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Chinese bacon


susruta
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Bump.

I bought some beautiful homemade lap yuk at my local Chinese food store, and used some last night with a quick lo mein. Here it is partly diced on the cutting board:

gallery_19804_437_21704.jpg

After reading a few recipes in cookbooks I have, it seems that simply dicing and frying it in a bit of peanut oil is not the only method; a few recipes suggested steaming it for 20 minutes or so first, and then removing the rind. Given the surge of talent in this forum lately, I thought I'd ask what y'all would recommend.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Since you asked, you can use it, along with other ingredients, in making Chinese Sticky Rice (Naw Mai Fon). There is a photo of the Chinese bacon (lop yook) next to the Chinese sausage (lop cheung) for comparison.

BTW, how hard was it to cut the lop yook? Sometimes, I have to freeze it a little bit so it's firmer to cut up.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Since you asked, you can use it, along with other ingredients, in making Chinese Sticky Rice (Naw Mai Fon). There is a photo of the Chinese bacon (lop yook) next to the Chinese sausage (lop cheung) for comparison.

BTW, how hard was it to cut the lop yook? Sometimes, I have to freeze it a little bit so it's firmer to cut up.

Good Grief! :shock: You don't think lap yook is hard enough already without freezing it? The ones I have used are either hanging naked by the cord, or in cryovac. I find them hard and have to be very careful cutting them. It's much easier to cut(soft) after they are cooked.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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It's much easier to cut(soft) after they are cooked.

Right you are, Sue-On Moi.

And, in my 6+decades of eating "Chinese" food, I never heard of using lop yoke in lo mein. Must be that there "fusion" (or is it "fission"?) thing young folks are always talking about. :biggrin:

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Good Grief!  :shock: You don't think lap yook is hard enough already without freezing it? The ones I have used are either hanging naked by the cord, or in cryovac. I find them hard and have to be very careful cutting them. It's much easier to cut(soft) after they are cooked.

I don't mean freeze the lop yook until it's completely frozen. I meant put it in the freezer and get the lop yook in a semi-frozen state so I can dice it into very small pieces. It's the similiar idea of freezing flank steak so that you can slice it into very thin pieces.

It's much easier to cut(soft) after they are cooked.

For naw mai fon, I want to cut the lop yook BEFORE cooking. I don't want to cook the flavor out. I want the flavor of the lop yook mixing with all the other ingredients.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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I agree that lap yook must be raw when you make nor mai fan. I just have never seen lap yook so fresh that it would require firming up before slicing. Must check next time I am in Chinatown.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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It's much easier to cut(soft) after they are cooked.

Right you are, Sue-On Moi.

And, in my 6+decades of eating "Chinese" food, I never heard of using lop yoke in lo mein. Must be that there "fusion" (or is it "fission"?) thing young folks are always talking about. :biggrin:

Not "fusion" or "fission: that's ignorance and laziness! :biggrin: I had bought some while out at a store and had to throw together dinner; since I was already making lo mein I tried adding the lap yuk at the front end to see how it worked as a flavoring agent.

And, Russell, it cut quite easily against the rind. Perhaps the difference between fresh, homemade and older, processed lap yuk?

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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If you are referring to "La Rho" (literal translation = spicy meat) the smoked pork belly specialty from the Hunan region, a classic Hunan preparation is stir fried with ginger, dried chiles, leeks, carrots, and bamboo shoots. A dash of soy and black vinegar and we're in business. I was taught how to make this from an old family friend from Hunan. He still smokes his own La Rho (at 86 years old) He used to own a place called Old Hunan Restaurant in So Cal decades ago. Its a great and simple dish!

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If you are referring to "La Rho" (literal translation = spicy meat) the smoked pork belly specialty from the Hunan region, a classic Hunan preparation is stir fried with ginger, dried chiles, leeks, carrots, and bamboo shoots. A dash of soy and black vinegar and we're in business. I was taught how to make this from an old family friend from Hunan. He still smokes his own La Rho (at 86 years old) He used to own a place called Old Hunan Restaurant in So Cal decades ago. Its a great and simple dish!

I think it is different as lap yook is not smoked. It is wind dried.

But, the dish you described sound delicious! Any chance of you making that and posting a picture?

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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If you are referring to "La Rho" (literal translation = spicy meat) the smoked pork belly specialty from the Hunan region, a classic Hunan preparation is stir fried with ginger, dried chiles, leeks, carrots, and bamboo

Just to keep the record straight, the "la" in la rou does not mean "spicy" or "waxified" as some translation suggested.

"la" is 腊 in 腊月, it is the month of December in the Chinese Lunar calender.

The literal tranlation of la rou should be "December Meat".

People in China used to make la rou in in December in preparation for the Chinese New Year.

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Interestingly (or maybe not.....geek-warning alert!!!), the characters la4腊 can be written 臘 and the former character used to be read xi1, for which it meant 'cured meats' while the la4 reading was reserved for the La Festival (which is rarely, if ever, celebrated now, but there are some really nice Tang poems about it....).

Actually, the second la4 character is the more common ancient form of la4, but it appears that, in a great coalescing (sp?) of festival and what was prepared there, the association of the two became what it is today with 臘 and 腊 and la4 and xi1 all merging together (just like how the term la4 became associated with the twelfth lunar month).

In the Shouwen Jiezi (說文解字), the character 腊 doesn't even appear, just the other - which indicates the sacrifice of la4, but even by this point (i.e. Han dynasty) it was associated with dried meat....

[geek mode off]

and back to real food - I need to make some lapyuk as the thread on Naw Mai fan is making me REALLY hungry and I can't seem to find it anywhere near me.

So, question for Ben or BettyK - how long do you need to hang it for? Will it take ages or can you eat it pretty soon after curing?

<a href='http://www.longfengwines.com' target='_blank'>Wine Tasting in the Big Beige of Beijing</a>

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Interestingly (or maybe not.....geek-warning alert!!!), the characters la4腊 can be written 臘 and the former character used to be read xi1, for which it meant 'cured meats' while the la4 reading was reserved for the La Festival (which is rarely, if ever, celebrated now, but there are some really nice Tang poems about it....).

Actually, the second la4 character is the more common ancient form of la4, but it appears that, in a great coalescing (sp?) of festival and what was prepared there, the association of the two became what it is today with 臘 and 腊 and la4 and xi1 all merging together (just like how the term la4 became associated with the twelfth lunar month).

In the Shouwen Jiezi (說文解字), the character 腊 doesn't even appear, just the other - which indicates the sacrifice of la4, but even by this point (i.e. Han dynasty) it was associated with dried meat....

[geek mode off]

and back to real food - I need to make some lapyuk as the thread on Naw Mai fan is making me REALLY hungry and I can't seem to find it anywhere near me.

So, question for Ben or BettyK - how long do you need to hang it for? Will it take ages or can you eat it pretty soon after curing?

Is that LA-PYUK?? Just kidding!

So what are the characters for lap yuk? (lop yuk / lop yoke)

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Interestingly (or maybe not.....geek-warning alert!!!), the characters la4腊 can be written 臘 and the former character used to be read xi1, for which it meant 'cured meats' while the la4 reading was reserved for the La Festival (which is rarely, if ever, celebrated now, but there are some really nice Tang poems about it....).

Actually, the second la4 character is the more common ancient form of la4, but it appears that, in a great coalescing (sp?) of festival and what was prepared there, the association of the two became what it is today with 臘 and 腊 and la4 and xi1 all merging together (just like how the term la4 became associated with the twelfth lunar month).

In the Shouwen Jiezi (說文解字), the character 腊 doesn't even appear, just the other - which indicates the sacrifice of la4, but even by this point (i.e. Han dynasty) it was associated with dried meat....

[geek mode off]

Fengyi is correct.

The ancient form of the word for La festival is 臘; the simplified modern version is 腊 . The two words are interchangeable now but with people from mainland seem to use the simplified version more. In fact, the definition in Wikipedia for December uses the character 腊月.

But the point of this Geeky discussion is not really about the Chinese characters themselves but rather about the cultural aspect of the food.

Chinese bacon didn’t get its name because it was “spicy” nor it was “wax like” but rather because it was the meat ancient Chinese used to offer to the Gods/ancestors during the end of the lunar year.

Why is this matter?

Because food is a crucial part of Chinese identity for many people in this forum and some (OK, maybe just the really geeky one like me :blush:) may like the fact that the Chinese bacon has a bit more story to tell than the Oscar Myer kind.

.......“Oh I wish I were an Os-car Mayer Wie - ner That is what I'd tru-ly like to be 'cause if I were an Os-car May-er Wie - ner Ev-ery one would be in love with me”....

Darn it, now that song is going to be in my head for the rest of the day.

It is hard to be a Chinese eater in the land of Hot Dog. :wink:

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Chinese bacon didn’t get its name because it was “spicy” nor it was “wax like” but rather because it was the meat ancient Chinese used to offer to the Gods/ancestors during the end of the lunar year.

Are lap yuk and lap cheung still used as offering to the Gods/ancestors? I typically see the white cut chicken and roast pork.

jo-mel: lap yuk is 臘肉. Lap cheung is 臘腸. Lap Ngap is 臘鴨.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Chinese bacon didn’t get its name because it was “spicy” nor it was “wax like” but rather because it was the meat ancient Chinese used to offer to the Gods/ancestors during the end of the lunar year.

Are lap yuk and lap cheung still used as offering to the Gods/ancestors? I typically see the white cut chicken and roast pork.

jo-mel: lap yuk is 臘肉. Lap cheung is 臘腸. Lap Ngap is 臘鴨.

Thanks, hzrt! Now that my NJStar Chinese site has been reactivated, the words make sense. The 'la' is described similar as Fengyi said earlier.

"The ancient practice of offering sacrifices to the Gods in the twelfth month of the lunar year, hence the term 'sacrificial' for the twelfth moon; cured ( fish, meat, etc, generally done in the twelfth month)"

(LOL! The etymology of the traditional character is interesting!)

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  • 1 month later...

I'm trying to make lop yuk at home following Ben's directions above and the procedures in Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's Charcuterie. I'd really appreciate any input over in that thread (click here for the post about it).

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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