Two days ago I went on my first “out of the subdivision” biking trip. That means I braved the madness of cars during rush hour so I could go and bike/jog inside the airbase, where my mom’s office is. We don’t live far from the airbase but it was still a stretch to get there by walking. No, I do not live a sheltered life. It’s just that I haven’t really taken to driving myself wherever I want to go, just yet. So anyway getting there was easy enough. I managed to jog one round of the expanse, bike for another and afterwards I felt really happy (endorphins probably) that I managed to work up a sweat.
Now I was happy that I didn’t die or wasn’t run over by a truck. I biked all the way home and before I could go into our drive, a car was getting out. I obviously stopped and tried to wait for it to go. But I decided to just cut through the sidewalk to get in. Then the next thing I knew my bike and I were lying flat on the concrete. My big mistake was crossing over a wet sidewalk, because it was raining a bit. I could feel the stab of pain on my right knee and shoulder which hit the pavement first. And seriously, I heard the “awww” coming from the people who witnessed my sorry excuse for a fall. But I was laughing the whole time! And by that I meant I used humor to hide the humiliation. Which works by the way.
Now here I am still nursing a minor scrape on my knee. Good thing the shoulder wasn’t hurt badly, just a scrape here and there.
Looking back I think I rationalized the whole situation by saying it was meant to happen as my “rite of passage”. It was my first real injury from biking, and I’m ok with that. I got up, I laughed, and maybe I could use a day (or five) of not showing my face in public but it’s best to just shake it off and bike another day.
Miserably falling down your bicycle for people to watch and ogle at you is character formation at its finest. OK, maybe not. But you get the idea.
Today I think I stumbed (pun intended) on another gold mine: steamed pork with black beans. I vaguely remember enjoying a dish quite similar in a Chinese resto along Nunez extension. The resto is long gone but if it had something remarkable, it was their steamed spareribs. So I perused and consolidated a few recipes online and managed to come up with something that I was pleased with.
Even if black beans are innately salty, the end product was really just subtle in its saltiness. At first I restrained myself from adding salt/soy sauce to the marinade. But I gave in to the need to make the taste pop even more. If it’s a battle between Maggi Savor Garlic flavor and Knorr liquid seasoning, I would prefer Knorr for the intensity, but for this recipe that calls for 3 teaspoons of liquid seasoning, I added 2 tsp of Maggi Savor and 1 tsp of Knorr.
I was lucky enough to have large ramekins that are of the same height as the steaming attachment most rice cookers have. I like to steam food inside a solid heatproof container and not just with aluminium foil because of the tendency for water to pool. This is a really easy dish: chop the meat, make the marinade, mix, steam and that’s basically it. This is a winner. And maybe something that can help nurse your spirits after a miserable fall.
Steamed Pork with Black Beans (serves 6)
- 1 kg pork paikut/liempo/belly, sliced into bite sized cubes (paikut is different from belly/liempo. Help me translate paikut into its English name by clicking here or here)
- 100 gram pack fermented black beans
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- two dashes of freshly cracked black pepper
- 4 tbsp water
- Optional: 3 tsp liquid seasoning/light soy sauce
- Optional: 1 long chorizo bilbao, sliced
- In a bowl, mash the black beans with the back of spoon. It does not have to be a smooth mash.
- Add the rest of the ingredients except the pork and continue mixing, mashing until most of the the beans have roughly broken down.
- In a separate large bowl/container, combine the pork and the mashed bean paste. Allow to marinade in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
- When ready to cook, arrange the meat on a heatproof bowl/plate/container and put it in the steamer.
- Cover with aluminium foil and using a fork, prick the top to make small holes. Steam for 15 – 20 minutes covered. Then remove the foil and steam for another 15 – 20 minutes or until pork is no longer pink and is tender. Garnish with chopped chives, serve with a steaming bowl of rice and enjoy!