Pork Floss ( Rousong )

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Pork floss is a savory and fluffy Chinese snack that you can find stuffed in soft buns or topped with congee. It has an interesting name in China, which means fluffy meat. In English, it is also known as meat floss and meal wool; in China, it is called rousong. Pork floss is usually made of pork, but you can also use fish and chicken to make meat floss.

This snack is like cotton candy. Imagine one made of fluffy, dry, and well-shredded pork seasoned with sugar and soy sauce that looks like scraggly clumps of dryer lint. It would be best if you did not make large batches because no preservative substance is used in the cooking process. Pork floss will dissolve quickly in your mouth; before it goes down, it will release a wave of porky, salty, and sweet flavor. The wave is not subtle nor strong either.

Pork floss is not expensive, but if you cannot find it in your local supermarket, you can try it and make it home in your kitchen. The version bought in the supermarket is usually made of pork, soy sauce, sugar, soy flour, salt, lard, and MSG. In this article, we will discuss it further and provide you with recipes and other relevant information regarding pork floss.

Different Types of Pork Floss

Pork fu and pork sung two common kinds of pork floss. Some call pork fu a less fried and shredded variation of pork sung because they are almost the same. Most brands that make pork fu and pork sung use similar or identical ingredients. For example, one brand uses green pea flour while the others don’t.

There are some noticeable visual differences as well. For example, pork fu has a lighter color compared to pork sung. In addition, pork fu is not as seasoned as pork sung and tastes less shredded and dry. There are many different recipes like pork floss deluxe – a type of pork floss mixed with seaweed and sesame seed – but in this article, we will focus on the most popular one – a traditional recipe for pork floss.

The Ways to Use Pork Floss

There are many ways to consume pork floss; the simplest is to eat it with plain white rice. However, it can also be used as a filling for pancakes, sticky rice rolls, tiny egg rolls, sandwiches, and onigiri or as a topping for baked buns. You can go even further and use it to top loads of things such as pasta, yam cake, rice crackers, toast, tofu, noodles, pizza, or swirl it into bread – pretty much anything. In case you need inspiration, there are many ideas you can find online for how to use pork floss.

Pork floss has its sweet side, as well. You can use it as a sponge cake filling or topping. For example, one recipe results in a double-layered triangular chunk of airy and subtly sweet sponge cake whose layers are bounded by a thin layer of cream frosting with one side spread with mayo and coated with pork floss.

Two flavors in one? Some people may not be fans. The combination of pork floss and sponge cake may or may not satisfy your desire for both sponge cake and pork floss. Some people can find it delicious, while others can be left unfulfilled.

Pair Pork Floss With Texture

Pork floss is enjoyed by some connoisseurs as a snack on its own to fully appreciate the meltingly soft and crisp textures with each bite. The crispness of pork floss is an important part of its appeal, so it is not recommended to get it wet too soon. Combining it with too much liquid or other ingredients too far in advance can ruin the texture and make it soggy and lumpy, so it is best to avoid this. At home, pork floss goes well with mayonnaise and egg dishes. You can add it to scrambled eggs or mix it with hard-boiled egg yolks for deviled eggs or as a gribiche sauce for asparagus.

Pair Pork Floss By Flavor

To successfully pair pork floss, it is important to consider its salty-sweet nature. Those who enjoy adding bacon to everything, including desserts, may appreciate the dark soy notes of pork floss. Using pork floss in sweet dishes will bring out its salty, meaty flavors while using it in savory dishes will highlight its slightly caramelized undertones. You can add pork floss to sweet baked goods, a whipped cream topping, or a rice pudding to enhance the flavors at home. Pork floss is a traditional pairing with sweet baked goods in Asia.

Use Pork Floss In Baking

Pork floss is a common ingredient in baked goods and can be found in Chinese bakeries, similar to how chocolate sprinkles or icing sugar are used in Canadian doughnut shops. Buns with sweet or savory fillings, like salted egg, often include pork floss for a crispy and tender texture. You can use pork floss at home to balance the sweetness of sugary items like sticky cinnamon buns or stir it into cheese biscuits or other savory dishes. Mooncakes and Milk Bread have popularized pork floss and seaweed buns on the internet.

Use Pork Floss As A Topping

Pork floss is a great addition to rice-based dishes like congee, bibimbap, and plain rice because it provides a textural contrast and a dash of meaty seasoning. It can also be sprinkled on stir-fried, braised, or soup-based noodles or pasta, similar to how you would use bottarga or parmesan, or on top of silken tofu or steamed Chinese vegetables like gai lan or bok choy. At home, you can offer a small dish of pork floss at the table so that diners can customize their plates to their preferences. You can use pork floss in various dishes where You would use a finishing salt or sprinkle of crispy onions or bacon, such as casseroles, creamy soups, or baked beans. Pork floss is often paired with seaweed and furikake, which have a savory umami flavor.

Use Pork Floss As A Filling

Pork floss is often used in sandwiches with butter and cheese, but it also goes well with various creamy or soft fillings. You can use it in crepes, French toast, or pancakes for a brunch dish or in an onigiri, banh mi, omelet, or Rice Paper Vietnamese Pizza for lunch or a light dinner. At home, you can add pork floss to a grilled cheese or fried egg sandwich or fold it into a tuna or salmon filling for an upgraded sandwich. You can also add it to an everything bagel with cream cheese.

How To Make Pork Floss

To make pork floss:

  1. Cut the pork into large chunks and cook in boiling water to remove impurities.
  2. Add ginger, green onion, star anise, and light soy sauce, and cook until the pork is soft.
  3. Shred the pork by hand and add other sauces.
  4. Use a bread maker to start the simmering and frying process, and wait for about 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  5. The pork floss is ready when the bread maker finishes.

Homemade Pork Floss Recipe

Ingredients for the recipe:

  • One tablespoon of light soy sauce
  • 1-star anise
  • 10 Sichuan peppercorn seeds
  • Five slices of ginger
  • Two green onions cut into short sections
  • 300 grams of pork sirloin or tenderloin
  • Ingredients for stir-frying sauce:
  • One tablespoon of cooking oil (e.g. olive oil)
  • One tablespoon of Chinese five-spice powder (or as much as you need)
  • One tablespoon of oyster sauce
  • One tablespoon of light soy sauce

Instructions for the recipe:

  1. To make pork floss, start by washing the pork and cutting it into larger chunks, about 3 to 4 cm each.
  2. To continue making pork floss, cook the pork chunks in boiling water for about 5 minutes to remove impurities. After cooking, transfer the pork out of the water and wash it again.
  3. To finish making pork floss, you can use a high-pressure cooker or a large pot. Add ginger, green onion, star anise, soy sauce, Sichuan peppercorn, and pork to the pot, and pour enough water to cover the pork. Also, add one tablespoon of light soy sauce. For a high-pressure cooker, cook the pork for about 20 minutes until it is soft. If you are using a pot to simmer the pork, simmer it for 40 minutes, adding slightly more water (about 3 cm higher) and checking the water level periodically. Ensure the pork is covered with water, and add hot water if necessary.
    Once the pork is cooked, transfer it out of the pot and let it cool down. Then, finely shred the pork by hand.

For pan frying: To finish making pork floss, use a standard mixer with a cake beater hook to break down the pork meat. Then, stir-fry the pork in a deep fry pan with the stir-fry sauce for about 20 to 30 minutes until the pork floss becomes fluffy enough.

For the bread-maker: To complete the pork floss, place all the ingredients in a bread maker, add the other sauces, and select the jam mode. Wait for about 1 hour and 30 minutes for the process to finish.

To store the pork floss, keep it in an airtight container for less than one week.

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Last update on 2023-01-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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