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PORK IN CHINESE COOKING

Chinese BBQ Pork

Pork is the favorite meat and some of the most sought after Chinese dishes in the Western world are made of pork. Such dishes, for instance, as sweet and sour pork, pork meat balls, barbecued spare ribs of pork, Chinese roast pork, and roast belly of pork, to mention only a few, have become so well known as almost to be considered Western ones. Pork is succulent meat. In Chinese, when they say meat ('rou' in mandarin or 'yuk' in Cantonese), they mean pork unless some other kind of meat is specified because pork is the most common kind of meat. Different dishes will need different kinds of cuts, as we shall see in below. Cuts have different textures once they have been cooked. Cuts of the same meat may be tough or tender, coarse or fine.

Sweet and Sour PorkRed-Cooked Meat is very popular in China. The name is such because the soy sauce used in them gives them a reddish-brown color. You can use fresh shoulder of pork, fresh ham, or fresh bacon. Keep the skin on. To many Chinese, that is the best part of the meat. Fresh shoulder or ham is usually cooked whole. Fresh bacon is usually cut into one- or two-inch cubes, with some skin on each cube to go around for everybody. The reason that Chinese do not use much pork chop in Red-Cooked Meat is that the tissues of pork chop are longer and not loose enough for this kind of cooking. In the cubed forms of Red-Cooked Meat, other ingredients are often added: fresh vegetables and salted or dried sea food.

"The way you cut your meat reflects the way you live."- Confucius

Meat slices are often used in stir-fry dishes and soup. For these, Chinese do not use such fat meat asRoasted Pork and Duck Rice before. The usual cuts used are pork chop, tenderloin, or the lean part of shoulder or fresh ham. The tough tendons are not suitable for slicing. Meat is sliced into flimsy slices about 1 inch square and 1/16 inch thick, or thicker if you can't. This needs a lot of patience and skill. Meat slices is very easily cooked, therefore the time for cooking is more critical.

Tips : Slightly frozen meat is easier to slice

Meat shreds are obtained simply by cutting your slices into sizes of about 1 X 1/16 x 1/16 inch. Shreds are like slices in being quick-cooking material. Shreds are never used alone and almost always stir-fried. Meat shreds are also a favorite form of presenting food, since with the same amount they make a much greater show of meat among the vegetables. The selection of cut and the basic method of cooking meat shreds are the same as for meat slices. They should be steeped in seasoning and fried separately before thrown in together with the ingredients.

Minced meat - What Chinese usually do is to use two of those Chinese cleavers and chop up pieces of pork to a lively rhythm until fine enough. Of course, you can use a meat grinder or have your butcher mince the pork. For Chinese dishes, it is better to use medium mince instead of fine. Minced meat is rarely used in the loose state. It is almost always made into balls or cakes. The best cuts for meat balls are those with a little fat in them, such as pork chop. You don't use any skin or tendon. If too lean, the cake will be too dry and stiff. Meat balls can form a dish alone or in company with other things.

Cuts of Pork:

Fresh ham, which comes from the thigh, is very tender and lean. It is one of the most frequently used cuts of meat in Chinese cooking, often thinly sliced or cut into strips for stir-frying. Unlike many cuts of meat, fresh ham should be sliced along (not against) the grain.

Pork shoulder (shoulder butt and picnic shoulder) has more fat than fresh ham. It is also a very tender cut.

Pork plate is also called belly pork or fresh, uncured bacon. It is a cut very much favored in Chinese cooking and has a distinctive flavor in boiled and steaming dishes. Pork plate consists of alternating layers of meat and fat. Its fat content is high, ranging from 45% to 68%. (Pork shoulder, in contrast, sometimes contains as little as 18% fat). People on low-fat diet should avoid this cut, but do not ignore recipes that call for it; simple substitute other leaner cuts of pork.

Choose fresh meat that has light color, firm fat and a certain thickness. Pork spoils more quickly than beef, so unless you plan to freeze it, do not buy more than you can use right away.

The entrails of pork are usually prized more than simple lean meat. Liver was considered a food in China long before people talked about vitamins. Kidneys, lungs, intestines, tripe, when rightly prepared, are very good indeed. Skin of pork can be cooked very tender and then it is food. Chinese cooks have a few simple ways to sweeten the entrails of pork further. Before cooking liver and heart, they place them in a bowl and pour running water over them for about 2 hours. They slice kidney thinly, dip in boiling water and then soak them in cold water for a little while.

See Cuts of Pork...

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CHINESE PORK RECIPES

- Chinatown Red-Cooked Pork Treasure
- Oriental Pork Stir Fry
- Ginger Pork
- Pork and Peanut Stir-Fry
- Spicy Pork Stir Fry
- Stir Fry Pork a l' orange
- Stir Fry Pork and Vegetables
- Sweet and Sour Pork
- Sweet and Sour Pork 2
- Sweet and Sour Pork 3
- Szechuan Pork
- Roast Pork w/ Chinese Vegetables
- Slow-cooked Roast Pork
- Mandarin Roast Pork
- Chinese Roast Pork
- Chinese Roast Pork 2
- Chinese Barbecued Pork
- Chinese Barbecued Pork 2
- Cantonese Roast Pork
- Stir-fried Pork with Beansprouts
- Meatballs with Sour Plums
- Pork Shreds with Red-in-Snow
- Spareribs with Fermented Black Beans
- Barbecued Pork
- Braised Chinese Sausage with Winter Melon
- Deep Fried Pork Spareribs with Tomato Sauce
- Stir Fried Pork with Noodles
- Szechuan Garlic Pork
- Ham with Lotus Seeds in Honey Sauce
- Lion’s Head
- Mushu Pork
- Double cooked Pork Slices
- Meatball Chop Suey
- Chinatown Spareribs
- King Spareribs
- Five Spice Flavored Spareribs
- Cabbage Wrapped Pork Rolls
- Pork and Beancurd Crisp
- Shredded Pork with Sweet Bean Sauce
- Pork Loin with Sesame Seeds
- Deep Fried Meatballs
- Double Cooked Pork Slices
- Fast Baked Pork Ribs
- Braised Flank Pork with Dried Salted Brassica
- Pork Chops in Orange Sauce
- Fried Pork with Spring Onions
- Pork Chops in Soy Sauce
- Sliced White Pork
- Pork and Potato Patties
- Hakka Five-Spice Pork
- Kidney Straws
- Spare Ribs with Mixed Spice
- Crispy Pork Wontons

- Szechuan Pork Tenderloin
- Szechuan-Style Pork Chops
- Grilled Szechuan Pork Chops
- Mandarin Magic Pork Chops
- Stir Fried Pork Chop
- Chinese Barbecued Pork Chop
- Pork Balls Oriental
- Chinese Meatballs
- Pork Tenderloin Stir-Fry
- Chinese Crock-Pot Dinner
- Sweet and Pungent Meatballs
- Spicy Chinese Style Pork
- Pork with Cashew
- Chinese Style Ribs
- Chinese Style Spareribs
- Chinese Grilled Ginger Spareribs
- Steamed Spareribs
- Spareribs in Duck Sauce
- Barbecued Spareribs
- Pork and Salted Egg
- Lychee Pork
- Braised Turnip and Pork
- Steamed Meat - Dungbo Pork
- Fried Pork Liver with Scallion
- Stir Fried Liver
- Spareribs in Sweet and Sour Sauce
- Boiled Pork with Lotus Roots
- Stewed Pork
- Double-Stir-Fried Pork in Soy Bean Sauce
- Twice-Cooked Pork
- Steamed Pork Wrapped in Lotus Leaves
- Red-Cooked Pork with Eggs Foochow Pork
- Pork with Bean Sprouts & Peppers
- Pork in Ground Rice
- Honey Sesame Tenderloin
- Pork Chop Suey
- Fried Sweet Chili Short Ribs
- Pork Chop with Mango
- Roast Suckling Pig
- Belly Pork Stew - Tung Po Rou
- Stir Fried Pork with Nuts
- Savory Two
- Sweetened Jinhua Ham
- Double Meatballs with Mixed Vegetables
- Sliced Pork in Lemon Sauce
- Steamed Meat Balls
- Braised Pork Loin with Noodles
- Braised Ribs in Soy Sauce
- Crispy Pork
- Hakka Fried Trotter
- Belly Pork with Fermented Bean Curd
- Stewed Spare Rib with Mixed Spice
- Braised Pork with Quail Eggs
- Stir Fried Pork Liver



   

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.