7 (Thu) July 2011
Pork Aliman Skewers with Mushrooms and Bell Peppers
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Republic of Korea-
with W and DJ
Still working to perfect my Aliman marinade, previously used only on lamb (see 2.155 Grilled Lamb Chops Aliman with Roast Pepper Salsa and Mixed Greens), I experimented here with pork. It was a follow-up to an impromptu experiment conducted at a campsite recently, where I’d been loathe to discard a ziplock bag full of leftover marinade from a batch of lamb chops and used it to dress some pork bits before tossing them on the grill. Owing to the remnant juices of the lamb, as well as the cumin and other seasonings often associated with lamb, the pork ended up tasted exactly like lamb. Here, it wasn’t quite the same but a reasonably close approximation. However, the biggest problem of tonight’s dish was the method of cooking.
What brought about tonight’s meal was the acquisition of a new kitchen toy: Hanil HEG-1080 Electric Cooking Grill, a combination tabletop pan and skewer rotisserie. 3 heat settings. The top is double-sided, one with slats and the other flat. Underneath, 10 skewers are rotated by an automated gear mechanism; 5 of the skewers can be outfitted with tubes that turn cylindrical foods, like hot dogs at 7-11. In between, an electric coil conducts heat to the pan above and the skewers below. It’s also equipped with a removable receptacle attached to a channel from the pan and removable drip trays under the skewers to collect fat/oil/juice runoff. 109,000 won.
Immediately, 2 downsides of the device became apparent. First, the intervals between the skewers along the mechanism are set so close together that inserting 10 skewers loaded with food was practicably impossible, thereby allowing only 6 skewers interspaced with an empty slot on either side, maybe enough for 2 small adult-sized portions. Second, the heat level set at maximum was still woefully weak, thus requiring an intolerable 25 minutes to cook the pork. In the end, most of the juices had dripped to the bottom of the pan to render the meat rather dry. And the inadequate heat resulted in an absence of roasted flavor, not the slightest hint of char. Even the veggies were left a bit mushy. Although I didn’t use the pan this time, I anticipate that it won’t be of much use beyond warming up hotdogs buns.
Nevertheless, I look forward to trying out a few more dishes on it.
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