Pork 31: Zaorou (糟肉)

“Lightly marinade the pork with salt, then add rice wine lees to it.”


Lees from Japanese sake, which looks pretty much the same as rice wine lees from Chinese rice wine. (Credit: DryPot)

This recipe for “rice wine lees pork”, or zaorou, is probably the shortest and most ambiguous recipe from the Suiyuan Shidan so far. Yuan Mei only indicated that the pork needs to first be marinated in salt and wine lees.(糟), which probably took around a full days time. After that, I can only guess that one steams, braise, or fries the marinated pork. Personally, I take the brevity of this recipe as evidence that preparing zaorou was something everybody knew how to do back then.

In Taiwan, a pork dish known as “red zaorou” (紅糟肉) is quite popular, with many braised and fried versions. Made using red rice wine starter (紅麴), perhaps this is the modern “red rice wine lees” version of Yuan Mei’s zaorou?


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