November 15, 2016

Steamed Chinese Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk 蒸臘肉

Steamed Chinese Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk 蒸臘肉

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By Published: 2016-11-15
Dear friends, it's time for those dishes that warm you up and provide you with the slow burning energy throughout these long chilly days.  I want to introduce the Chinese Cured Pork Belly, also known as Lap Yuk or 臘肉, a Cantonese preserved meat specialty that is sooo delicious and comforting to eat during the autumn and winter months.  Absolute perfection with a steaming hot bowl of rice.  If you've never had it before, it's vaguely reminiscent of bacon being from the same cut of meat but, I think, even better in its own unique luscious porky sort of way.

chinese, chinese bacon, Cured, Lap Yuk, Pork Belly, preserved meat, preserved sausage, recipe, steamed, 蒸, 臘肉,
Gorgeous display of Lap Yuk at the wet market counter
Lap Yuk is apparently not that hard to make: get yourself some 五花腩 or 'five flower meat', the section of the pork belly that has two layers of meat and three layers of fat, marinate in a soy sauce wine spice marinade for a couple of days and then hang the darn thing til it's dried.  I'm going to try making some this winter (I'm really excited!  Nerdy, eh?) but in the meanwhile I go to my local wet market where my favorite cured preserved meat vendor (the little old lady who also stocks the delectable Sun Dried Dace 臘鯪魚) has really, really great Chinese Cured Pork Belly.  I guess this is the only slightly difficult part of making this warming, deeply satisfying dish, that you have to find a good supplier of the stuff.  But, don't fret, most of the stuff in the market is pretty good.  I guess it's hard to miss the mark with a premium cut of meat like pork belly!

But...just in case...a few tips while buying:  look for meat with the characteristic striping that indicates that the five flower meat cut has been used.  The Lap Yuk should look clean, shiny, firm but not super rock hard.  And not shriveled, dried out looking nor moldy.  Give it a careful sniff.  Any whiff of staleness or rancid oil means you move on.  

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It's so easy to make this dish.  Just wash and steam, either by itself or in with your steaming rice.  If you decide to steam it in with your rice know that the pork fat will melt into your rice and create a fragrant oily rice that is heavenly to eat.  Lastly chop into steamed lap yuk into bite sized pieces and Bob's your uncle.  Serve with lots and lots of perfectly steamed white rice.  

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Ohhh...look at that!  Deeply marinaded in rice wine and soy and spices, the lap yuk is just packed with intense flavor.  Dry preserving meats makes flavor way more concentrated, as you probably know already.  The textures, however, are what really make this cured meat special.  There's the meat part, which is porky, chewy and densely packed with winey spiced soy flavor, rather like how jerky is packed with flavor.  Then there's the skin bit which will be quite delightfully chewy, a textural contrast to my personal favorite part, the pork fat.  Oh...what can I say?  It just melts in your mouth, a scrumptious, decadent tender tastiness that warms and satisfies you right to the bottom of your tippy toes.  

      

Actually I stumbled onto these photos today by accident. I took them last year but then the darn weather  got warm again before I had time to write about Chinese Cured Pork Belly.  At first sight of the photos my stomach did a lurch and thought, all by itself, gosh darn, we'd forgotten all about this particular yummiliciousness all through the hot sweltering summer, but now, now that we remember, gotta eat us some right away!  And so said my stomach and so I'm off tomorrow to the wet market to do my duty by my stomach and get us some of this deliciousness... 

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Steamed Chinese Cured Pork Belly Recipe 臘肉 
Prep time:    Cook time:

Ingredients


1 length Cured Pork Belly Lap Yuk 臘肉

Directions:


If steaming by itself cut the lap yuk into a size that will fit in your steamer.  Under running hot water use your fingers to rub off as much of the oil on the surface of the lap yuk as possible.  Place onto a plate and steam over high heat for 10 mins.  Remove and slice into bite sized pieces.  Pile onto a serving dish and serve hot with white rice.

If steaming with your rice, cut the lap yuk into a size that will fit into your rice cooker.  Under running hot water use your fingers to rub off as much of the oil on the surface of the lap yuk as possible.  Wash your rice and add water as you usually do, then plop the lap yuk in.  Cook the whole thing in your rice cooker as usual.  When the rice is done, the lap yuk is also done.  Remove the lap yuk from the rice and slice into bite sized pieces.  Pile onto a serving plate and serve with white rice.

Tip:  If steaming your lap yuk directly with white rice I would recommend steaming a quarter or half length of lap yuk at most as if you use more your rice might become too oily.


     


More Preserved Local Foods at The Hong Kong Cookery:

Hong Kong honeyChinese Salted Fish 鹹魚
Chinese Jinhua Ham 金華火腿Chinese Jinhua Ham 金華火腿
chinese, rice, steamed rice, dried shrimp, recipeDried Shrimp Steamed White Rice 蝦乾蒸飯
chinese, Dace, fish, Mud Carp, preserved fish, recipe, steamed, sun dried, 臘, 蒸, 順德, 鯪魚Steamed Sun Dried Dace 蒸臘鯪魚

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