By Grace Cheung,
Special to The Post
Few people know that Akakurobuta, a premium, specialty Japanese pork, is actually 100% Canadian produced. This tender and succulent pork was previously raised for export to Japan only, but for the first time, is now available to Canadians.
What makes Akakurobuta different from regular pork? The hogs are raised in small family farms in Alberta and are free-run, resulting in a stress-free hogs. They are served a strict diet of barley, which creates a well-marbled whiter fat compared to regular corn-fed pork.
I was given two packages of Akakurobuta to try at home; the pork loin and the collar butt. The fat cap on the loin is large and the marbling in the collar butt is designed to produce more tender meat.
To taste-test this pork, I tried the Tonteki recipe from Kingyo Izakaya, created by Chef Kittaka. The result was very tender and moist, and the savory sauce complemented the pork well.
Tonteki Japanese-Style Pork Steak Recipe (adapted from www.wingtat.ca
• 2 Akakurobuta steaks
• ½ onion
• 1 or 2 garlic cloves, based on preference
• 2 – 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon pork fat (slice small piece of fat off the pork steak)
• 1 pinch salt
• 1 pinch black pepper
• 3 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
• 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
• 2 tablespoon soy sauce
• 3 tablespoon mirin
• ½ tablespoon chicken or beef stock
Grate and combine onion and garlic in a bowl. Rub this mixture over the pork and then cover and refrigerate for two hours. After marinating the steaks, brush off all of the onions and garlic and reserve for the sauce. Coat the pork slices with flour. Place a piece of pork fat in a medium heated pan and fry on each side for about 5 minutes, turning after 2.5 minutes. Remove the steaks to a plate. For the sauce, add Worcestershire sauce, oyster sauce, mirin, stock, and the reserved onions and garlic in the same pan and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes. Pour the prepared sauce over the pork steaks and serve with rice or roti. Akakurobuta pork is available at T&T Supermarkets in BC.