Monday, October 11, 2010

Tinausian or Luto sa Tausi (Pork Cooked in Fermented Black beans)

This dish was just mentioned by a friend in passing during a conversation and yet it almost instantly generated profuse craving in me. The desire is so intense that I have to adjust the planned menu over the weekend to give way for its immediate preparation. I am supposed to cook another pork dish but since “tinausian” has stirred and thrilled my taste buds……….swift assuaging is necessary. :-)

“Tinausian” is a Filipino term which means cooked with the condiment Chinese fermented (and salted) black beans, and in particular, referring to a unique Filipino pork dish flavored with the pungent-tasting and sweet-spicy-smelling Chinese seasoning ingredient called “douche” and locally referred to in the Philippines as “tausi”.

As explained in my post “bangus sa tausi”, “tausi” is made of soy beans made black, soft and mostly dry by the process of fermentation. It has a taste that borders from sharp to salty to somewhat bitter and sweet. It is only used as a seasoning for foods and is not meant to be consumed in large quantities. Some forms are overly salty which most of us cannot handle if directly eaten.

In meat preparation, I already used the flavoring ingredient in “humba”. This is another way of imparting its unique flavor in a meat dish. This, for me, is a very exciting dish, but I have to warn you that it is quite oily. After all, the best cut of pork to use here is belly or “liempo” and the cuts which include the fatback with rind. In some preparation I tasted in Northern Philippines, this dish is used to cook the trimmed and collected all-fat and skin parts of the pork.

For the dish, I will be using a combination of pork cube and some collected fatback and rind taken from the meat of some past dishes which required the use of strictly lean meat. All in all, about 1.5 kilogram or about 3 lbs of pork cut up to less than 1 inch cube is what I used.

The meat was washed, thoroughly drained and then marinated in 1/3 cup of soy sauce for several hours. But it’s fine to just marinate for an hour.

The other ingredients needed are: 2 tbsp margarine or butter, 8 gloves garlic, minced, 2 medium onion, peeled and sliced, ¾ cup tomato sauce, 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped, (I used green chili peppers) ½ tsp ground pepper, ½ tsp salt or to taste and 1 can or about 4 tbsp fermented black beans or “tausi”, drained and to be mashed.

In a large heavy wok or pan, heat the 2 tbsp margarine and fry garlic and onion. Stir-fry until onion it is translucent. Add in the marinated meat and continue sautéing until the meat renders its own liquid. Continue simmering on low heat until the meat is slightly tender.

Add in tomato sauce and continue simmering. Season it with pepper and small amount of salt. No need to put so much salt as the “tausi” is expected to be salty. Simmer until the sauce is reduced and oil starts to appear.

Scoop out some of the excess oil floating on the surface. Reserve for future use if you like, otherwise discard it. I removed more than ½ cup of oil and the dish is still oily. Add in bell pepper and the mashed salted beans or “tausi” and continue sautéing. Cook until the meat is fork tender and the oily sauce has thickened.

Transfer in a serving plate and serve immediately with hot steamed rice. The dish is distinctly delicious right after cooking. But it will even be tastier the following day. :-)

There it is, another pork dish cooked with “tausi”. We ate this huge serving of the dish during lunch and also dinner. I guess the craving has been fully assuaged. Try it and enjoy! c“,)

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