Pork 19: Fen-Zheng Pork (粉蒸肉)

持牲單::粉蒸肉
用精肥參半之肉,炒米粉黃色,拌麵醬蒸之,下用白菜作墊。熟時不但肉美,菜亦美。以不見水,故味獨全。江西人菜也。

A dish of Fenzheng rou
A dish of Fenzheng pork that looks like what this recipe should produce. (Credit: Ching Ching)

Pork(List of the Ceremonial Animal):: Fen-zheng pork[1]
For this dish, use pork that is half lean and half fatty. First, toast coarsely ground rice until it is golden brown, [2] then mix it together with tianmian sauce [3] and the pork. Next, steam the pork in a steaming basket lined with Napa cabbage.

When finished, not only is the pork excellent, the cabbage is also delicious. By not using any water in the dish’s preparation, all the flavours are retained within the ingredients. This is a dish from Jiangxi. [4]

Random notes:
[1]: Though it is not well known by most Westerners, Fenzheng pork is a staple dish for many Chinese families and eaten quite often at home. That is, assuming you know how to make it. It’s not my favorite, but this is the dish that many of my culinarily uninclined Chinese friends “order” when visit their parents.

[2]: Ground toasted rice is known in modern Chinese cuisine as “pork/meat steaming powder”(蒸肉粉)and seems to been used mainly for this purpose and not much else. The only recipes I’ve seen using toasted rice are the Laap (ลาบ) meat salads of Southeast Asia.

[3]: I don’t know if “mian jiang” (麵醬, lit. dough sauce) refers to tianmian sauce, but it seems entirely plausible so I’m going with it. Many modern recipes use douban sauce instead.

[4]: Spice and picked ingredients feature prominently in Jiangxi cuisine. Indeed, while this recipe is quite benign, I’ve seen several other fenzheng pork recipes that are quite spicy or mala.

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