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China's best BLT and other extravagant claims


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When the 馒头 is real fresh, still warm and right from the baker, I eat it as is. If I'm using it on day two, I toast it. Since I don't have a toaster or oven, I use a flat bottom non-stick saute pan 平地不粘锅 with a small amount of olive oil. One could use butter just as well, but I don't usually have it on hand. 


That's a good article you linked to, @Michaelyus. I had not read it before. Thanks! 



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4 hours ago, abcdefg said:

I would not presume to tell you how to cook bacon in the privacy of your own home, but I usually start it in a small amount of water to render and remove some of the fat. 


I've never fried bacon like this.  Do you wait for the water to evaporate, or do you boil it for a while and then tip it away to start the frying proper?

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I've never fried bacon like this.


@somethingfunny -- 

I let the water boil away, then allow the frying proper to finish it up and make it crispy. Use medium to low heat throughout. The last part goes very fast. To be truthful, it doesn't really matter much for thin-sliced bacon like I was using today. But if it is thick cut, "county-style" like I prefer to use, it's essential. It keeps the meat from scorching before it gets fully cooked. Also doesn't splatter as much. At the end, I pour off the fat into a jar; keep it in the fridge for later use. 

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8 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

I'll give it a try. 


If nothing else, it for sure reduces splatter. In the US I have a circular fine mesh "splatter-guard lid" I can put on the skillet while the bacon is cooking. Here I don't have one, so reducing splatter by other means becomes that much more important. 


The bacon seller from whom I often buy cured meat is the one who told me the water trick. When I buy a thick slab of it from him, I must hand slice it at home with a butcher knife. The results are pieces which are thick and somewhat uneven. This method lets the meat cook without drying out or burning. 



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18 hours ago, somethingfunny said:

Is there a difference between frying cured meat and non-cured meat?  I assume you wouldn't necessarily need to fry the cured version?  We get a lot of smoked bacon here, but you still need to fry that.


As far as I am aware, one must cook cured Chinese pork before serving. You might not have to cook it as long as if had not been cured. Bacon definitely needs to be boiled or fried, in part to get rid of some of the fat. One exception to that rule would be a very thin slice of air-cured ham 宣威火腿 that has been hung a long time.


The same doesn't hold true for beef: air cured beef jerky 牛肉干吧 can be eaten as is. You frequently see people on trains slowly munching sticks of it. But 火腿 and 牛肉干吧 are still usually sliced thin and cooked because it improves their texture, makes them easier to chew. 


A major practical advantage of cured meats, be they pork, beef, duck or fish is that they can be safely stored a long time without refrigeration. Months is not uncommon. I've been in countryside farmhouses where they are made by hand in winter hang from the ceiling until late spring or summer. The cook just washes off a piece before using (it gets dusty.) Sausage 腊肠 is handled the same way. 


One "raw cured ham" tradition I like a lot is the famous Italian creation, prosciutto and melon. It could be made with 火腿 on 哈密瓜 and I've done it. But it's not popular here for whatever reasons. 

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