Pork belly wrapped fig and asparagus イチジクとアスパラのバラ肉巻き

japanese cake

It was another rather nice day in Washington DC and we decided to grill outside. I was sent by-she-who-must-be-obeyed to the near-by Whole food market to get fresh whole fish. I got fish (trout, nothing else looked great). While there I could not resist buying sliced pork belly or “Bara-niku” バラ肉 which is a very common cut in Japan but we can get it only at this store around here. It is essentially “raw” (as in not smoked or cured) bacon meat. Since we were grilling our trout on a charcoal fire, I decided to make skewers using the pork belly. I was not thinking of any specific recipe but, since I also got mission figs at the same store, I decided to wrap the figs with pork belly. I first cut the figs into quarters and then wrapped them and skewered them for grilling.

I also had pencil asparagus already blanched and ready to go, I wrapped them in pork belly as well (below picture). I seasoned it salt and pepper before grilling.

I am sure this is not good for you but grilled pork belly with crispy edges and sweet figs inside (grilling enhanced the sweetness of the fig) cannot go wrong. My wife asked me to grill the pieces more after fig/pork belly was removed from the skewers to make all the surfaces crispy even the ones between the pieces on the skewer.

The asparagus joined in later.

We enjoyed this delectable pork belly as a starter with a red wine.  We then started on our trout. This time, I simply salted them (after scaling).

We really enjoyed the simply prepared trout. We did not need any thing else with the fish. Salt and charcoal fire really make the fish taste good.

As an ending dish, I made our usual grilled rice balls but this time, I made sweet miso sauce (miso, sugar, mirin) and brushed it on towards the end of the cooking (below).

I happened to make beer pickles the prior weekend and served it (daikon, carrot, and cucumber) on the side.

The daikon was the same extremely “hot” one we tasted as grated daikon and was very spicy even as pickles. I sort of liked it but my wife thought her stomach could not take it.

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