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Pork and Rice Bowl Recipe

Roasted Pork Loin and Rice Bowl with Cucumber, Banana Pepper, Pickled Carrots & Onions + Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce

In Life:

Motivation. Where do you find it? Personally, motivation isn’t something I struggle with a great deal. But when I do, it’s usually a doozy. Interestingly enough, sometimes my lack of motivation is spurred by having too much to do. I’m sure that’s common among everyone. It’s almost like the brain goes into shutdown mode to try to avoid dealing with what needs to be done. *Avoid, avoid, avoid.*

This is where I am right now. Even though you’re reading this on June 18 or afterward, I’m writing this on June 11. Just two short days after returning from Austin and BlogHer Food. Why am I writing this so far in advance? I’m out of town the whole week of June 16-22 visiting my mom in South Texas. I’m going down to help with some work on the outside and inside her house. Plus I haven’t been to see her in a year (she’s come here, though). Since I’m going to be out next week, I’m getting all my work done this week for next week AND the week after.

I am near the overload stage, but I see the end, and I am staying focused on that. I know that come Friday afternoon, I will have two weeks worth of work done ,and that will feel amazing! And when you’re reading this post, you can be happy with me because by that time I’ll be done! Hooray! I’ll be working at Mom’s and enjoying my time off from my blogging work. Focusing on spending time with her and my step-dad. Which I always enjoy.

I’ve really been enjoying cooking for this Eat Local Challenge. But it has definitely been a challenge for me as well. As we’ve talked about before, it’s hard to go into the farmer’s market with a firm plan. Most of the time they won’t have everything you need. So you go in with a loose plan. And adjust as you go. It’s made me more reliant on my experience and know-how as a cook. I’m stronger for it, and that’s what I focus on. Thanks for bearing with me in this not-so-normal publishing state. I so appreciate it!

In Cooking:

Today I’ve got a delicious recipe for you. And it actually works best as a lunch dish if you’ve already cooked the pork from last week’s entree. However, I have included instructions below for a start-to-finish approach inside this one recipe. This pork and rice bowl recipe is a variation of something you’ve probably all had at various Vietnamese restaurants. What I love about it is that it’s fresh, healthy and delicious. LOVE when things work out that way.

Roasted Pork Loin and Rice Bowl with Cucumber, Banana Pepper, Pickled Carrots & Onions + Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce

While carrots are definitely on their way out of season, some of us are still able to enjoy them from our farmer’s markets. Obviously you can always get them at the grocery store. Below are the beautiful, vibrant carrots I got from Hollygrove Market a couple of weeks ago. I just love the multi-color varieties of carrots because they lend not only a great flavor to a dish but also so much color contrast. It just makes for a more beautiful bowl.

Fresh multi-colored carrots

Besides the pork and rice, I focused on using three main vegetable toppings for this dish: pickled carrots and onions, cucumbers and banana peppers. You could adjust this mix to anything else that you’d prefer to have on your dish. I chose these because they made sense for the dish, AND they happen to all be among my favorite veggies. The carrots and onions are cold/quick pickled so they retain a great deal of crispness. It’s really just to get them soaked in vinegar and tasting yummy.

Cucumbers, Banana Peppers, Pickled Onions and Pickled Carrots

A note here – the dressing for this dish is very similar to the glaze we used last week on the roasted pork loin dish. It tasted really good and happened to make not only a great hot glaze but also a delicious chilled dressing. I’ve called it Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce here because it is more of a dressing than anything else. The sharp contrast of the cane syrup and cane vinegar are quickly becoming my new favorite flavor combo. When finished with a fresh jalapeño, it just can’t be beat. Delicious!

Roasted Pork Loin and Rice Bowl with Cucumber, Banana Pepper, Pickled Carrots & Onions + Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce

So there you have it, a delicious and healthy pork and rice bowl. As I said, this may be difficult to pull off to make a lunch, but if you’ve already got the pork roasted, it’s pretty easy to do. The carrot and onion pickles can also be made ahead of time which makes this a quick “throw together” meal in that case.

Check out our breakfast and dinner recipes for this week, Week #3 of the Eat Local Challenge here in New Orleans. Need more ideas? You can peruse our Week #1Week #2 and Week #4 recipe round ups.

Yield: 4 servings

Pork and Rice Bowl Recipe

This rice bowl recipe is filled with roasted pork loin, cucumber, banana peppers, and pickled onions & carrots; Finished with a spicy sweet and sour sauce.

Ingredients:

Brine for Pork:

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Steen's dark cane syrup
  • 1/2 cup Steen's cane vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast

Quick Pickled Carrots & Onions:

  • 1/2 cup Steen's cane vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Steen's dark cane syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced or matchstick cut
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced onion

Roasting the Pork Loin:

  • 1 tablespoon clarified butter

Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Steen's dark cane syrup
  • 1/4 cup Steen's cane vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped green onion bottoms (the white part)
  • 2 teaspoon fine chopped fresh jalapeño (seeds and pith removed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Finishing the Pork and Rice Bowl:

  • 4 cups cooked rice
  • 1 recipe of Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce
  • 2 cups thinly sliced cucumber (peeled and deseeded first)
  • 1 banana pepper, thinly sliced (deseeded first)
  • 1 recipe of quick pickled carrots and onions
  • 1 recipe roasted pork, cut as indicated in directions
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Method:

Brining the Pork:

  1. Combine all ingredients except pork in a large bowl. Whisk well to combine and dissolve salt.
  2. Add pork and soak for 3 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. After 3 hours, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry.

While the pork is soaking in the brine, start on the pickled carrots and onions.

Pickling Carrots and Onions:

  1. Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the carrots and thinly sliced onion.
  3. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for at least 1 hour up to overnight.

Once the pork is removed from the brine, proceed to prepare it for the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF.

Roasting the Pork:

  1. Heat the clarified butter in a skillet over high heat. Sear for 3 minutes on the fat side cap side (if still on the roast).
  2. Flip the roast and sear for 3 minutes on the second side.
  3. Using tongs, finish searing the small sides of the roast, about a minute each.
  4. Transfer the pork to a baking dish lined with aluminum foil. If you still have the fat cap on, place the roast in the oven fat side up.
  5. Cook 40 minutes. Using a bio-thermometer, check to make sure the internal temperature is 145 ºF. When reached, remove the pork roast from the oven and allow to sit for 3 minutes before cutting.
  6. Once cool enough to handle, trim off the fat cap (if still on the roast). Next, cut the roast first against the grain, about half an inch thick. Cut those pieces into cubes.
  7. Set aside until ready to plate up the bowl.

While the pork is roasting, proceed to prepare remaining ingredients, including the Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce.

Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce:

  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix to combine.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Once the pork is finished roasting and the rest of the ingredients are ready.

Plating the Pork & Rice Bowl:

  1. Divide cooked rice between four bowls.
  2. Drizzle some of the Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce on each bowl. Save some for later because the remainder will be used to finish the bowls.
  3. Divide the pork, pickled carrots & onions, cucumber and banana pepper between the four bowls. Either line them up by ingredient on top the rice or just layer the toppings on. Either way is correct.
  4. Finish by drizzling the remaining Sweet and Sour Cane Sauce on each bowl then sprinkling green onions on each as well.

Prep:45 min

Cook:40 min

Total:4 hour 5 min

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