Chinese winter meats

Posted by Fuchsia on January 21, 2012
Cooking, Sichuanese cuisine

In the last month of the lunar year, the Sichuanese often cure their own meats: spicy wind-dried sausages, smoked bacon and marinated, wind-dried pork (酱肉)。I was hoping to make some sausages this year, but didn’t have time, so I made instead some jiang rou 酱肉。 It is pork leg that is salted for a few days, wind-dried, marinated in sweet fermented sauce (甜面酱),rice wine, sugar and spices, and then wind-dried once again. You can see some in the photograph on the left, hanging outside my kitchen window. The weather is perfect now: cold but not freezing, rather like in Sichuan. Tomorrow night I will rinse some of the meat, steam it, slice it and then serve it as part of my New Year’s Eve dinner.

Afterwards:

I wanted to show you a couple of uses for this home-cured meat. On the right you can see how I served it on New Year’s Eve: simply rinsed, steamed, cooled, sliced and served with a dip of ground chillies (you can add a little ground roasted Sichuan pepper too, if you like). The meat has an intense umami flavour, a little like ham.

Another scrumptious use for it is to chop it finely and use it to add an umami deliciousness to fried rice or eight-treasure stuffings. Below you can see the fried rice I made with leftovers from the dinner: a little home-cured pork; an egg or two, beaten; finely chopped gai lan (Chinese broccoli); a little ginger and garlic; and a whisper of sesame oil to finish.

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4 Comments to Chinese winter meats

kitchenvoyage
27 January 2012

Do you know exactly whit kind of winter micro-climate you need for Chinese cured meat. i guess England is to wet??

tangawk
31 October 2013

WINTER SOLSTICE FESTIVAL

Dear Fucshia, Do you have any views on how to celebrate culinarilly, this apparently most important of Chinese festivals?

It coincides with my birthday!

Regards

Phillip Raney
11 February 2014

Good day Fuchsia! I’m a huge fan of your books, and I have a meat question. I’ve just made some la rou, and jiang rou. This is my first attempt at this. For my la rou I used the best pork belly I could find in the area, and it turned out perfect. I’m in Canada, and finding a Chinese cut of pork belly is rather hard. I prefer the “three strings” but this is almost impossible to find here. I did want a more meat to fat ratio, so I attempted it with a pork tenderloin that had not had the fat stripped away. The results were the meat being a little dry, and I attempted the same with the jiang rou. I’m looking at your picture, and I’m wondering what cut of meat you used to achieve your results. Also I chopped up the jiang rou and and made your fried rice and it was lovely. I did add some Sichuan pickles from my jar additionally to add a bit more flair to it. Thank you for any assistance you have to offer.
CHEERS!!! Phillip

Fuchsia
11 February 2014

I had forgotten, but in the blog post I say I used pork leg. How about trying it with that?

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