Chinese Bacon Recipe: How to Make Delicious Chinese-style Bacon at Hom – Seaco Online
Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart

You might like
Promotion
Read more
Seaco-online.com completes revamp of our website to bring you a better seafood buying experience!

Chinese Bacon Recipe: How to Make Delicious Chinese-style Bacon at Home

If you love bacon, you might want to try out Chinese bacon. This bacon is made from pork belly and is flavoured with ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, sugar and star anise. The result is a smoky, sweet and spicy flavour that is unique to Chinese bacon.

A wok sizzles as thick slices of marinated pork belly are stir-fried with garlic, ginger, and green onions. The savory aroma fills the air as the bacon caramelizes and turns golden brown

When selecting the right cut of pork belly for your Chinese bacon recipe, make sure to choose a piece with a good balance of fat and meat. You'll want to prepare the cure by mixing together ingredients such as soy sauce, rice cooking wine, ginger, bay leaves, star anise, Sichuan pepper, sugar and cinnamon. Once the pork belly is cured and dried, it can be cooked using various techniques such as stir-frying, boiling or grilling.

If you're looking to add a twist to your Chinese bacon recipe, consider incorporating seafood such as shrimp or scallops. The salty and smoky flavour of the bacon pairs well with the sweetness of seafood, resulting in a flavourful and unique dish. Overall, Chinese bacon is a delicious ingredient that can be used in a variety of ways to add flavour to your meals.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese bacon is made from pork belly and flavoured with ingredients such as cinnamon, cloves, sugar and star anise.
  • When preparing your own Chinese bacon recipe, choose a piece of pork belly with a good balance of fat and meat and consider adding seafood for a unique twist.
  • Chinese bacon can be cooked using various techniques and is a versatile ingredient that can add flavour to a variety of dishes.

Selecting the Right Cut

A hand reaches for a slab of chinese bacon, carefully inspecting its marbling and thickness. A cutting board and sharp knife sit nearby, ready for preparation

When it comes to making Chinese bacon, selecting the right cut of pork is crucial. The two most commonly used cuts are pork belly and shoulder, each with its own unique qualities.

Pork Belly vs Shoulder

Pork belly is the traditional cut used for Chinese bacon and is known for its high-fat content. This fat content is what gives the bacon its rich flavour and tender texture. However, it is important to note that excessive consumption of fatty foods can lead to health problems such as high cholesterol levels.

Shoulder, on the other hand, is a leaner cut of pork that is a healthier option for those who are conscious of their fat intake. While it may not have the same level of richness as pork belly, it still provides a good source of protein.

When selecting your cut of pork, consider your personal preferences and dietary needs. If you are looking for a more indulgent flavour, pork belly may be the way to go. If you are looking for a healthier option, shoulder may be the better choice.

Leaner Cuts for Healthier Options

If you are looking for an even leaner option, consider using a different cut of meat altogether. Seafood, for example, can be a great addition to your Chinese bacon recipe. Shrimp or scallops can provide a similar texture and flavour to pork belly, while also being a healthier option.

When using seafood in your recipe, it is important to select the right type of seafood that will complement the flavours of the dish. Shrimp or scallops are great options as they have a mild flavour that will not overpower the other ingredients. It is also important to note that seafood cooks much faster than pork, so be sure to adjust your cooking times accordingly.

When selecting the right cut of meat for your Chinese bacon recipe, consider your personal preferences and dietary needs. Pork belly is the traditional cut used for Chinese bacon, but shoulder can be a healthier option. If you are looking for an even leaner option, consider using seafood such as shrimp or scallops.

Preparing the Cure

A cutting board with cured pork belly, garlic, ginger, and spices. A chef's knife slicing the bacon into thin strips

When it comes to making Chinese bacon, the curing process is crucial to achieve the desired flavour and texture. Here are the steps to prepare the cure:

Mixing the Ingredients

To make the cure, you will need a combination of sugar, salt, soy sauce, wine, and spices. The exact measurements may vary depending on the recipe, but a typical mix includes equal parts sugar and salt, and a 2:1 ratio of soy sauce to wine.

For the spices, traditional Chinese flavours such as star anise, Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, and cloves are commonly used. These spices give the bacon its distinct aroma and taste.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to the mix. Dried shrimp or scallops can add a unique umami flavour to the bacon.

The Marinating Process

Once you have mixed the ingredients, it's time to marinate the pork belly. Make sure the meat is thoroughly coated with the cure, and place it in a container or plastic bag. You can also add additional spices or herbs to the container for extra flavour.

The marinating time can vary depending on the recipe, but it typically takes at least a few days. Some recipes call for up to two weeks of marinating time to achieve the desired flavour.

During the marinating process, make sure to turn the pork belly over every few days to ensure that it is evenly coated with the cure.

Traditional Spices and Flavours

To achieve the traditional Chinese bacon flavour, it's important to use the right spices and flavours. Star anise, Sichuan pepper, cinnamon, and cloves are the most commonly used spices in Chinese bacon recipes.

Baijiu, a type of Chinese liquor, is also often used to add a unique flavour to the bacon. Rice wine is another common ingredient that is used to add sweetness and depth to the cure.

By following these steps and using traditional Chinese flavours and spices, you can create your own delicious Chinese bacon at home.

The Curing and Drying Stages

Pork belly strips hang in a cool, dry area. Salt and spices cover the meat, as it cures and dries

When it comes to making Chinese bacon, the curing and drying stages are crucial to achieving the perfect texture and flavour. Here's what you need to know to get it right.

Air-Curing at Home

Air-curing is a traditional method of preserving meats that involves coating the meat in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, and leaving it to dry in a cool, airy place. This method is ideal for making Chinese bacon at home, as it doesn't require any special equipment.

To air-cure your bacon, you'll need to rub it with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices, and leave it to cure in the fridge for several days. After this, you'll need to rinse off the cure and pat the bacon dry before setting it out on a rack to dry. Ideally, you should leave the bacon to dry in a cool, airy place for 1-3 hours.

Optimal Drying Conditions

The optimal drying conditions for Chinese bacon are cool, dry, and well-ventilated. Ideally, you should aim for a room temperature of around 10-15°C and a relative humidity of around 60%. If you don't have a cool, airy place to dry your bacon, you can use a fridge or a dehydrator instead.

When drying your bacon, it's important to ensure that there is good air flow around the meat. This will help to prevent the growth of bacteria and ensure that the bacon dries evenly. You can achieve good air flow by using a fan or by placing the bacon on a wire rack.

Seafood can be a great addition to Chinese bacon recipes. For example, you could try adding prawns or scallops to your stir-fry for a delicious seafood and bacon dish. Alternatively, you could use dried shrimp or oysters to add a salty, umami flavour to your bacon cure. Just be sure to choose seafood that complements the flavours of the bacon and doesn't overpower them.

Cooking Techniques

Sizzling bacon in a wok, tossing with garlic and ginger, adding soy sauce and sugar, then simmering until caramelized

Steaming for Tenderness

Steaming is a great cooking technique to use when you want to keep your Chinese bacon tender and juicy. This is especially important if you are using a fatty cut of meat. Steaming allows the fat to render out, leaving the meat moist and flavourful.

To steam your Chinese bacon, simply place it in a steamer basket and steam for around 30 minutes. You can also add some seafood to the steamer basket to infuse the bacon with a delicious seafood flavour. Shrimp or scallops work particularly well.

Creating the Perfect Crisp

If you prefer your Chinese bacon crispy, then frying it in a skillet is the way to go. This technique allows you to get that perfect crispy texture that is so satisfying to bite into.

To fry your Chinese bacon, simply heat up a skillet over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the skillet and then add your bacon. Cook the bacon until it is crispy and golden brown, flipping it occasionally to ensure that it cooks evenly.

If you want to add some seafood to your crispy Chinese bacon, then try adding some chopped prawns or crab meat to the skillet. The seafood will infuse the bacon with a delicious flavour that is sure to impress.

Remember, whether you prefer your Chinese bacon tender or crispy, there are a variety of cooking techniques that you can use to achieve the perfect texture. Experiment with different methods to find the one that works best for you.

Serving and Pairing Ideas

A table set with a plate of crispy Chinese bacon, accompanied by a bowl of steamed rice, a small dish of pickled vegetables, and a cup of green tea

Stir Fry Dishes

Chinese bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of stir fry dishes. It pairs well with vegetables like bok choy, broccoli, and green beans. You can also add it to dishes with shrimp, chicken, or beef for a richer flavour.

If you're looking for a quick and easy stir fry recipe, try adding Chinese bacon to your favourite fried rice recipe. It adds a smoky flavour and a crispy texture to the dish. You can also try making a bacon and egg stir fry for a hearty breakfast or brunch.

For a more traditional Chinese dish, try making clay pot rice with Chinese bacon. This dish combines rice, Chinese sausage, and bacon in a clay pot for a delicious and comforting meal.

Accompaniments and Sides

Chinese bacon can also be used in charcuterie boards and as a topping for pizzas. It pairs well with other cured meats like prosciutto and salami.

For a side dish, try making bacon and cabbage soup. This hearty soup is perfect for a cold winter day and is a great way to use up any leftover bacon.

If you're looking for a seafood pairing, try adding Chinese bacon to a shrimp stir fry or a seafood paella. The smoky flavour of the bacon pairs well with the sweetness of the seafood. You can also try adding it to a seafood chowder for a rich and flavourful soup.

To conclude, Chinese bacon is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of dishes. Whether you're making a stir fry, a charcuterie board, or a side dish, Chinese bacon adds a unique and delicious flavour to any recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok with diced Chinese bacon, garlic, and green onions, surrounded by traditional cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the simplest way to prepare Chinese bacon?

The simplest way to prepare Chinese bacon is by using the Lacquered Chinese Bacon recipe. Cut the bacon into 1/4-inch-thick pieces, dredge both sides of each piece in sugar, and bake in the oven until cooked and browned.

Which recipe is considered the top choice for making Chinese bacon?

The Sichuan Chinese Bacon recipe is considered the top choice for making Chinese bacon. This recipe involves marinating the pork belly in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices for several days before smoking it.

Can you use pork belly for making Chinese bacon, and if so, how?

Yes, pork belly is the most commonly used cut of meat for making Chinese bacon. To make Chinese bacon using pork belly, you need to first marinate the meat in a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices for several days before smoking it.

What's the best method to cook Chinese bacon in the oven?

The best method to cook Chinese bacon in the oven is to bake it at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until it is cooked and browned.

How do you incorporate Chinese bacon into a chicken dish?

One way to incorporate Chinese bacon into a chicken dish is to add sliced bacon to a stir-fry of chicken and vegetables. Another option is to wrap chicken breasts in bacon before baking or grilling them.

What are some tips for stir-frying with Chinese bacon?

When stir-frying with Chinese bacon, it's important to slice the bacon thinly and cook it over high heat until it's crispy. You can also add seafood to the stir-fry, such as shrimp or scallops, to give the dish a seafood twist.