• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Fat Guy

Making Hong Kong-Style Roast Meats at Home

19 posts in this topic

I've been completely dissatisfied with the roast pork and related roasted meat items from the Chinese restaurants in my neighborhood, and I refuse to believe that my only choice is to get this stuff in Chinatown. In addition, given how cheap pork is in supermarkets it seems logical that I should be able to make pounds and pounds of the stuff for the price of one small portion in a restaurant. So what's the basic procedure for making, say, that nice red roast pork at home? What cut of pork is used, what do you need to do to it before cooking, and how do you cook it? Please assume zero knowledge on my part (always the case).


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cocking an ear, here.....I can get it a relatively-local store (20 minute drive) but I agree...it's do-able.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a recipe for Cantonese Roast Pork in The Chinese Cookbook by Craig Claiborne and Virginia Lee (1972; Lippincott; ISBN unknown). This one calls for "lean loin of pork or other boneless cut." But I think that might make it too dry. The marinade looks pretty tasty, though.

The Hong Kong Cookbook by Arthur Lem and Dan Morris (1970, Funk & Wagnalls) uses boneless pork butt, and has a better method -- hanging the meat in the oven over a pan of water -- but the flavorings will probably NOT give you a superior product.

I've probably got more recipes in other books and in files; let me know if you want them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in understanding the process, particularly what gives this type of pork its unique texture, crust, and sweetness.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Virginia Lee recipe has a multi-step coating process: first you marinate the meat in a mixture of alcohol (she uses bourbon, cognac, or rum, because at the time "the Chinese counterpart" -- shao hsing? -- was not available here), light soy sauce, sugar, 5-spice, and salt. Then before cooking it you coat it with a mixture of "red bean curd sauce," bean sauce, light soy, sugar and sesame paste. While it's cooking you brush it with dark soy. Finally, after it's cooked you dip-and-dry several times with light and dark soys, sugar, and corn syrup or honey. That explains the crust and sweetness.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds elaborate. I wonder if there is a minimalist approach that gets 99% of the result with 25% of the effort.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sounds elaborate. I wonder if there is a minimalist approach that gets 99% of the result with 25% of the effort.

Ken Hom has a fairly simple recipe in his book, Easy Family Recipes from a Chinese-American Childhood.

He cuts boned pork shoulder into strips about 1" wide, and makes shallow diagonal cuts into the meat for the marinade to penetrate. The pork is marinated overnight in a mixture of salt, black pepper, 5 spice powder, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, hoisin sauce, bean sauce and sugar and then roasted on a rack over a pan filled with a little water in a fairly hot oven, basting to start. After 30 minutes you turn the heat down to medium, and baste again with a little honey and the rest of the marinade, and roast again for another 30 minutes or so.

Other recipes I've seen coat the pork with honey after marinating it and then broil it on a rack over a pan filled with a little water, for about 10 minutes per side, basting halfway through. Some recipes use pork loin, but I think shoulder is probably better, being juicier. Another recipe uses gin or Mei Kuei Lu Chiew instead of the Shaoxing wine, and also adds oyster sauce, and a little red preserved bean curd (comes in jars) to the marinade.

Apparently the barbecued pork (char siu) hanging in the windows is colored with red vegetable dye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think my mum uses either shoulder or leg for char siu at home... marinades it in bbq (hoison?) sauce and other goodies. not loin - it would be too lean.

for some of the other ones I suspect oven temp is also an issue - domestic ovens just don't get hot enough.

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The choice of spices is flexible -- any combination of star anise, fennel seeds, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, licorice, nutmeg and Sichuan peppercorns, but star anise and cinnamon are pretty much always included.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I just read that you can go into a Chinese herb shop and ask the herbalist for a package of 5-spice seasoning made up to your specs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's sort of like how at the Imperial Herbal Restaurant in Singapore we had to be examined by the herbalist before we ordered our meal so that he could prescribe the appropriate spices and dishes for us. Which reminds me I still have a prescription I need to get filled.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What did they feed you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was just normal Chinese food. The herbs and dish choices didn't really seem to make a difference. There were some people being served things like deer-penis soup (including Westerners, so it wasn't a discrimination thing), but I guess our requirements were less elaborate.


Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It should probably be called "choose any five out of eight spice powder" then.

The "5-spice" we made at Match (Gary Robins) had 7 components: Star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon, coriander, black peppercorns, allspice, and cloves. If you buy pre-made, Vann's is pretty good, but quite different: ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, pepper, thyme, and star anise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mai Leung has a nice recipe in Dim Sum and Other Chinese Street Food (called The Chinese People's Cookbook in hardcover, probably now out of print). She marinates, then puts the pork strips on skewers right on the oven rack over a water-filled roasting pan, roasts at 500 degrees for 15 minutes, turns heat down to 450 for 15 minutes, and then brushes the pork strips with a simple glaze of honey, thin soy and sesame oil, and returns pork to oven for 1 minute.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Ed or any of the other newer eGulleters, have any experiences making Cantonese roast pork, & want to comment about it on this thread?

--------------

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      I was recently asked by a friend to give a talk to a group of around 30 first-year students in a local college - all girls. The students were allowed to present me with a range of topics to choose from. To my joy, No. 1 was food! They wanted to know what is different between western and Chinese food. Big topic!
       
      Anyway I did my best to explain, illustrate etc. I even gave each student a home made Scotch egg! Which amused them immensely.

      Later, my friend asked each of them to write out (in English) a recipe for their favourite Chinese dish. She has passed these on to me with permission to use them as I wish. I will post a few of the better / more interesting ones over the next few days.

      I have not edited their language, so please be tolerant and remember that for many of these students, English is their third or fourth language. Chinese isn't even their first!

      I have obscured some personal details.

      First up:

      Tomato, egg noodles.

      Time: 10 minutes
       
      Yield: 1 serving

      For the noodle:

      1 tomato
      2 egg
      5 spring onions

      For the sauce:
       
      1 teaspoon sesame oil
      1 tablespoon sugar
      ½ teaspoon salt

      Method:

      1. The pot boil water. At that same time you can do something else.

      2. Diced tomato. Egg into the bowl. add salt and sugar mixed. Onion cut section.

      3. Boiled noodles with water and cook for about 5 minutes.

      4. Heat wok put oil, add eggs, stir fry until cooked. Another pot, garlic stir fry the tomato.

      5. add some water to boil, add salt, soy sauce, add egg
       
      6. The tomato and egg sauce over noodle, spring onion sprinkled even better.
       


      More soon.
    • By zend
      I just bought these greens from the neighborhood Asian grocery. Had them once in China as a salad, and they tasted exceptional - a bit peppery like arugula, yet much more subtle and fresh, with hints of lemon.
      Store lady (non-Chinese) could not name them for me other than "Chinese greens".
      Any help identifying them is greatly appreciated
       

    • By liuzhou
      China's plan to cut meat consumption by 50%
       
      I wish them well, but can't see it happening. Meat eating is very much seen as a status symbol and, although most Chinese still follow a largely vegetable diet out of economic necessity, meat is still highly desirable among the new middle classes. The chances of them willingly giving it up, even by 50%, seems remote to me.
    • By JohnT
      I have been asked to make Chinese Bow Tie desserts for a function. However, I have never made them, but using Mr Google, there are a number of different recipes out there. Does anybody have a decent recipe which is tried and tested? - these are for deep-fried pastry which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
    • By chefmd
      My son married a lovely young lady from Yakeshi, Inner Mongolia, China.   Mongolian: ᠶᠠᠠᠠᠰᠢ ᠬᠣᠲᠠ (Ягши хот); Chinese: 牙克石; pinyin: Yákèshí
       
      We had a wedding in the US but her family also wanted to have a traditional wedding in China.  DH and I have never being to China so this was an exciting opportunity for us!  We spent a few days in Beijing doing touristy stuff and then flew to Hailar.  There is only one flight a day on Air China that we took at 6 in the morning.  Yakeshi is about an hour drive from Hailar on a beautiful toll road with no cars on it.  I wish we took pictures of free roaming sheep and cows along the way.  The original free range meat.
       
      The family met us at the airport.  We were greeted with a shot of a traditional Chinese spirit from a traditional leather vessel.  Nothing says welcome like a stiff drink at 9 AM.  We were supposed to have a three shots (may be they were joking) but family took pity on us and limited it to one only.
       

       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.