Pork floss (yuk sung 肉鬆) is not something I can buy easily from the Chinese supermarkets over here in England. I love it, it's one of those snacks once you start you can't stop. This brownish dried pork snack is the same sort of thing you find on English-Chinese 'crispy seaweed' at the restaurant. There are various type meat floss, pork being the commonest and there are some made with fish, chicken or beef.
Making this meat floss at home is not that difficult, it takes a bit of effort with plenty of hand and shoulder exercise. You will know what I mean when you read the instruction.
Use either pork leg or shoulder, trim off all the skin and most of the fat etc... For this recipe the piece of meat I used was about 1.3kg (trimmed) which makes about 4 cups.
For every 1kg lean meat
5 tbsp light soy sauce
5 tbsp sugar
2 tsp five spice powder
3/4 tsp chicken stock powder (optional)
If you like spicy you can add some chilli powder
If the meat is very lean like leg or butt meat add 1.5 tbsp cooking oil, this shoulder meat was quite fatty so I omit the oil.
2 stalks of spring onion, leave whole
1 chunk of ginger, sliced
3 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
some seasoned nori sheets (available in all oriental supermarkets like this)
some dry roasted sesame seeds
- Cut the meat into large chunk about 500g pieces. Put the meat in a saucepan or stockpot, cover with boiling water and briskly boil for about 2 minutes. Discard the water and rinse the meat to remove any scum and also scrub the pan.
- Put the meat back into the pan or pot. Add boiling water just enough to cover the meat and add the spring onion, ginger and cooking wine. Bring this to the boil then very gently simmer for about 1.5 hours till the meat is tender and can be flaked with fingers.
- Take the meat out to cool completely. The cooking liquid or stock can be used for other purposes like noodle soup, congee etc...
- Flake or shred the meat with fingers. Another less messy method is put the meat into a zip lock bag, press or punch with hand to loosen the meat fibres. The end result is finely shredded meat.
- Mix soy, sugar, five spice, stock powder, chilli powder and oil together then mix with the meat thoroughly.
- Heat the wok to medium hot, add the meat and stir fry. This will take quite a long time and plenty or hand and shoulder exercise. Keep pressing and teasing the meat with the tip of the wooden spatula to loosen the meat fibres (especially those lumpy not finely shreded meat), at the same time turning or stirring to prevent the bottom getting brown too quickly. At first this may seem impossible the meat could be lumpy and wet or not thoroughly shredded. After a while you will see the meat beginning to loosen and the fibres getting finer and finer. Use low heat, if the meat is turning brown too quickly can use a heat diffuser. This will take about 1 hour till the meat is brown evenly and getting very dry. Do not stop stirring. If you are tired get someone to help. The longer you stir the crispier the meat floss which will melt in the mouth.
- When done leave in the wok to cool completely. The meat floss will get even more crispier once cooled. Then store in airtight jar.
- If you fancy you can mix in some shredded seasoned nori sheets and sesame seeds.
This pork floss is great to eat as a snack on its own or eaten with plain congee (rice soup), or use as sandwich filling, or maybe sprinkle on your DIY 'Chinese crispy seaweed'.