Last week, I was invited to try out the a new Wingtat Akakuro-buta Premium Pork at several restaurants. As you may notice from the fancy Japanese name of the pork, this type of pork itself is just as fancy, with hogs being raised Japanese black hog style ("Kurobuta"-style) in Alberta. Previously, these hogs were distributed to Japan, but now Wingtat has just launched these products in the Canadian market as well, exclusively at all T&T Supermarkets. They're also available at several restaurants in Vancouver as well, for a limited time -- recipes for these dishes can be found on the Wingtat website.
Stop #1: Kingyo Izakaya
At Kingyo, our first stop, we tried out the Akakurobuta pork in tonteki, or Japanese style pork steak with sweet onion and garlic sauce. As our first taste of the pork, I liked it. It was really quite moist and rather tender -- definitely not tough nor dry as is the case with pork sometimes.
Stop #2: Damso Modern Korean Cuisine
We eventually made our way to the Damso next doors to try out three different styles of the Akakuro-buta pork. The first was the pork taco, which seemed to be hand shredded. It kind of reminded me of pulled pork but sweeter and spicier.
The kimchi jim, which was really quite soft, was also good. It was definitely flavourful, having been marinated and cooked with kimchi.
I liked the gamjatang more though -- maybe because it was a relatively cold day and perfect for stew. Also, while the pork usually in gamjatang is rather rough and dry, but the akakuro-buta pork which was cooked separately, was quite moist and flavourful.
Non-pork related, but the yuzu sorbet was cute and refreshing.
Stop #3: Secret Location
At our final stop of the day, we tried out the burnt apple crusted akakuro-buta collar butt. This pork was served basically in a steak style and quite unique, with a crispy exterior that had a sweet and mildly burnt taste from the apple crust. The interior was surprisingly quite pink as well. It was really moist and soft, and definitely one of the best pork steaks I've had.
Akakuro-buta at Home
We were also given some akakuro-buta steaks to try and play with at home, including the boneless loin (the leaner cut on top) and the collar butt (the higher marbled cut) -- both available at T&T.
I did them all tonkatsu-style or Japanese pork cutlet style. Since the pork was pretty high quality, I didn't really mess it up and the pork was quite flavourful and juicy. I followed this recipe but nearly doubled the cooking time given due to the thickness of the cutlets.
Kingyo Izakaya / Damso Modern Korean Cuisine / Secret Location