Friday, August 12, 2016

Salted Pork : Cookbook Countdown #8

Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray.  Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here. 

To link to Cookbook Countdown #8, click here
To link to Cookbook Countdown Specials : BAKE, click here


My selected cookbook for this month at Cookbook Countdown #8 is My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin Fei-Lo.

Today I'm sharing a pork recipe which is not a dish by itself, but it is used as an ingredient in many ways. According to the author "Another of the significant foods that came from my grandmother's kitchen was preserved salted pork, which, like the preceding stocks and oils, was a food of necessity and versatility, its preparation the result of the lack of refrigeration".

There are a few recipes in the book that uses salted pork as one of its ingredients, so in order to try those recipes, I got to make the salted pork first. Usually, salted pork is made using slabs of fresh pork belly with fats and skin, but the author has utilize a good-sized pork loin, and has cure it exactly as it was done in her grandmother's kitchen.

This is very easy and simple to make, and the result is a fabulous chunk of salted pork. I've made half a recipe, about 1 kilo (2 pounds) of pork loin. 

Place the pork loin, 1 slice of fresh ginger lightly smashed, 4 peeled garlic cloves, and white portions of 6 scallions into a pot with enough water to cover pork loin. Let it come to a boil, then simmer with the lid slightly open, for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove pork loin and place in a bowl of ice water and let cool for about 5 minutes. Remove pork loin and place in a shallow bowl, sprinkle the salt all over, rubbing it well into the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least one day before use. It can keep for about a week refrigerated, though it is not recommended to be frozen.

Use a few slices of the salted pork, cut into small cubes for a dish...coming up in next post.

I really like this salted pork. It is versatile, and very convenient to have in the refrigerator, as it can be used as an ingredient for many dishes! I like it so much, that I'm planning on making it again. I've used up all of the salted pork within a week, made a few dishes from it, all of which I will be sharing in my coming posts.

Salted Pork
(adapted from "My Grandmother's Chinese Kitchen", by Eileen Yin Fei-Lo)
4 pounds boneless pork loin
2 quarts cold water, or enough to cover pork
1 slice fresh ginger, 1 inch thick, lightly smashed
4 cloves garlic, peeled
6 scallions, white portions only
3-1/2 tablespoons salt

Place all ingredients, except salt, in a large pot. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, leave lid slightly open and simmer 45 minutes to 1 hour. Turn the pork halfway through simmer. Turn off heat. Remove pork from pot and place in a large bowl of ice water; allow pork loin to rest 5 minutes until it cools.
Remove pork from water. Place in a shallow dish and sprinkle salt over top, rubbing it well into the pork. Cover the pork and allow to refrigerate untouched for 1 day. It is now ready for use. The salted pork will keep refrigerated for at least a week.
In China, as I have noted, the heavy salting permitted us to keep the pork for at least a month. It should not be frozen because its fiber will soften and defrosting will cause the salting to run off.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #8 hosted by 


  1. Looks really tender and juicy! I am intrigued to give it a try too.

  2. I am sure one can come up with numerous recipes with your delicious salted pork.