Things to Avoid 11: Rendering Fat (戒走油)

戒單::戒走油
凡魚、肉、雞、鴨,雖極肥之物,總要使其油在肉中,不落湯中,其味方存而不散。若肉中之油,半落湯中,則湯中之味,反在肉外矣。推原其病有三︰一誤於火太猛,滾急水乾,重番加水;一誤於火勢急停,既斷復續;一病在於太要相度,屢起鍋蓋,則油必走。

List of Things to Avoid::Rendering Fat
Although ingredients such as fish, pork, chicken, and duck can be rather fatty, it is imperative that most of this fat be retained within the meat itself and not be allowed to render out into the cooking stock to prevent its flavour from being diluted.[1] If this fat becomes rendered,[2] what flavour the meat contained would have been leached into the stock. There are three bad cuilinary practices that result in fat being rendered from meat: first, the cooking heat was too high and extra water had to be added to restore the amount of cooking liquid in the food. Second, the cooking heat was turned-off only to be resumed again later after a long pause. And finally, an impatient cook who continually checks the doneness of cooking food, resulting in the pan’s lid being opened numerous times throughout the process, which inevitably leads to the rendering of fat from the meat.[3]

Random notes:
[1]:If you managed to cook the fat out of a chuck of meat, it has probably become tough and dry, not to mention the meat would taste rather bland. It would be like eating meat after it’s been used to make stock. That and you have to deal with a pool of fat on the surface of the dish. I found the content of this and the following sentence a bit repetitive in Chinese, and as such I modified it to talk more about preventing dissipation of flavour caused by rendering while the next sentence talks about the transfer of flavour caused by rendering.

[2]: The intramuscular fat in meat makes it tasty and juicy. THE reason to eat Kobe beef or most highly marbled meats rare or very lightly cooked.

[3]: Large temperature fluctuations cause rendering of fats, I guess.

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