Red Roast Pork

1/4 C hoisin sauce
1/4 C soy sauce
1/4 C honey
1/4 C Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
1 t Chinese five-spice powder
3 lbs boneless pork shoulder

Whisk the hoisin, soy sauce, honey, wine, and five-spice together in a small bowl. Transfer the marinade to a zip-top bag.

For quick-cooking, crusty, slightly chewy char

Slice the shoulder into 1/2 inch-thick slabs, then slice the slabs into 2-inch-long strips. Add to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 48 hours.
 
Heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
 
Remove the pork from the marinade, scraping off any excess. Lay the pork on a cooling rack or roasting rack set on the lined baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes, then flip and roast until the fat is sizzling and the pork is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Let rest a couple minutes before slicing and serving.

For shreddy, melty glazed pork shoulder:

Leave the meat in one piece, place it in the bag with the marinade, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

Heat the oven to 300°F.
 
Set the pork in a roasting pan, reserving the marinade for basting. Roast the pork until the meat is completely tender, 4 to 5 hours, then baste with some of the reserved marinade.

Continue roasting and basting every 10 minutes or so until the pork is coated in a thick, shiny glaze, about 1 hour longer.

Remove from the oven and let rest 20 minutes before devouring.

Along with roast duck and crackly skinned pork, char siu—sweet, sticky, brick-red roast pork—is a fundamental part of Cantonese food, whether it’s stuffed into pillowy steamed buns or sliced thin on top of noodles. The results of this char siu recipe are worthy of hanging from a metal hook in a neon-lit window in Chinatown. Cut the pork shoulder into strips for quick cooking and to maximize roasty, crusty, glazy bits, or leave it whole to make a glazed roast you can pull apart at the dinner table. With rice and A warm vegetable, it’s a feast.

Miso Glazed Grilled Duck Breasts with Mango and Greens

4 large duck breasts (about 2 pounds)
Salt and pepper
4 tablespoons red miso
2 tablespoons light soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon sake or mirin
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
6 ounces small green beans, topped and tailed
Lettuce leaves, for serving
1 large mango, peeled and sliced
Watercress sprigs, for garnish (optional)
3 tablespoons chopped scallions

Trim duck breasts of extraneous fat (or ask your butcher to trim them) and score the skin. Season very lightly with salt and generously with coarsely ground pepper.

Make the marinade: In a mixing bowl, whisk together miso, soy sauce, sake, orange zest, ginger, garlic, cayenne and sesame oil. Remove 1/4 cup of the marinade and combine it with 2 tablespoons orange juice to make a dressing; set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice to the marinade in the mixing bowl.

Lay duck in a shallow pan and pour the marinade over, making sure meat is well coated. Let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. If you wish, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before proceeding.

Prepare a bed of medium-hot coals in a grill, or heat a stovetop grill or cast-iron pan to medium hot. Cook duck breasts skin-side down for 8 to 10 minutes, until fat is rendered and skin is nicely colored. (See note.) Turn and cook on the other side for 3 or 4 minutes, until internal temperature registers 125 degrees. Remove from heat and let rest at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Cook green beans for 1 to 2 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain green beans and rinse with cool water; blot dry.

Slice duck crosswise about 1/8-inch thick. Line a platter with lettuce leaves. Place several slices of duck on each leaf, along with a couple of mango slices. Arrange green beans over the top and garnish with watercress, if using. Drizzle reserved dressing over everything, sprinkle with scallions and serve.

Miso-Glazed Japanese Eggplant

4 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
1 T neutral oil
1/4 C red miso
2 T mirin
+ sesame seeds

Heat the oven to 450°F. (Lazy power move: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper to make cleanup supereasy.)
 
Slick the eggplants all over with oil and arrange them cut-side up on the baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes—they should be barely wilted, a very light roast.

Meanwhile, whisk together the miso and mirin in a small bowl.
 
Smear the cut side of the eggplants with the miso mixture and roast until the eggplants are tender and the miso is browned and bubbling, 10 minutes longer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

This is one of those center-of-the-plate types of vegetable preparations that can easily supplant meat. (Serve it with short-grain rice and any of the pickles in this book, or with store-bought kimchi.) The eggplants take on a super-rich caramelly umami flavor. It’s a standard Japanese response to the part of the summer when there’s more eggplant around than anyone knows what to do with, and it works very well on a grill—just put the eggplants over a low-to-medium fire, so the miso doesn’t burn too fast and the flesh of the eggplant has time to cook all the way through.