I have to be honest here, I have never really loved Marmite. I think….. well, let’s just say that it’s an acquired taste. I can’t remember if it was Bovril or Marmite that I was afraid of when I was a kid (yes the key word is afraid here, I actually feared food..), but I was convinced that each tasted just as awful as the other. I can see Marmite/Bovril lovers shaking their heads in massive disapproval now.
Before you send me hate-mail, may I redeem myself here, please?
I have been seeing a lot of Marmite recently. I had some Marmite chicken when I was back in Singapore (my first time ever) after my brother raved about it, and I would say it’s one of the most awesome zi char dishes I’ve had! What a pleasant surprise! Then I spotted some even more delish Marmite recipes over at Pig Pig’s Corner, and devoted a little more time thinking about the two much-neglected jars of Marmite we had in the pantry (How the hell did we even have them in the house when we don’t like it? Don’t ask…). After I watched Nigella Lawson make some butter & Marmite spaghetti on telly, I thought, it was time to put some Marmite into action. There must be some good in Marmite, and true enough, there was, in measured doses.
So I badgered M to think of how we should make use of the Marmite we have. And he made some grilled Marmite chicken wings, which looked like the sexiest heap of limbs ever served on a bed of lettuce, and tasted faaaabulous like the sexiest heap of limbs ever served on a bed of lettuce (but oops, I didn’t watch him make it, so no recipes here). I was officially hooked and I wanted a piece of the Marmite action too.
So I made some spicy marmite pork wrapped in iceberg lettuce. I was inspired by one of the first dishes I ever cooked in my life, something that my Home Economics teacher taught. It was basically stir-fried minced pork with chopped carrots, peas, served with oven-grilled mash potatoes. My parents were suitably impressed when I made it for them at the ‘tender’ age of 14 and I remember this dish quite fondly, as the first dish I ever cooked for my parents.
Now that I’m a ‘little’ older, I made a more ‘mature’ marinade for the pork and worked a teeny bit of Marmite into the equation. The pork was steaming hot, sweet, spicy and savoury all at the same time, and lent a nice contrast to cold iceberg lettuce. M and I devoured these like piranhas, nevermind the juices that drip down to our elbows when we feast on the wraps with our hands.
And guess what we had last night at our friend’s place? Marmite roasted potatoes!! It was yummmmy!
Anyway, here’s the recipe for the spicy marmite pork. Do make the marinade before putting the pork in, so you can taste to see if you like it. The flavour might be a little intense, but remember, you are going to wrap this in fresh iceberg lettuce.
Spicy Marmite Pork Wrapped in Iceberg Lettuce
Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are and how many other dishes you have
500g lean minced pork
1 tablespoon Marmite
2 tablespoons kecap manis
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons garlic chillli sauce
2 tablespoons tabasco sauce (used this as I didn’t have fresh chilli at time of cooking)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon mirin
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small carrot, diced
250g closed cup mushrooms, diced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1. Marinate lean minced pork in Marmite, honey, kecap manis, chilli sauce, tabasco, sesame oil and mirin for 20 minutes.
2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan. Saute garlic and onion on medium heat. Add carrot and mushrooms, fry for a bit and cover the pan to allow the carrot to soften. Stir from time to time to prevent charring.
3. Add marinated pork to pan and fry on high heat till cooked. If you prefer the pork to be drier, remove some of the gravy and keep frying till pork takes on a drier texture.
4. Serve at table and wrap the pork in iceberg lettuce as you please. Make sure you have plenty of paper towels lying around to clean up the mess that will happen from eating this!