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Delicious Pork Jowl Recipe: A Unique Take on Traditional Chinese Cooking

For those who enjoy Chinese dishes, pork jowl is a well-known ingredient used in various authentic Chinese recipes. Also called pork cheek, this fatty meat cut is commonly added to stews, soups, and stir-fries. With its versatility in cooking methods, pork jowl is a preferred option for numerous household cooks.

A sizzling pork jowl in a wok with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Green onions and chili peppers add color and flavor

When it comes to preparing pork jowl, there are many different techniques and methods that you can use. Some recipes call for marinating the meat in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and spices, while others recommend braising it in a savoury broth. Regardless of the method you choose, the key is to cook the pork jowl slowly to allow the fat to render and the meat to become tender and flavourful.

If you're looking to try your hand at cooking with pork jowl, then you're in luck. There are many delicious Chinese recipes that feature this ingredient, from classic stir-fries to hearty stews. With a little bit of preparation and some patience, you can create a mouth-watering dish that's sure to impress your family and friends.

Key Takeaways

  • Pork jowl is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine that can be used in a variety of dishes.
  • There are many different techniques for preparing pork jowl, including marinating and braising.
  • Pork jowl can be paired with seafood for a delicious and unique flavour combination.

Selecting Ingredients

A hand reaches for pork jowl, ginger, and garlic, sitting on a wooden cutting board. A bowl of soy sauce and cooking wine awaits nearby

When it comes to preparing a delicious pork jowl Chinese recipe, selecting the right ingredients is crucial. Here are some tips to help you choose the best ingredients for your dish.

Choosing the Best Pork Jowl

When selecting pork jowl for your recipe, look for cuts that have a good balance of lean meat and fat. The fat is what gives the meat its rich flavour and keeps it moist during cooking. Pork jowl can be quite fatty, so it's important to trim off any excess fat before cooking.

Essential Spices and Seasonings

To create the authentic Chinese flavour, you'll need to use a range of spices and seasonings. Chinese five spice, cloves, salt, and sugar are essential for creating the perfect marinade. Garlic and ginger are also commonly used to add flavour to the dish.

Additional Ingredients

In addition to the essential spices and seasonings, you can also use a range of additional ingredients to add depth and complexity to the dish. Honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and dark and light soy sauce are all popular choices.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also consider adding some seafood to your pork jowl recipe. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to a stir-fry, while clams or mussels could be used in a hearty soup. Just be sure to choose seafood that is fresh and sustainable, and cook it thoroughly before adding it to your dish.

By choosing the best ingredients and using a range of spices and seasonings, you can create a delicious and authentic pork jowl Chinese recipe that is sure to impress your guests.

Preparation Techniques

A chef marinates pork jowl in soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. They then braise the meat in a flavorful mixture of Chinese spices and herbs

Marinating the Pork

Before cooking pork jowl, it is important to marinate it to add flavour and tenderness. A simple marinade can be made with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, garlic, and Chinese five-spice powder. You can also add seafood such as prawns or scallops to the marinade for a unique twist. The pork should be marinated for at least 2 hours, but overnight marination is recommended for maximum flavour.

Roasting Methods

Roasting is a popular method for cooking pork jowl. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with aluminium foil. Place the pork jowl on the tray and roast for 30-40 minutes, basting with the marinade every 10 minutes. You can also add vegetables such as carrots, onions, and bell peppers to the tray for a complete meal.

Alternative Cooking Methods

Aside from roasting, there are other ways to cook pork jowl. Grilling is a great option for those who prefer a smoky flavour. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and grill the pork jowl for 10-15 minutes, basting with the marinade every 5 minutes. Braising and slow cooking are also great options for pork jowl. Simply place the pork in a pot with your choice of vegetables, broth, and seasoning and cook on low heat for several hours until the pork is tender.

When preparing pork jowl, it is important to allocate enough time for preparation. The preparation time for marinating the pork can take up to 24 hours. When roasting, baking or grilling, it is important to keep an eye on the pork to ensure it does not overcook. Seafood can also be added to the recipe for a unique twist, such as prawns or scallops.

Cooking the Dish

Sizzling pork jowl in a wok with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce, steaming rice in the background

If you're looking for a dish that is sure to impress your guests, then Pork Jowl Char Siu is the perfect recipe for you. This Chinese dish is known for its slightly charred and melt-in-your-mouth texture, making it a favourite among many. In this section, we'll guide you through the steps of cooking this delicious dish.

Achieving the Perfect Roast

To achieve the perfect roast, it's important to select the right cut of pork. Pork jowl, a fatty cut of meat, is the ideal choice for this recipe. The fat content in pork jowl is what gives the dish its tender and juicy texture.

Once you have your pork jowl, it's time to marinate it in char siu sauce. The longer you marinate the pork, the more flavourful it will be. We recommend marinating the pork for at least 4 hours, or overnight if possible.

When it's time to roast the pork, preheat your oven to 180°C. Place the pork on a wire rack over a baking tray and roast it for 20-25 minutes, or until it's slightly charred and cooked through.

Simmering and Basting

After roasting, it's time to simmer and baste the pork. In a separate saucepan, mix together honey, soy sauce, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Place the roasted pork in the saucepan and baste it with the sauce. Simmer the pork for 10-15 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the pork is fully coated.

Throughout the simmering process, it's important to baste the pork every few minutes. This will ensure that the pork is evenly coated and that it absorbs all the delicious flavours of the sauce.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also add seafood to this dish. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition to Pork Jowl Char Siu. Simply add them to the simmering sauce and cook them until they're fully cooked through.

Now that you know how to cook Pork Jowl Char Siu, you're ready to impress your guests with this delicious Chinese dish. Enjoy!

Serving and Pairing

A table set with a traditional Chinese meal, featuring a succulent pork jowl dish paired with aromatic rice and steamed vegetables

When it comes to serving and pairing pork jowl, there are a variety of options you can choose from depending on your preferences. Here are a few accompaniments and presentation tips to consider:


  • Greens: Pork jowl pairs well with a variety of greens, such as roasted Brussels sprouts or sautéed celery. These vegetables provide a balance to the rich, fatty flavour of the pork jowl.

  • Rice: Rice is a staple accompaniment to many Chinese dishes, and pork jowl is no exception. You can serve it with either white or brown rice, depending on your preference.

  • Seafood: If you're feeling adventurous, consider adding seafood to your pork jowl recipe. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition, as they pair well with the rich flavour of the pork jowl.

Presentation Tips

  • Recipe Card: If you're serving pork jowl to guests, consider printing out recipe cards to give them. This is a great way to share your recipe and allow your guests to recreate the dish at home.

  • Serving Size: Pork jowl is a rich and flavourful cut of meat, so you don't need to serve large portions. A 3-4 oz serving size is perfect.

  • Plating: Presentation is key when it comes to serving pork jowl. Consider plating the pork jowl on a bed of rice and vegetables, and garnishing it with fresh herbs or sesame seeds for an added touch of flavour and texture.

Overall, serving and pairing pork jowl can be a fun and creative experience. Don't be afraid to experiment with different accompaniments and presentation styles to find what works best for you.

Nutrition and Storage

A pork jowl is marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. It is then stored in a cool, dry place for several hours before being cooked in a sizzling hot wok

Caloric Information

Pork jowl is a high-calorie food that is rich in protein, saturated fat, and sodium. A 100-gram serving of pork jowl contains approximately 500 calories, 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of saturated fat, and 800 milligrams of sodium. It is essential to be mindful of your portion sizes when consuming this food to avoid overeating.

If you are looking to reduce your calorie intake, you can consider using seafood in the recipe as a substitute for pork jowl. Seafood such as prawns, squid, or scallops can be used to create a tasty Chinese dish that is lower in calories and high in protein.

Storing Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, it is crucial to store them correctly to ensure they remain safe to eat. You can store cooked pork jowl in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. If you want to keep it for longer, you can freeze it for up to three months.

When reheating leftover pork jowl, make sure it is heated to an internal temperature of 75°C to kill any bacteria that may have developed. It is best to reheat it in the oven or on the stove rather than in the microwave to ensure it is heated evenly.

Overall, pork jowl can be a delicious addition to your Chinese recipe repertoire. However, it is essential to be mindful of your portion sizes and consider using seafood as a lower-calorie substitute. When storing leftovers, make sure to follow proper food safety guidelines to avoid any potential health risks.

Frequently Asked Questions

A sizzling wok cooks pork jowl with Chinese flavors. Steam rises as the dish is garnished with green onions and served on a traditional ceramic plate

How do you prepare a crispy pork jowl dish?

To prepare a crispy pork jowl dish, you will need to first preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the jowl in a rimmed baking dish large enough to fit it. Then, season the pork jowl with salt, pepper, and any other desired spices. Bake the pork jowl for about 2-3 hours until it is crispy and golden brown. You can also add some seafood, such as prawns or scallops, to the dish to give it an extra flavour.

What's a good braised pork jowl recipe?

One good braised pork jowl recipe is to marinate the jowl in a mixture of soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, ginger, garlic, and sugar for several hours or overnight. Then, brown the jowl in a pan and add the marinade, along with some chicken or beef broth. Braise the pork jowl for about 2-3 hours until it is tender and fully cooked. You can also add some seafood, such as mussels or clams, to the dish for a seafood twist.

Can you suggest a method for cooking pork jowl in a Cantonese style?

To cook pork jowl in a Cantonese style, you will need to first marinate the jowl in a mixture of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, and Chinese five-spice powder for several hours or overnight. Then, roast the jowl in the oven for about 2-3 hours until it is fully cooked. You can also add some seafood, such as squid or octopus, to the dish for a seafood twist.

What are the best spices to use in a Thai pork jowl recipe?

The best spices to use in a Thai pork jowl recipe are fish sauce, oyster sauce, chilies, and cilantro leaves. These ingredients will elevate your pork jowl recipe to new heights and give it a unique Thai flavour. You can also add some seafood, such as shrimp or crab, to the dish for a seafood twist.

How does pork jowl compare to pork belly in terms of fat content?

Pork jowl and pork belly are both fatty cuts of meat, but pork jowl is slightly less fatty than pork belly. Pork jowl is also leaner and has a firmer texture than pork belly. However, both cuts of meat can be used interchangeably in most recipes.

What are some alternative names for pork jowl?

Pork jowl is also known as guanciale, pancetta, or bacon in some regions. These names may refer to slightly different cuts of meat, but they are all similar in terms of flavour and texture.