tang that cuts through the grease from red wine vinegar.  You let this “dressing” seep through the nooks and crannies of an unapologetic pile of the chopped roast pork, into the thirsty holes of a toasted crusty roll that catches it all.  Then you cap everything up with a few slices of provolone cheese, and you draw your finishing touch with a smear of yellow mustard.

Porky, crispy, drippy and zero-cooking involved.  What can I say?  Hotel meal.

YOU LET IT SEEP THROUGH THE NOOKS OF AN UNAPOLOGETIC PILE OF CHOPPED ROAST PORK, INTO THE THIRSTY HOLES OF A TOASTED CRUSTY ROLL.

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Cantones-style porchetta sandwich

Yield: 2 sandwiches

Ingredients

    DRESSING:
  • 1 cup finely diced scallion
  • 1 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1/2 small red chili, minced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp fish sauce, plus more to adjust
  • 1 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • TO ASSEMBLE:
  • Cantonese-style roast pork, store bought or make your own, roughly chopped
  • 2 crusty rolls
  • 6~8 slices provolone cheese
  • yellow mustard

Instructions

  1. Mix diced scallion, minced ginger, minced chili, olive oil, fish sauce, red wine vinegar and freshly ground black pepper together. Let sit for 10 min.
  2. Slice the rolls in half and toast under the broiler until the edges are browned. Smear a layer of yellow mustard on the bottom, then spoon a good amount of the herb-mixture on top. Place a big pile of the chopped roast pork with another douse of the herb-mixture. Let the herb-oil seep through the pork and down into the bread. Top with 3~4 slices of provolone cheese and serve.
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