Thursday, March 31, 2011

Miso Pork Stuffed Peppers


Stuffed peppers (stuffed everything) is such a great concept. The last (first) time I tried making stuffed peppers was several years ago and didn't work out so well. I was going for an egg-stuffed version, and tried to steam them in an electric pot (a Chinese appliance used for steaming or cooking). It was not quite big enough, and I had the timing off as I tend to with steaming. This time I went for baking them instead.

Recipes online tend to call for beef, rice and tomatoes, or something like quiche. I went for a kind of Pan-Asian pork angle. I don't know if people usually cut more off the top of the peppers, but I like to preserve more of the vegetable for the dish. There were holes in a couple of them! Alright, so one of the holes was my fault. There was this nub in the bottom of the pepper so I tried trimming it down. Turned out the nub was the convergence point of the bottom. Woops... The other one just...had a little hole in it. This was a slight problem because the juices and egg I had in the filling leaked out of those ones. Hmm, well, that's a reason to cut the peppers lengthwise, but that doesn't look as good, to me.

Ingredients for the filling, ready to sauté

Bell peppers, tops, seeds, and ribs removed.

Regardless, things turned out pretty well. The peppers were surprisingly juicy and tender. I'd anticipated their being drier due to the baking. The flesh of the peppers also seems to insulate the interiors a fair amount (good thing I sautéed the filling beforehand). I wonder, though, if the egg would have cooked properly or if the peppers would have dried out, depending on the timing, if I'd had more egg. This time I had too little egg, so couldn't really tell (though the egg that leaked out was cooked fine, ha). Anyway, not the fastest thing to make, due to the various steps and the baking, but a very flexible concept and cool conceptually and visually.





I had too much filling for the number of peppers (4) that I had, and the amount of egg was insufficient, too, so I've adjusted those points in my recipe, below. Not sure about how more egg would turn out in the same baking time, so that's just something to pay attention to.



Miso Pork Stuffed Peppers

INGREDIENTS

4 bell peppers

the filling
½ lb. ground pork
½ block firm tofu, drained and diced small
½ yellow onion, diced small
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in warm water 10-15 minutes, chopped small
1-inch piece ginger, grated

6 eggs, beaten

the sauce
1 TBS miso paste
½ TBS soy sauce
½ TBS rice wine
½ TBS brown sugar
½ TBS chili garlic sauce


DIRECTIONS
  1. Soak shiitake mushrooms and drain tofu while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).
  3. Dice half-onion into small pieces, beat eggs, grate ginger, set aside separately.
  4. Mix sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
  5. When mushrooms have softened and tofu finished draining, cut mushrooms and dice tofu into small pieces.
  6. Cut off tops of bell peppers, remove seeds and ribs, set aside on baking tray.
  7. Heat oil in pan or skillet on medium-high heat until shimmering.
  8. Add onion and mushrooms and stir fry until onions are translucent.
  9. Add pork and ginger, breaking up the pork, and stir fry until no longer pink.
  10. Add sauce and toss to cover all the meat.
  11. Add tofu and mix gently to distribute sauce and remove from heat.
  12. Spoon filling into the peppers.
  13. Pour egg over the filling in each of the peppers.
  14. Put filled peppers in oven and bake for about 30 minutes, until peppers are tender and egg has just set.

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