There was Iburi Jio cherry smoked sea salt from Japan in the cupboard. There was a lone, single, solitary pork loin in the refrigerator.
The Iburi-Jio cherry roasted sea salt in our household needs no explanation (think popcorn, think steak, think summer squash, think sashimi, think buttered toast, think sole, think salmon flatbread, think eye of newt—Iburi Jio is the omniscient presence that weighs in on all the mind’s internal arguments over whether ‘tis nobler to sprinkle a given gourmet sea salt or a prized smoked sea salt).
The pork loin, however, was a bit of a rogue foodstuff for this time of the year.For some reason, it had been bought the very morning of Thanksgiving, and, inevitably for a pork loin bought on the day of gustatory debauchery, it had thereafter lingered.This evening I pulled it out, and after noting with the nose that it was none the worse the wear after the week it had spent in the fridge, I fried it in coconut oil.
Coconut oil, for those of you not in the know, is a strange substance which, in addition to culinary application, has “recommended uses” as a dietary supplement (1 to 4 tablespoons coconut oil daily), for skin care (massage into skin as needed), and for hair care (liquefy, then apply 2 teaspoons cocoanut oil to hair and scalp 1 to 2 hours before washing!).Hmm…
Strutting around the house, chopping wood in the side yard and chatting over the fence with the new neighbor, ducking into The Meadow for a salt consultation with the executive chef of an about-to-open restaurant, picking up the kids from school — all with a slathering of cocoanut oil on my scalp; I’m not sure how that would work for me.
But cocoanut fried pork loin?I would be honored to be caught feasting on such a repast whilst wearing only undergarments on the West 4th Street platform of the rush hour A Train.To be honest, I touched it up with a little chili-infused sesame oil, but it was the coconut that made it.Crunchy crusty outside, moist, pale, ineffable pink/white inside.
I then sliced it thin, and served it with Iburi-Jio Cherry smoked Japanese sea salt.The delicate, mild, slightly sweet flavors of the pork, provoked into purring rebellion by the coconut oil aroma, crunching at the edges with roasty Maillard caramel flavors.All very debonair.Then in steps the Iburi-Jio cherrywood, inspired by the AkitaPrefecture’s famed iburi-gakko, a smoked and pickled daikon radish.Cherrywood roasted under sea salt that was freshly crystallized over a wood burning fire for three days after being culled from deep sea water from off the shore of theOgaPeninsula inAkitaPrefecture in northernJapan.
Easygoing American locally-raised pork censored by the subtle violence of one offJapan’s most formidable salt.Try it. Even a small jar will do for at least several meals.