This BBQ pork is styled after the Chinese Char Siew style, but with some homegrown (BC) and international (Guyanese) stylings.
I think it’s worth noting that most, if not all of my recipes, are designed to be simple for beginner cooks to follow; practical for those with small kitchens or limited supplies; and fun for anyone to use and play with. If you don’t have a particular ingredient: SUBSTITUTE with something else similar or if it seems like it’s not crucial: omit it.
In this recipe, for instance, the maltose and hoisin sauce that would typically be included have been replaced by cane sugar and cassareep. If you don’t have honey, use brown sugar. or maple syrup, or whatever you think is similar, available, and interesting.
And finally, before we get into the recipe, I’d like to talk a little bit more about cassareep. Cassareep is made from cassava. Cassava is a vegetable root grown in the heat of the tropics. It has many similarities to a potato and is enjoyed in many ways by people in many countries. Cassareep is a thick black liquid made from cassava root, often with additional spices, which is used as a base for many sauces and especially in Guyanese pepperpot. Besides use as a flavoring and browning agent, it also acts as a preservative. Its antiseptic characteristics have led to medical application as an ointment, most notably in the treatment of certain eye diseases.
To make cassareep, the juice is boiled until it is reduced by half in volume,to the consistency of molasses and flavored with spices—including cloves, cinnamon, salt, sugar, and cayenne pepper. Traditionally, cassareep was boiled in a soft pot, the actual “pepper pot”, which would absorb the flavors and also impart them (even if dry) to foods such as rice and chicken cooked in it.Most cassareep is exported from Guyana.
It’s neither a soup nor a stew, but it is a curry, and it’s one of those great dishes that simply feels good no matter what time of day you have it, but especially in the winter. It has long been one of my favourite takeout/delivery meals for a rainy/cold day and I love it as leftovers for breakfast on the weekends.
As with so many things that they are used in, the onions you choose can really make or break this dish. Be sure to use a nice flavourful Spanish onion for the best results.
One of my favourite cookbooks is Indian Cooking by Lalita Ahmed. Every recipe that I have tried from it is excellent and authentic tasting, rivaling anything I’ve had in the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to.
The book was published in the UK only but ended up here in a stack at the wonderful old Coles bookstore that used to be at Yonge and Charles in Toronto. It has been through many editions, which is always an indication of an excellent book. The cover here is for the book that I personally own, but there are different covers on the other editions.
Mine is from Coombe books. Out of print for many years, copies of this book are shown on Amazon for as much as £50, (or $100CAD, more or less).
Lalita Ahmed Bio (from IMDB.com)
Lalita Ahmed (maiden name Chatterjee) was born in Lucknow, India on November 25th 1939. She worked for All India Radio before moving to London in the 1950s, where she joined the Hindi language department of BBC World Service Radio. She worked as a presenter on Asian programs for BBC television and presented Indian cookery on BBC Pebble Mill. She has also written a number of cookery books. As well as her film roles Lalita has appeared in a number of British television shows.
This Biriyani recipe below is one of my very favourites from this book.
No one likes to think about flu season, but when it’s with us, there’s nothing like spicy food to cut through the fog of grumble-nothing-tastes-good-today.
Here’s a nice hearty, spicy, and warming soup to thin the blood, make you sweat just a bit and make you feel so much better! This is the first of several spicy rich recipes to help us through the cold…and the colds.
A Canadian fusion Kim Chi, very non-traditional, inspired by the availability of ingredients in Joel’s kitchen one night.
“My kimchi recipe was dead simple. i accidentally realized i had the ingredients on hand so i just threw it together.
i used smoked mackerel because i had part of one laying around! from what i understand, traditional korean kimchi often uses all sorts of seafood–dried shrimp, anchovies, i’ve even heard raw oysters! i thought smoked mackerel would work, and behold, it did. you can pick it up at any decent grocer. check the seafood section.”
Philly, who did one of our other Kim Chi recipes says of Joel’s version:
“Smokey and delicious; a deep complex flavour. Over rice, it would be a meal”.