Japanese food has an image of being healthy, but we love it fatty when it comes to meat. Chicken thighs are preferred over breast meat, our steaks are marbled with so much intramuscular fat that they look pink rather than red, and pork belly is one of the most popular cuts of pork.
Despite the meat being rich, we don't eat much of it. One chicken leg feeds our family of three, and in the case of this pork belly, 150 grams (5.3 ounces) is enough for all of us. The trick is to think of the meat as a way to add flavor to vegetables, rather than the other way around.
In the case of these pork belly rolls, we fill them with whatever herbs, any long and skinny vegetables we have on hand, such as zucchini, green beans, or asparagus. By parboiling the veggies, all you have to do is brown the thin layer of pork on the outside, which turns it into a flavorful crust.
I served this with a big green salad, sliced tomatoes, miso soup, and some rice to round out the meat. Plenty of food to fill us up, yet we each ate less than 50 grams of meat per person (a lot of the fat renders out in the pan as you fry it).
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