Chinese cuisine boasts a roast pork dish known as char siu. You can buy char siu (or barbecued) pork in any well-appointed Chinese grocery. When the Japanese took on this dish, however, they changed it a bit. The Chinese barbecued pork became Japanese simmered pork, char siu became chashu. Chashu is a popular topping for ramen, another Chinese-cum-Japanese dish.
Chashu requires pork belly, so I hied myself down to the Asian supermarket and got some. It's another simple meal; I used Hiroko Shimbo's recipe. Trim off the skin and put the pork belly chunks into a pot, covered with water; add four halved garlic cloves, an ounce of sliced ginger, two tablespoons of sake and 2/3 cup of shoyu. Bring to a boil, skim the foam and then simmer (covered) for 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 15 more minutes. At that point, you have chashu plus chashu broth, both of which have many applications.
I promptly used the chashu for lunch in yakisoba. Tonight I had a lump of it just for itself and enjoyed that, too. The long simmering made the pork very tender, so it makes a tasty treat indeed. I anticipate making Thai fried rice with it, and when I told The Deacon about it on Sunday (coming back from a bagels and lox brunch at her place), she strongly intimated that I might want to consider making it for them when I next came down for a cooking adventure. Meanwhile, the broth can be a good starter for ramen, and I have ideas about using it instead of beef stock for certain Frugal Gourmet dishes.
In other news, Saturday night found me at the Americana Diner with the usual suspects (plus two) and I gave the Americana a chance to wow me with prime rib. It didn't quite come up to the Algonquin level, but it was still a fine, fine prime rib. And every time I have the house salad, I like it more.