Miso-marinated pork with quick pickled cucumber

Miso-marinated pork with quick-pickled cucumber and sesame kimchi.
Miso-marinated pork with quick-pickled cucumber and sesame kimchi. Photo: William Meppem
Difficulty
Easy

This pickle obviously isn’t kimchi, but the core flavours are similar, and the crunchy sour and hot cucumber is a perfect zippy foil to the miso-marinated pork. It’s also great with fried or grilled chicken, or dropped onto a cold noodle salad. I like to serve this with a little shaved cabbage and steamed short-grain rice.

Ingredients

700g mid-loin pork, sliced into 8 pieces

grapeseed oil (or similar)

2 tbsp light soy sauce

shaved white cabbage, to serve

steamed white rice, to serve

For the marinade

2 tbsp white miso paste

1½ tbsp finely grated ginger

3 tbsp cooking sake*

½ tsp sesame oil

1 tsp caster sugar

For the pickled cucumber

80ml rice wine vinegar

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

600g small Lebanese cucumbers, semi-peeled in stripes, cut in angled chunks

1 salad onion, halved and sliced lengthways

1 tbsp salt flakes

1 tbsp caster sugar

1 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli powder)

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp sesame oil

2 torn shiso leaves (optional)**

Method

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the pork and toss to coat. Marinate for at least an hour, or ideally overnight in the fridge.

2. For the pickle, combine the vinegar and garlic in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, toss together the cucumber, onion, salt and sugar, then pour over the vinegar. Add the remaining ingredients and combine. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or so to chill and pickle (the mixture will keep for about 4 days in the fridge).

3. When ready to cook, preheat a large frying-pan over high heat and wipe half the marinade off the pork. Add a splash of oil to the pan, heat until shimmering, then add the pork in a single layer. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 2. Add the soy and swirl the pan to combine.

4. Serve the pork and cabbage together on a platter, with the cabbage on the side. Accompany with steamed rice.

* Cooking sake contains salt, so is less sweet than regular sake. The alcohol content is the same.

** Available at most good Asian grocery stores.