Jump to content
  • 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 a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
Chris Amirault

Curing Lop Yuk (Chinese Bacon)

Recommended Posts

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....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

gallery_19804_437_663739.jpg

Then I sprinkled them into one of the two bags:

gallery_19804_437_625322.jpg

gallery_19804_437_398590.jpg

Reports soon on results.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

gallery_19804_437_315538.jpg

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!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


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

  • Similar Content

    • By Glen
      Looking to learn and ask questions about home curing meats.  I have an 11 lb batch of genoa salami going and it is my first batch.  Worried about the PH level not dropping as needed.  Need some advice.   I followed the Marianski recipe exactly.  I have a pH meter and the starting point was 6.15pH which I thought was unusually high.  2.5 months in, I am about 73% of starting weight yet my pH is only 5.88pH.  My curing chamber is consistently at 57deg. F. /80% humidity.  My pH tester seems calibrated properly using the calibration solutions.  I am using the meat probe adapter and just sticking it in the salami until the tip is submerged etc...Thanks in advance for any suggestions or reassurances. 
       
      Glen

    • By liuzhou
      While there have been other Chinese vegetable topics in the past, few of them were illustrated And some which were have lost those images in various "upgrades".
       
      What I plan to do is photograph every vegetable I see and say what it is, if I know. However, this is a formidable task so it'll take time. The problem is that so many vegetables go under many different Chinese names and English names adopted from one or other Chinese language, too. For example, I know four different words for 'potato' and know there are more. And there are multiple regional preference in nomenclature. Most of what you will see will be vegetables from supermarkets, where I can see the Chinese labelling. In "farmer's" or wet markets, there is no labelling and although, If I ask, different traders will have different names for the same vegetable. Many a time I've been supplied a name, but been unable to find any reference to it from Mr Google or his Chinese counterparts. Or if I find the Chinese, can't find an accepted translation so have to translate literally.
       
      Also, there is the problem that most of the names which are used in the English speaking countries have, for historical reasons, been adopted from Cantonese, whereas 90% of Chinese speak Mandarin (普通话 pǔ tōng huà). But I will do my best to supply as many alternative names as I can find. I shall also attempt to give Chinese names in simplified Chinese characters as used throughout mainland China and then in  traditional Chinese characters,  now mainly only used in Hong Kong, Taiwan and among much of the Chinese diaspora. If I only give one version, that means they are the same in Simp and Trad.
       
      I'll try to do at least one a day. Until I collapse under the weight of vegetation.
       
      Please, if you know any other names for any of these, chip in. Also, please point out any errors of mine.
       
      I'll start with bok choy/choy. This is and alternatives such as  pak choi or pok choi are Anglicised attempts at the Cantonese pronunciation of the Mandarin! However in Cantonese it is more often 紹菜; Jyutping: siu6 coi3. In Chinese it is 白菜. Mandarin Pinyin 'bái cài'. This literally means 'white vegetable' but really just means 'cabbage' and of course there are many forms of cabbage. Merely asking for bái cài in many a Chinese store or restaurant will be met with blank stares and requests to clarify. From here on I'm just going to translate 白菜 as 'cabbage'.

      So, here we go.


       
      Brassica rapa subsp. pekinensis
       
      This is what you may be served if you just ask for baicai. Or maybe not. In much of China it is 大白菜 dà bái cài meaning 'big cabbage'. In English, usually known as Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, celery cabbage, Chinese leaf, etc.  In Chinese, alternative names include 结球白菜 / 結球白菜 ( jié qiú bái cài ), literally knotted ball cabbage, but there are many more. 
       
      This cabbage is also frequently pickled and becomes  known as 酸菜 (Mand: suān cài; Cant: syun1 coi3) meaning 'sour vegetable', although this term is also used to refer to pickled mustard greens.
       

      Pickled cabbage.
       
    • By liuzhou
      Perhaps the food-related question I get asked most through my blog is “What's it like for vegetarians and vegans in China. The same question came up recently on another thread, so I put this together. Hope it's useful. It would also, be great to hear other people's experience and solutions.
       
      For the sake of typing convenience I’m going to conflate 'vegetarians and vegan' into just 'vegetarian' except where strictly relevant.
      First a declaration of non-interest. I am very carnivorous, but I have known vegetarians who have passed through China, some staying only a few weeks, others staying for years.
       
      Being vegetarian in China is a complicated issue. In some ways, China is probably one of the best countries in which to be vegetarian. In other ways, it is one of the worst.
       
      I spent a couple of years in Gorbachev-era Russia and saw the empty supermarkets and markets. I saw people line up for hours to buy a bit of bread.. So, when I first came to China, I kind of expected the same. Instead, the first market I visited astounded me. The place was piled high with food, including around 30 different types of tofu, countless varieties of steamed buns and flat breads and scores of different vegetables, both fresh and preserved, most of which I didn't recognise. And so cheap I could hardly convert into any western currency.
      If you are able to self-cater then China is heaven for vegetarians. For short term visitors dependent on restaurants or street food, the story is very different.
       
      Despite the perception of a Buddhist tradition (not that strong, actually), very few Chinese are vegetarian and many just do not understand the concept. Explaining in a restaurant that you don't eat meat is no guarantee that you won't be served meat.
       
      Meat is seen in China as a status symbol. If you are rich, you eat more meat.And everyone knows all foreigners are rich, so of course they eat meat! Meat eating is very much on the rise as China gets more rich - even to the extent of worrying many economists, food scientists etc. who fear the demand is pushing up prices and is environmentally dangerous. But that's another issue. Obesity is also more and more of a problem.
      Banquet meals as served in large hotels and banquet dedicated restaurants will typically have a lot more meat dishes than a smaller family restaurant. Also the amount of meat in any dish will be greater in the banquet style places.
       
      Traditional Chinese cooking is/was very vegetable orientated. I still see my neighbours come home from the market with their catch of greenery every morning. However, whereas meat wasn't the central component of dinner, it was used almost as a condiment or seasoning. Your stir fried tofu dish may come with a scattering of ground pork on top, for example. This will not usually be mentioned on the menu.
      Simple stir fried vegetables are often cooked in lard (pig fat) to 'improve' the flavour.
       
      Another problem is that the Chinese word for meat (肉), when used on its own refers to pork. Other meats are specified, eg (beef) is 牛肉, literally cattle meat. What this means is that when you say you don't eat meat, they often think you mean you don't eat pork (something they do understand from the Chinese Muslim community), so they rush off to the kitchen and cook you up some stir fried chicken! I've actually heard a waitress saying to someone that chicken isn't meat. Also, few Chinese wait staff or cooks seem to know that ham is pig meat. I have also had a waitress argue ferociously with me that the unasked for ham in a dish of egg fried rice wasn't meat.
       
      Also, Chinese restaurant dishes are often given have really flowery, poetic names which tell you nothing of the contents. Chinese speakers have to ask. One dish on my local restaurant menu reads “Maternal Grandmother's Fluttering Fragrance.” It is, of course, spicy pork ribs!
      Away from the tourist places, where you probably don't want to be eating anyway, very few restaurants will have translations of any sort. Even the best places' translations will be indecipherable. I have been in restaurants where they have supplied an “English menu”, but if I didn't know Chinese would have been unable to order anything. It was gibberish.
       
      To go back to Buddhism and Taoism, it is a mistake to assume that genuine followers of either (or more usually a mix of the two) are necessarily vegetarian. Many Chinese Buddhists are not. In fact, the Dalai Lama states in his autobiography that he is not vegetarian. It would be very difficult to survive in Tibet on a vegetarian diet.
       
      There are vegetarian restaurants in many places (although the ones around where I am never seem to last more than six months). In the larger cities such as Beijing and Shanghai they are more easily findable.
       
      Curiously, many of these restaurants make a point of emulating meat dishes. The menu reads like any meat using restaurant, but the “meat” is made from vegetable substitutes (often wheat gluten or konjac based).
       
      To be continued
    • By liuzhou
      It is possibly not well-known that China has some wonderful hams, up there with the best that Spain can offer. This lack of wide -knowledge, at least in the USA, is mainly down to regulations forbidding their importation. However, for travellers to China and those in  places with less restrictive policies, here are some of the best.
       
      This article from the WSJ is a good introduction to one of the best - Xuanwei Ham 宣威火腿  (xuān wēi huǒ tuǐ) from Yunnan province.
      This Ingredient Makes Everything Better
      I can usually obtain Xuanwei ham here around the Chinese New Year/Spring Festival, but I also have a good friend who lives in Yunnan who sends me regular supplies. The article compares it very favourably with jamon iberico, a sentiment with which I heartily agree.



      Xuanwei Ham
       

      Xuanwei Ham
       
      more coming soon.
       
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×