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Chris Amirault

Curing Lop Yuk (Chinese Bacon)

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Unfortunately for us in Vancouver - it is very hard to find unsalted wine - so I am not sure if I could ever really try to make it here.  The liquior control board will not allow the Chinese wine to be sold in a non-government outlet without it being heavily salted so that it cannot be drunk.

I'd urge you to try it with a good cooking shaoxing. And, honestly, I'd bet that if you asked the shopkeeper, you might find that some of the good stuff behind the counter, so to speak. Ahem.

Question: did you use white sugar or a dark sugar?

White. Interesting thought about a dark(er) sugar, though....

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Thanks, Chris! I'll get some more PRB to duplicate your lop yuk.

Lee, we can get the drinking Shaoxing easily, so I'm sure some could find its way to you.

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I got another round of lop yuk curing today, and I decided at the store that it would be a good time to test a cure that included some aromatics. As I was trying to figure out what those aromatics might be, I spied this package at the store:

gallery_19804_437_505706.jpg

The ingredients listed "red prickly ash, cinnamon, anise, star anise, lilac, dried ginger, cattail, licorice root, dried orange peel" -- and I'm pretty sure that there were szechuan peppercorns in there, too. I ground them a bit:

gallery_19804_437_86198.jpg

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Then I sprinkled them into one of the two bags:

gallery_19804_437_625322.jpg

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Reports soon on results.

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gallery_19804_437_505706.jpg

The ingredients listed "red prickly ash, cinnamon, anise, star anise, lilac, dried ginger, cattail, licorice root, dried orange peel" -- and I'm pretty sure that there were szechuan peppercorns in there, too. I ground them  a bit:

75cents for this bag seems a very good deal! Besides what they have listed, I see a couple of bay leaves in there too. Isn't that right?

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Yes, they are indeed bay leaves. It was a good deal!

The two batches finished up last weekend and turned out great. I let them hang a bit longer than I have in the past, so they're quite a bit more firm.

The batch made with the aromatics has turned out fantastically. I made a bit batch of naw mai fon with it and we all noticed a difference. I can see how it wouldn't be the right choice in every situation, but it's wonderful.

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I'm preparing lop yuk and prune canapés for Christmas dinner (click) and just sliced thinly one of the aromatic pieces. You can see why it's utterly justified to call this Chinese prosciutto:

gallery_19804_437_508655.jpg

gallery_19804_437_103398.jpg

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Following on jackal10's idea, I've assembled the "Devils on Horseback" lop yuk and prune bundles. The prunes were small so I combined two for each serving, and placed a bit of tangerine rind in the middle before wrapping with the lop yuk:

gallery_19804_437_74642.jpg

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I'll sauté them a la minute and then give them a dusting of the pepper-salt seasoning, which includes szechuan peppercorn, black peppercorns, salt, and ground tangerine rind:

gallery_19804_437_148980.jpg

The only hard part is slicing the lop yuk very thinly! (As you know, curing it is a breeze!)

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Bump for this year's curing. I've got a few pounds hanging in the attic, what with a cold, dry stretch coming for the next ten days.

Anyone else going to cure some lop yuk this year?

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Great thread revival Chris, if you're interested i'll get my mum's recipe for you to try? It always taste really nice and i suspect it's really simple. I'd try it myself but i've not the time or the inclination for hanging meat (that could be misconstrued :blink: ).

BTW, how did you slice your's so thin lengthways?

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Great thread revival Chris, if you're interested i'll get my mum's recipe for you to try?  It always taste really nice and i suspect it's really simple.  I'd try it myself but i've not the time or the inclination for hanging meat (that could be misconstrued  :blink: ). 

I'd be very interested to see your mum's recipe! Post it in RecipeGullet and link to it here so we can compare.

BTW, how did you slice your's so thin lengthways?

Why, with my Hobart meat slicer, of course!

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My parents will be doing it this year and I will give it a go with my friend, once the north wind starts kicking in. My mom taught me that one should only make lap yuk when the north wind is blowing hard and fast - like late Nov/early Dec.

I'll probably start curing in late Oct. My dad does soy, cooking wine, rock sugar and salt. I think. It's some magical potion that makes pork belly oh so tasty.

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Why, with my Hobart meat slicer, of course!

And there i was thinking you might be some knife demi-god!

Just got off the phone from my mum and here is her recipe for 10 strips of belly pork. I've not put it on the RecipeGullet as by her own admission all quantities are approximate:

Marinate for 2 days in

5 spice - 2tsp

Brandy - 1tsp

Hoisin - 1-2tsp

Brown sugar - 7-8tsp

Salt - pinch

Light soy - 2 Chinese soup spoons

Rinse off the marinade with boiling water as this helps the meat to dry better apparently. Hang until it hardens and it starts to sheen with it's own fat. There, told you it was simple. Might give it a go myself after all!

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Got a new batch going: 3 kg of the most basic recipe. I found that the spiced-up version was less versatile, and that the porky goodness was hidden somewhat by the complexity of the spices. Nothing too interesting to photograph, but I'll post result later.

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