Chilli-Pork and ‘Sprout-Rice’: a CardioKit recipe

... and the beauty of ‘small plate’ eating

chilli-pork

This one is all about the sprout-rice  —  it’s amazing and has become a winter regular in the Cardiologist’s Kitchen. We have never fully understood why Brussels sprouts have such a bad reputation but suspect it has something to do with childhood school dinner memories of over-boiled, grey, water-logged, bitter balls. The modern cultivated version of sprouts available in supermarkets today are deliciously sweet and so time to revise your opinions of the humble Brussels sprout. When cooked in this way within the rice they complement each other perfectly, the sprouts seem to slow steam in a jacket of rice and become sweet, tender and perfectly moist without any excess wateriness.

A dish like chilli pork needs a fluffy base of white basmati rice  —  it just does not go with brown rice  —  and that’s fine. It’s good to indulge and not deny yourself these things but the strategy is to eat less. The combination of sprout-rice is perfect because you end up eating just as much vegetable to balance the glycaemic index whilst maintaining the full soft white rice experience.

The other thing we want to highlight are the health effects of ‘small plate’ eating. This has become very popular and is observed in multiple cultures including Dim-Sum (China), Mezze (Middle-East) and Tapas (Spain). The advantage of small plate eating is that you diversify your meal, you tend to eat slower (not shovelling from one plate piled high) and it really highlights the split of your meal between carbs, veg, protein etc. It’s also a very enjoyable way to eat,  tasting lots of different things  and you may well realise you are getting full and satisfied before you overeat.

In this meal we have combined our deliciously Umami-rich chilli pork, with comforting sprout-rice and the fresh crunch of nitrate containing radish. Your complimentary small side plates don’t need to be complex  —  some yogurt-cucumber-mint, dressed leaves, chopped fruit  —  the world is your oyster.

For a double serving:

Chilli-Pork

  • pork fillet sliced into thin strips (palm sized piece for 2)
  • garlic 4 cloves roughly chopped
  • chillies 3 red and green sliced
  • ginger 1/2 thumb finely chopped
  • onions 2 red sliced
  • spring onions 4 chopped
  • cherry tomatoes  —  handful
  • soy sauce
  • black pepper
  • extra-virgin olive oil

Sprout-Rice

  • basmati rice small cup
  • Brussels sprouts  —  large double handful, stalk and outer leaves trimmed
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and black pepper

 

  1. In a large non-stick pan on moderate-high heat add a good glug of olive oil and soften the onions, garlic, chilli and ginger.
  2. After 5 minutes add the tomatoes and cook until they start to burst and release their juice. Now add a good splash of soy sauce (around 2 – 3 tablespoons) and 1/2 a small cup of water. Cook on a simmer until the ingredient have combined and the tomatoes have broken down completely. This is your base sauce.
  3. Transfer the sauce to a bowl. In the same pan add a small splash of olive oil and on a high heat brown the pork fillet. When it has a bit colour (not to dark) add back in the sauce and turn the heat right down. Add a another splash of water (the mixture should be loose at this stage), a grind of black pepper and cover with a cartouche of foil or greaseproof paper. Simmer slowly.
  4. Now for the sprout rice. In a pan with a lid, rinse and drain the rice 3 times to remove the excess starch. Now add in the washed and trimmed sprouts and cover with water (for each cup of rice add an equal amount of water + 1 extra cup). Add a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil. Cover with a lid, bring to the boil and then turn down to simmer. Once all the water has evaporated leave on a low heat without lifting the lid so the rice will steam  —  around 10–15 minutes of steaming is required.
  5. Check the rice  —  it should be dry and fluffy with very slight crispiness at the base. The sprouts will be tender and sweet.
  6. By the time the rice is cooked the Chilli-Pork should have reduced to a saucy consistency and is also ready (it’s worth checking on the Chilli-Pork whilst cooking every so often to check if it’s getting too dry. If too wet at the end simply lift off the cartouche and allow the sauce to reduce). Check for seasoning  —  it should have a rich Umami flavour.
  7. Serve on small plates with your choice of sides.

 

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