Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wrapped again

Pork wrapped vegetables recipes

DSC_0001-1DSC_0042A few years ago I was watching a Japanese health show – one of the segments reported that people who eat pork lost more weight than non pork eaters. Pork’s something, I think it was vitamin B6, makes people burn more calories. Really? I’m eating lots of it but I didn’t notice any difference in my weight. I’m a sucker for that kind of great (?) news and at least try once. Several years ago I was eating lots of marshmallows after seeing a TV show that claimed that someone eating lots of it gained 1/2 inch or so in height. I quickly stopped that practice when I was gaining inches sideways. I don’t watch these shows anymore. Because many such shows are cancelled for false, exaggerated  or unfounded claims which someone blew the whistle on and otherwise it’s not cost effective to produce the type of show. Japan had a banana shortage last year (?) after the fad banana diet boom. If I had known I might have tried the diet. My son teases me for being such a naïve believer. Yeah? Whatever!

My husband likes pork. He posted awesome pork dish on my blog while I was away in Hawaii. He likes wrapped pork dishes (more like appetizer) adapted from Japanese magazine Orange Page also. Both are great for bento because they retain good flavor after cooled. It was quick (except I took time removing bean sprout’s little roots one by one-Japanese called He-GE-NE ひげ根) and it was a satisfying dish and accidently gluten free! More and more people around me are exercising gluten free diet for medical reasons. I feel really bad for them but I’m relived that I don’t have that problem. If I have to be on diet I will just cry, then no more visit to cake shop or bakery in Japan (sob).

Spinach and bean sprout wrapped pork – Makes 10 rolls


  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine (酒)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon tobanjan (豆板醤) Hot bean sauce

Main ingredients

  • 10 thin sliced side pork 豚バラ肉 or shabu shabu pork
  • Bean sprouts about 100g DSC_0002
  • Spinach
  • Oil for frying
  1. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, rice wine, sugar,and tobanjan. Set aside.
  2. Lay down the pork slice on the clean surface then put bean sprout and spinach on it  and roll from end. Don’t worry about being neat, look mine!DSC_0006DSC_0010-1
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in pan over medium heat. Lay rolled end first in pan. DSC_0015-1
  4. Cook for 1 minute then shake the frying pan and roll the meat to brown all sides.
  5. Soak up excess oil or juice with paper towel if necessary.
  6. Pour in the sauce and cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce get little bit thick.
  7. Remove from pan and cover with the sauce left in pan and serve.

Pork wrapped Asparagus - 4 rolls*

  • 4 fat stalks of asparagus, Cut an inch off from the end and peel the lower half of the stalk
  • 8-10 thin sliced side pork
  • 2 pre-sliced cheese (any kind that melts), cut in half
  • Salt
  • 7 spice (七味唐辛子)
  1. Wrap asparagus with 2 sliced pork
  2. Towards the end of the stalk, insert cheese and finish wrapping. Cover the cheese as much as possible.
  3. Heat oven to 400 F
  4. Cover rimmed cooking sheet with foil  and lay the wrapped asparagus on it. DSC_0032
  5. Bake for 5 minutes or so then change setting to broil and brown for 1-2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to burn.
  6. Some cheese may ooze out but you could wrap around the pork. Sprinkle with salt and seven spice. Serve.

* I doubled the recipe.DSC_0003-1I also served fried Lotus roots and oven baked fava beans

DSC_0016-1These make a shaki-shaki sound when you eat them. Much like the zaku-zaku from the Renkon burgersDSC_0046

My husband is looking forward to harvesting peas from our garden very soon. I will make his favorite pea rice (豆ご飯) with them. Pea rice has a festive connotation. My pea-hating son won’t eat it so no worrying about the need to share. He is such a PPP (pea party pooper! ) I may post about pea rice next time and a picture of him not eating peas. DSC_0377


  1. This looks so good! So you didn't tie it with anything, it'll stay right? I love your family, hehe PPP. Reading your posts make me miss my mom so much.

  2. Dear Christine, Thank you for your comment. NO, no tying necessary. You are so cute! I miss my mom too.

  3. This sounds and looks amazing, tres delish! Gah, the spice company resent the bottle, but alas, it has too short of a shelf for me to send it, but if there's anything you want from Japan, I'd be happy to mail it to you to make up for the spice you won = )

  4. Dear Elle Marie, Good to hear from you. Sorry for the trouble getting the salt. You're so kind. I can't think of anything right now but I will let you know.