Mangalitsa x4, part 2 (plus a soup).
The third night I slice the remainder of the pork into chunks and braise them in soy sauce and rice wine, with several translucent shards of ginger and logs of scallions for good measure. I add fried tofu puffs, which absorb the sauces as they cook. It is good, better than good, rich and fatty, salty and sweet, with the intense pork flavor which holds its own against the aromatics and sauces of Chinese cooking. I still like the stir-fried pork the best, if I had to pick just one, but each preparation has its own virtues, I think.
The fourth night I still have a few scraps of pork left, along with a few chunks of the braised pork (my mother ate all the tofu; she always does). I chop the pork into little bits, slice squares of dried seasoned tofu into a fine dice, reduce the yard-long (or so it seems) beans into a giant pile of dark jade beads. The pork is sautéed briefly until it browns and renders out its fat, then scraped into a bowl and set aside. Then I stir-fry (as much as you can stir-fry on an electric coil stove with one tilting burner - of course the largest one is the one that tilts) the tofu and long beans, adding water and soy sauce and covering it all so the beans will cook through. When the beans are tender I stir-fry them a bit more, adding in the pork bits, checking for seasoning.
Meanwhile I've made soup from those precious Mangalitsa bones, soaked in cold water, roasted in a 400˙ oven until darkly browned around the edges, simmered for hours until the remaining meat clinging to the bones became meltingly soft. I added a slice or two of ginger, a translucent limb of daikon radish cleaved into rough circles and half-circles. This is one of my favorite soups, with its pure, sweet, clean flavors, made more intense by the flavor of Mangalitsa pork. My mom likes this a lot, picking the tender meat from the bones, drinking every last drop of the broth.
From a little over two pounds of meat and a little under two pounds of bones I have eaten very well (with, of course, the help of various vegetables and aromatics and the omnipresent soy sauce and rice wine) of a wide variety of dishes. A little pork goes a long way; a little is all I need, to be fed, to be satisfied, to feel happy.