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Friday, November 16th, 2012

Time Event
Adventures in Culinary Multiculturalism: Lychee Pork Butt and White Fungus Bird's Nest drink
Well, it worked.

Carole came in with 2.79 lbs of frozen pork butt. I've never made pork butt; I don't keep kosher but however this particular edible is not high on my list of things to try. I persevere. After getting crock pot advice from Carole and looking at a few recipes online, it seems that there are basically two ways to approach cooking it: Salty or sweet, though sometimes in combination. Since I'm trying to be as low-salt as possible, I went with sweet. And most of the sweet pork recipes are for other parts of the pig. So I was on my own.

I was going to pick up some pineapple (in a can) and apples, and make a sort of ham-like dish. Going into one of the oriental stores on Nicollet (in the middle of the block btwn 25th and 26th, opposite the Thai place), I found canned pineapple... and next to it was a can of lychees in syrup. Next to that was mango slices in syrup.

I went with interesting. If I'm going to play with my food, it's going to be fun. And the store had an apple.

They also had White Fungus Bird's Nest Drink. What the heck. Got two cans, one for me, one for Carole.

Cooking was easy. Put the pork butt in a crock pot, added some cloves, a dash of Bragg's no-salt added liquid amino, some of the juice from the lychee can, and water. Set to 325°. Every hour or so I'd baste the thing, adding water and juice as necessary. After about three hours, I added the rest of the cans of mango and lychee, cut the apple moderately finely, a little more water, and reduced the temp. It sat for another hour and a bit.

Yum! The pork fell apart like pulled pork (once I'd cut the string off) and the fruit was great. The drippings made great gravy bread. While there was salt in the syrups, I didn't add any, and no other spicing.

Carole didn't like the drink, claiming it was "slimy". I didn't find it so; tasted a lot like the cream soda I invariably associate with hospitals: Very vanilla. Non-carbonated, it needed stirring. Not too sweet, so I eventually finished off both of them.

The can is in both English and what turned out to be French and Vietnamese. I can't go so far as to recommend the drink, but it was an interesting change of pace, and there are (probably) medicinal properties associated with it.

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