Are you a fan of pork dishes but find the meat too fatty or salty?
Do you want to learn how to make your pork dishes healthier and more flavorful?
One simple technique that can help is blanching.
Blanching is a process of boiling meat in water for a short period of time, which helps remove impurities, reduce saltiness, and tenderize the meat.
In this article, we will guide you through the steps of blanching pork, so you can enjoy delicious and healthy pork dishes at home.
Whether you’re a novice cook or an experienced chef, read on to learn how to blanch pork like a pro.
How To Blanch Pork?
Blanching pork is a simple process that can help improve the quality of your pork dishes. Here’s how to do it:
1. Start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Add the pork to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes. This will remove excess fat and impurities from the meat.
3. Remove the pork from the water and drain it.
4. Cut the pork into bite-sized chunks.
5. Heat some oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish and add the pork. Brown the pork pieces, adding more oil as needed. Be careful, as the pork may spatter a bit.
6. Remove the browned pieces with a slotted spoon and set them aside. Drain off any excess fat, leaving about two tablespoons’ worth in the casserole dish.
7. Add sugar to the pan and stir. After a few minutes, the sugar will turn brown and begin to caramelize.
8. When the sugar is a pale brown color, add chicken stock and stir, scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan.
9. Add star anise, cinnamon or cassia bark, and bashed ginger to the pan.
10. Add Shaoxing wine and soy sauce and stir.
11. Return the pork to the pan, making sure that the stock just covers the meat. If needed, add more stock or water to cover the meat completely.
12. Add a pinch of black pepper and bring everything to a simmer. Cover the pan and turn down the heat to low, then simmer for about two hours.
13. For the last half-hour of cooking time, remove the lid and reduce the sauce until it is rich and thickened.
14. Finally, slice some spring onions on the diagonal into 5cm/2in lengths and add them to the pork dish for an extra burst of flavor.
What Is Blanching And Why Is It Important For Pork?
Blanching is a cooking technique that involves exposing food to boiling water or steam for a short period of time. It is a crucial step in preparing pork because it removes impurities and bacteria from the meat’s surface, making it safer to eat. Blanching also reduces the saltiness of the pork and removes excess fat, resulting in a healthier dish.
Blanching pork is especially important for dishes that require a clear broth or stock. By blanching the meat, you remove blood and other impurities from the muscles and bones, resulting in a less cloudy broth. Blanching also tenderizes the meat to some extent, making it easier to cook and more enjoyable to eat.
Choosing The Right Cut Of Pork For Blanching
When it comes to blanching pork, the cut of meat you choose can make a big difference in the final result. Here are some tips on selecting the right cut for blanching:
1. Look for cuts with a good amount of fat. Blanching helps remove excess fat from the meat, so choosing a cut with a decent amount of fat will ensure that the meat stays moist and flavorful.
2. Consider the size of the cut. Larger cuts of meat may take longer to cook through, which can result in tough or dry meat. For blanching, it’s best to choose smaller cuts that will cook quickly and evenly.
3. Choose cuts that are relatively tender. Blanching can help tenderize tougher cuts of meat, but starting with a tender cut will give you the best results.
Some good options for blanching include pork loin, pork tenderloin, and boneless country ribs. These cuts are relatively lean and tender, and they work well in a variety of dishes.
If you prefer a fattier cut of meat, pork shoulder or pork butt can also be used for blanching. These cuts have more fat and connective tissue, which can help keep the meat moist and flavorful during cooking.
Ultimately, the best cut of pork for blanching will depend on your personal preference and the specific dish you are making. Experiment with different cuts to find the one that works best for you.
Preparing The Pork For Blanching
Before blanching pork, it is important to prepare it properly. Here’s how:
1. Start by selecting a cut of pork that is suitable for blanching. Pork belly or pork shoulder are good options.
2. Rinse the pork under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
3. Use a sharp knife to remove any excess fat or skin from the pork. This will help prevent the meat from becoming too greasy during the blanching process.
4. Cut the pork into large chunks or strips, depending on how you plan to use it.
5. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season it with salt. The amount of salt you use will depend on the amount of water you’re using, but a good rule of thumb is to use 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 cups of water.
6. Once the water is boiling, carefully add the pork to the pot. Make sure that the meat is completely submerged in the water.
7. Allow the pork to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until it turns opaque and is no longer pink in the center.
8. Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the pork from the pot and transfer it to a bowl of ice water. This will stop the cooking process and help preserve the texture and flavor of the meat.
9. Once the pork has cooled down, remove it from the ice water and pat it dry with paper towels.
10. Your pork is now ready to be used in your favorite recipes!
How To Blanch Pork Step-by-step
Blanching pork is a crucial step in preparing healthy and delicious pork dishes. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to blanch pork:
1. Start by placing the pork in a large vessel full of water.
2. Heat the water until it starts to boil.
3. Turn off the flame and cover the vessel.
4. Let the pork remain in the hot water for 3-5 minutes.
5. Remove the pork from the hot water and discard the water, as it contains impurities.
6. Cut the pork into bite-sized chunks or use it as needed in your recipe.
7. Optionally, you can add salt and a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to the water while blanching to aid in removing impurities.
Blanching salt pork helps kill bacteria present on the surface of the meat, reduces its saltiness, removes impurities, and tenderizes it to some extent. Blanching also helps keep the meat fresh for a longer time, making it an essential step in preparing any pork dish. By following these simple steps, you can blanch your pork like a pro and get ready to cook up a delicious meal!
Tips For Enhancing The Flavor Of Blanched Pork
Blanching pork is a great way to remove impurities and achieve a less cloudy broth and a less gamey taste. However, to take your blanched pork to the next level, here are some tips for enhancing its flavor:
1. Use a flavorful broth: Instead of using plain water, try using chicken or beef broth to add extra depth of flavor to your blanched pork.
2. Add aromatics: Adding aromatics such as garlic, ginger, and onions to the blanching liquid can infuse the pork with their flavors.
3. Season the blanching liquid: Adding salt, pepper, and other seasonings to the blanching liquid can help enhance the flavor of the pork.
4. Marinate the blanched pork: After blanching, marinate the pork in a flavorful mixture of soy sauce, rice wine, and spices for several hours or overnight. This will help the pork absorb more flavor and become even more tender.
5. Use a flavorful sauce: Serve your blanched pork with a flavorful sauce such as hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, or a spicy chili sauce to add an extra layer of flavor.
Recipes To Try With Blanched Pork
Now that you know how to blanch pork, here are some delicious recipes to try:
1. Boiled Pork Belly with Garlic Sauce (蒜泥白肉): This Sichuan cuisine dish is a favorite among Chinese and Taiwanese households. After boiling the pork belly, slice it into thin pieces and serve it with a garlic sauce made from garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar.
2. Garlic Butter Pork Bites with Lemon Green Beans: This low-carb and gluten-free recipe is perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. Pan-sear pork bites in a garlic butter sauce and serve with healthy green beans.
3. Chinese Braised Pork Belly: This recipe involves blanching the pork belly first before pan-frying it in a mixture of oil and sugar to caramelize the surface. The meat is then simmered until tender in a soy garlic sauce. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
4. Huí Guō Ròu (回锅肉): This Sichuan dish involves boiling the pork belly before stir-frying it with garlic scapes, tianmianjiang, and doubanjiang. The resulting dish is tender and gelatinous with a sweet and spicy glaze. Stuff it into a fresh corn tortilla for a unique twist on tacos.
Blanching your pork before cooking not only helps to remove impurities but also helps to tenderize the meat. Try out these recipes to enjoy the full flavor of your blanched pork.