What is Hojicha?
Hojicha is a type of Japanese green tea. 焙じ茶(Hoji-cha), Hoji means roasting and Cha means tea, so it is roasted green tea. As it is roasted, the leaves turn brown and got a nice roast aroma.
Why Hojicha for cooking?
You might wonder why I cooked pork with Hojicha. By marinating pork with Hojicha, you can add the nice roasting aroma on the pork. Also Hojicha helps the pork soften and remove the fat. So you will get soft roasted pork with a nice smell and a refreshing taste! I would like you to see how Hojicha works.
Salt with Umami
Before starting the recipe, I would also like to introduce you to this salt.
藻塩(Moshio) literally means 藻 (Mo)-seaweed 塩 (Shio)-salt. It is made from sea water of Setonaikai (the Inland Sea, Japan) and sargassum (brown seaweed). Beige in color, it has a mild taste as a result of the umami extracted from seaweed. You can put umami and rich flavor on your cooking with the salt.
Netflix’s culinary documentary series picked up the salt and it has become popular.
EATER, Oct 12, 2018, ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ Recap: Samin Explores the Wide World of Salt in Japan
Put umami and rich flavor on pork with Moshio!!
Let's Marinate and Roast !
Now to the pork. Firstly, marinate the pork for 3-4 days in a fridge. Then roast it. So marinate it when you have time, then take out from the fridge and roast !
HOJICHA ROAST PORK RECIPE
500-600g / 17-21oz pork shoulder chops
5g / 0.2 oz Hojicha leaves
A dash of oil
[ Seasonings ]
1 table spoon salt *I used Moshio
2 table spoons shoyu (soy sauce)
1 table spoon honey
1 tea spoon ginger powder
To your taste cut vegetables
1 Bring the water up to boiling point, then put the hojicha leaves into the pan and boil for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat then leave it for 5 minutes.
2 Strain the tea, add all the seasoning (salt, shoyu, ginger powder and honey) in there and leave it to cool.
3 Put the pork in a bag and pour the liquid. Leave it in a fridge for 3-4 days.
[ PREPERATION before roasting ]
・ Take the pork out from the fridge to room temperature
・ Pre-heat the oven to 220℃ / 430°F
4 Heat the oil in a pan until hot, add the pork. Cook the surface until it caramelizes and flip it 3 times for 4 sides.
5 Place the pork on a baking tray and bake it for 30 minutes at 220℃ / 430°F
You can also roast vegetables with the pork if you like.
Here it is.
Don't throw away the juice on the tray. It has umami from the pork and seasonings. If you add shoyu, sugar and a little vinegar in the juice, it would be a Japanese style gravy!!
You can make a 豚丼(Buta Don)-pork rice bowl with the sauce. Put some rice, slices of pork, and sesame seeds together....good to have leave vegetables such as lettuce, roquette, mizuna. Then pour the sauce on it.
Try as you like and enjoy the taste !!
NaturaliTea #08: Autumn Hojicha Roasted Green Tea 無農薬茶：ほうじ茶
Autumn harvested. Grown pesticide free. Fertilized with organic compost. Smoky flavor.
Autumn-harvest-leaves are usually bigger and thicker than spring harvest leaves, which means the taste is milder than spring harvest. I used these this time.