Growing up in a Chinese household, I can attest to the importance of bacon. However, Chinese bacon differs from regular bacon you might find at your local grocery store.
Chinese bacon, also known as la rou or rougan, is made from pork belly or loin that has been cured with salt, sugar and spices such as star anise, cinnamon and cloves. After drying it is then smoke-cured using tea leaves, camphor wood or other aromatic woods for several months.
Chinese bacon is a flavorful and fragrant cured meat that can be used in many dishes. Its slightly sweet and savory taste, along with its chewy texture, make it perfect for enjoying on its own or adding to stir-fries, soups, and rice dishes.
One of my favorite dishes that uses Chinese bacon is fried rice. To make it, I dice the bacon into small pieces and fry until crispy before adding cooked rice, eggs, peas, and carrots. The smoky and salty taste of bacon adds an extra dimension to the dish that cannot be replicated with regular bacon alone.
Another popular way to prepare Chinese bacon is to steam it with rice. Placed on top of uncooked rice, the bacon will then be steamed until both items are cooked through – creating an irresistible one-pot meal where the flavorful bacon permeates every grain.
Chinese bacon not only has an irresistible taste, but it also provides health benefits. It is high in protein and packed with essential vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and vitamin B12.
If you have never tried Chinese bacon before, I highly suggest giving it a shot. It adds an irresistible flavor to any dish and has become a staple in many Chinese households for good reason.
Chinese bacon has long been used in traditional cuisine, but more recently chefs have begun incorporating it into modern dishes such as ramen, pasta and pizza. Not only does this add a unique flair to these dishes but it also showcases how versatile Chinese bacon truly is.
Chinese bacon has become increasingly popular outside of Chinese communities, with many specialty shops now selling it. It has also become a key component in fusion cuisine, where chefs use it to create dishes that combine different culinary traditions.
One thing to bear in mind is that Chinese bacon comes in various varieties depending on where it originates. Cantonese-style Chinese bacon tends to be sweeter, while Sichuan-style Chinese bacon packs more heat.
Chinese bacon comes in various forms, such as slices or dices, with varying levels of smokiness. Some people enjoy their Chinese bacon with a strong, smoky taste while others opt for something milder.
It’s essential to remember that Chinese bacon contains high levels of sodium, so it should be consumed in moderation. But when eaten in reasonable amounts, Chinese bacon can provide a flavorful and nutritious addition to your meals.
Overall, Chinese bacon is an irresistible and versatile ingredient loved by generations of Chinese families. Its unique flavor and texture can add depth to many dishes in both traditional and modern cooking alike. If you’re looking to branch out with new ingredients in your cooking, give Chinese bacon a try and see how it can enhance your dishes!