Happy Chinese New Year!
London is submerged in the celebrations of the Year of the Monkey and Chinatown is overflowing with foodies. During my first month in the UK, the campus was deserted. All British and European students spent the summer at home, so only PhD students and international students. And then there was me. I couldn’t have wished for a better start to my 9-month voluntary service, living with a group of students from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and China.
They adopted me, shared food with me, opened my eyes to their cultures and became my friends. While some of us lost sight of each other, one of them is very much still in my life. This summer we’ll have known each other for 12 years!
In hindsight, the food we shared and bonded over triggered a lot of the pain I had back then. Often and particularly on Chinese New Year, I crave their cooking: homey, spicy, tasty, homecooked. In an often futile attempt to bring back the memories, I stumble across some tasty and FODMAP-friendly Asian-style meals that may lack authenticity but hit the spot for now.
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 1/2 tsp five spice (the only onion-/garlic-free I found was from Waitrose)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp rice wine
- 1 thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
- 1 red chili, chopped
Mix five spice, cinnamon, soy sauce, brown sugar, maple syrup, rice wine, ginger and chili into a marinade. Cut the pork into slices and coat with the marinade. Leave to marinate covered in the fridge for 3-4 hours (or overnight).
It’s up to you how you want to prepare the meat: wok, griddle pan or BBQ. I’d advise a BBQ for a smokey, charred flavour. If you use a wok or pan, the sugar might burn and leave a nasty flavour before the meat is cooked.
You can accompany the sticky pork with rice or rice noodles. Great vegetable would be an Asian slaw (recipe to come), salad, sesame broccoli (recipe to come) or green beans.