Pork 18: Pork Braised with Taixiang (台鯗煨肉)

持牲單::台鯗煨肉
作法與火腿煨肉同。鯗易爛,須先煨肉至八分,再加鯗;涼之,則號「鯗凍」。紹興人菜也。鯗不佳者,不必用。

Xiang, or dried-salted yellow croaker, being aired out on a sunny Hong Kong street, infusing the surrounding air with its pungent and alluring fragrance. (Credit: Leesia)

Pork(List of the Ceremonial Animal)::Pork Braised with Taixiang[1]
The technique for this dish is essentially same as the recipe for “pork braised with ham” from before. However, since dried fish softens rapidly when cooked, it should be added only when the braising pork is close to being done [2].

When this dish is allowed to cool and jellify, it becomes a Shaoxing dish known as “xiang aspic” [3]. Note, if the dried fish is of bad quality, do not even consider using it.

Random notes:
[1]: Taixiang (台鯗) is the Chinese name for this particular type of salted and dried yellow croaker. For the same reasons why people don’t call miso soup, “Japanese fermented bean-paste soup”, I will not call the recipe “Pork Braised with Chinese Dried Fish”. However, I’ll use the term “dried-fish” in the actual translation since it does make it more readable by those unintiated to Chinese cuisine.

[2]: Ba-fen (八分) translates to “eight parts” or 8/10 or 80%. Although it would have been more accurate to say “braise the pork until 80% done”, fact is this is a completely qualitative metric and I will not translate it in a manner that allows it an “air” of accuracy. I’ve been doing this in previous recipes and will continue doing so.

[3]This dish in now known in China as “鯗凍肉” or “白鯗燜肉”. Google for pictures.

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