Pork 39: Luosuo Pork (羅蓑肉)

“Prepare this dish as one would minced chicken. Reserve the piece of skin on the pork and chop the lean meat taken from under it into a coarse mince. Season the minced pork and cook. This dish is a speciality of Chef Nie of Hangzhou.”

持牲單::羅蓑肉
以作雞鬆法作之。存蓋面之皮。將皮下精肉斬成碎團,加作料烹熟。聶虛能之。

Shrimp “song” (虾鬆), on top of lettuce and wrapped in a lun-bing wrapper, one of those strange newfangled creations of modern Taiwanese cuisine. (Credit: Droxiang)

To make sense of what this dish is about, one has to refer to the recipe for minced chicken, or “jisong”, found later in the Suiyuan Shidan. Basically, this is one dish in a entire class of “song” (鬆) dishes that consists of finely chopped ingredients that you eat on top of rice, wrapped in pancakes, or cradled in iceberg lettuce. People who eat Peking duck should be quite familiar with “yasong” (鴨鬆), or minced duck, since it is the second dish served from the duck after the first course of the duck skin. In this regard, luosuo pork should really be called “rousong” (肉鬆). However it’s not called such, because that name has already been used by a completely different meat item, sometimes translated to English as “pork floss”.

Following Yuan Mei’s minced chicken recipe, the meat for luosuo pork should be first minced or finely cubed and then lightly fried. Next it would be mixed with other ingredients and seasonings, placed in a bowl, covered with the reserved piece of skin, and steamed until done. The one part I don’t get about this dish is why one would prefer to cover the bowl with a piece of skin rather than a normal lid. Maybe it give the meat special flavours, a more pleasant texture, or it somehow regulates the cooking moisture in the way that some chefs use parchment paper as a lid when braising meat.

Other than this the dish seems straightforwards, if not unremarkable.

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3 thoughts on “Pork 39: Luosuo Pork (羅蓑肉)”

  1. Yeah, I can only assume that as the skin steams, the remaining fat on it would render and baste the other ingredients. Depends how fatty the cut of meat was, though, I suppose.

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