Oil poaching chinese style?

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by phatch, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    I was reading Mai Leung's New Classic Chinese Cookbook during lunch today. And I had a thought about oil poaching using sesame oil.  Oil poaching temps are low enough that the flavor of sesame oil should hold up.

    Generally, you use fish because it will come out of oil poaching having changed color and being plate ready. But most fish wouldn't stand up to the flavor of sesame oil. Googling a bit so I don't reinvent the wheel, Ming Tsai does some tuna in a mix of mostly olive oil and some sesame. He does it in the oven at 200 for 90 minutes. My induction cooker has a 180 degree temp setting so that should simplify things and be faster than the oven technique.

    So I thought some more and decided that a piece of pork or beef tenderloin should reach proper doneness in this technique and  has enough flavor to balance against the sesame oil. It can be finessed to shapes that won't require exorbitant amounts of oil. But they'll need some help with surface color probably. Searing seems a poor choice as you'll cook the meat to medium rare just getting it seared on all sides.

    I chose pork tenderloin for this experiment and I've decided to paint the exterior with a 50/50 mix of dark soy and rice wine and let it air dry on the surface. I've debated a drop of red food coloring to impart some of that Char Shiu look.  that should give it a more appetizing appearance. Honey is something to consider as well, but I'm not sure about the sugar behavior in this technique yet. Something to make a note of for the future.

    Some aromatics seem appropriate to the oil too: ginger, garlic, star anise and maybe a cinnamon stick. The anise and cinammon might get strong so maybe I'll remove them partway through. Have to play that one by smell and some tasting of the oil during cooking.

    So after hitting 140 internally the oil, I plan to let it rest, slice it thinly, shingle it and then hit it with a hot sesame oil/green onion/soy mix just before serving.

    The plan is to make this for tomorrow's meal. I'll follow up with pics and results.  Sides, the store had some baby pattypan and zucchini so I'll stir fry those while the pork rests.  And rice of course.

    Any suggestions? I'd love some input on timing estimates for this. I'd like to leave the pork whole, just folding and tieing the thin end. Coil it in a small pan, or maybe trim into 4-6 inch lengths to fit compactly in a pan and minimize the oil used.
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Trimming off the silverskin


    First coat of dark soy paint. Let that dry in the fridge a bit and see if it needs another coat or two.

     
  3. ordo

    ordo

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    Impatient to see the result.
     
  4. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Gave it three coats. I think that will do.

     
  5. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Checking pan fitment.


    I tried it intact and loosely coiled, but that left more empty space than I wanted to fill with oil. By tying the thin end to create approximately equal thickness and then cutting in half, i can more evenly cover the bottom of the pot and use less oil. It also lies flatter. Yes, its wrapped in plastic as I didn't want to wash the sauce pan if I didn't need too...
     
  6. ordo

    ordo

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    Hmm... not sure about that foil...
     
  7. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    It's not going to stay, just for testing fit.
     
  8. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Time to think about aromatics. Sliced ginger, star anise, crushed garlic, a little cinnamon and a mix of black peppercorns and sichuan pepper. A teaball to hold the spices for easy removal. I went with only a little cinnamon as it's a flavor that can get overpowering to my taste quite easily.


    Loaded in the teaball.


    Infusing the oil while coming up to temp. Smells pretty good.

     
  9. ordo

    ordo

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    I'm  liking this recipe. Still thinking sesame oil confit may be overpowering, but curious about the final dish.

    A work in progess indeed. A new kind of thread.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  10. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    Prepping the baby squash. Cut in half or quarters for the patty pan, the bigger zucchini cut in half the long way.


    Set the table, though it turns out this was better for a knife and fork setting.


    Off to rest. Would have liked them to be darker, but this wasn't bad. A few more coats of "paint" next time. It took 50 minutes to hit 140 from room temp roasts. Time will vary with your equipment so monitor it well. It took two cups of sesame oil for this.


    Sliced and dressed with hot oil, scallions, soy and rice wine. Contrast between the exterior and center is more pleasing now at least


    The stir fried vegies


    Plated


    It was pretty good. I needn't have worried about the aromatic intensity. It was on the mild side. I'd use more and I think next time I'd start the aromatics on a high heat in a little grapeseed oil, then combine that with the sesame oil for the poaching.

    Ignore the wood box. It holds the different chopstick rests and my son was still choosing his.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2013
  11. michaelga

    michaelga

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    Very interesting - thanks for sharing.