Asian-Style Pork Shoulder with Sesame Seeds
2 pounds trimmed boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1” to 1-1/2” cubes (I used boneless country-style ribs, and they worked perfectly)
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
One 1-1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced fine
½ cup Hoisin Sauce
½ cup Oyster Sauce
½ cup Orange Marmalade
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Asian chili paste, chili/garlic sauce, or chili sauce to taste
2-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Dry the pork pieces with paper towels, then salt and pepper them. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large oven-safe pot or skillet. While the oil is heating, spread the flour on a plate, then flour about half the pork pieces, shaking off the excess flour. Brown them on all sides, regulating the heat so that the pieces brown nicely but the flour doesn’t burn. Remove the pieces from the pot with a slotted spoon and put them in a bowl. Add more oil to the pot, and flour and brown the remaining pork pieces.
While you’re browning the pork, combine the Hoisin Sauce, Oyster Sauce, Orange Marmalade, soy sauce, and about a teaspoon of the chili paste (more if you’re using chili sauce) in a medium saucepan. Heat the mixture to a simmer, then turn off the heat and cover the pot to keep the sauce warm.
When all the pork is brown, add a little more oil, then sauté the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds. Pour in the warm sauce and scrape up any browned bits stuck to the pan. Add the meat and any meat juices from the bowl into the pan and stir everything up. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, clean the inside of the pot above the liquid line – because of the sugar in the sauce it will burn easily, and this makes cleanup easier.
Put the pot in the oven, and bake uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir thoroughly every 10 minutes and clean off the pot again after each stirring. After 20 minutes, taste the sauce and add more chili paste or chili sauce if you’d like to. The sauce should be very thick and cling nicely to the pork pieces. Let the pork cool for a few minutes before serving, or cool completely if you want to serve it as an appetizer. Sprinkle the pork with the sesame seeds.
Serving suggestions. For an appetizer: Peel a cucumber and cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds, then slice crosswise into half-inch slices. Toss the slices with a tablespoon of rice vinegar. Cut a red bell pepper into one-inch squares. Skewer a pepper square with a toothpick, then a cucumber slice, then a piece of pork. For a salad: Dress a salad (including red pepper and cucumber) with rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper, and serve the pork pieces on top. For an entrée: Stir fry onion, red pepper, and cabbage and combine with the pork pieces. Add roasted peanuts or cashews if you’d like. Serve over rice.