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Drool-inducing pork belly

Off Batian’s Lane, which is on Argwings Kodhek Road, we walk into Sa’ani Bistro, a modern day eatery that specialises on African cuisine prepared using French culinary techniques.

We are meeting with Chef Njeru Karanja, a world travelled chef whose resume spans half of Europe. He is the pastry chef as well as the one-third owner of Sa’ani alongside the head chef, Melvin Oyamo, and Natasha, the marketing manager.

He talks about his love for food, which started from a young age. He used to love helping out at his mother’s restaurant, a love that would blossom and see him go to France to study at Le Cordon Bleue Paris.

Yes, the world famous culinary school that most of us have only heard, seen or read about on Food Network, movies or books. He would later work in Europe for a spell before deciding to come back home and start his culinary outfit.

He teamed up with his best friend and business partner to start their first enterprise, Fine Style Catering, which dealt with the delivery of braised and marinated meats. They later started Sa’ani, which has now been in existence for close to two years.

Chef Karanja tells us his life story as he prepares a dish of braised pork belly marinated in their special BBQ sauce, served with the devil’s hot sauce and baked apples.

This was such a great dish that I have no hopes of making it at home. But, I will give you the braised pork belly recipe anyway. Feel free to visit Sa’ani Restaurant and do away with the recipe altogether…

INGREDIENTS

• A piece of braised pork belly

• Hot and sweet sauce

• Tomato sauce

• Soy sauce

• Strawberries

METHOD

• Boil the piece of braised pork belly in some stock to soften it and replace any water it may have lost from refrigeration.

• Remove it from the stock and dice it into tiny chunks.

• Prepare a thick sauce using the strawberries, as well as the tomato, hot and sweet and soy sauces.

• Put the pork chunks in the sauce to simmer for a while.

• Serve with baked apples. Apples famously go well with pork. You can also serve the braised pork belly in sauce with the traditional ugali or rice.

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