How do they make Pork Sung?
I love the stuff ontop of cold Tofu...how do they make it though? Or do I even want to know....
It seems like the ubiquitous red or blue label tubs come from -where else- Montery Park, CA. A factory tour would be cool.
I'm sure someone has a better answer, but I believe the pork (or fish) is dried like beef jerky, then shredded. Different marinades, dryness levels, and shredding method make different pork sung.
My cousin's classmate came from a Taiwanese pork sung family, and he said there were always 20 jars of different kinds of pork sung at his house. And yes, there's the cheap kind for every day and the special kind for guests.
What you write Pei is very intriguing...I had no idea that there are varing grades.
It does seem to me like Taiwain is the epicenter of pork sung...any idea?
At a Viet Grocery store in Westminster they had a wall of similar dried things with its own attendtents, even? I wonder if this is the same?
It mustd be fried/dried/barbecued. Maybe a combination of the three? I sure hope someone can chime in; otherwise I'll ask my cousin with the pork sung friend. The higher quality pork sung definitely has more intense meaty flavor. The cheap stuff is kind of bland. When you chew on the really good stuff, it's as good as eating jerky.
There are different textures too, from almost powdery to jerky-like strips, with the more "steel wool" texture being common.
Pork sung is definitely a Taiwanese thing, though it's popular in Singapore too. I didn't know this until I watched the movie "I Not Stupid." Very funny, campy insight into being an elementary school student in Asia! A Pork sung battle between Taiwanese and Singaporean companies plays a big role in the movie as well. :)
I once went to a summer food fair and there were guys there selling their own beek jerky. They had something sort of like pork sung but the fibers weren't all separated, sort of chunky and short. I asked the guy if he knew about sung, yup - but he couldn't figure out how they make it.
I don't have a good explanation for how it's done, maybe "pre-digestion" to separate the muscle bundles before sugar, frying, etc...? There'd definitely need to be some sort of a soupy meat suspension that then gets fried IMO.
I think the book, "Chinese Gastronomy", by Tsiang Ju Lin and Tsuifeng Line" has a recipe, page 130.
Closely trimmed pork tenderloin is cubed and slowly stewed for about 2 hours, in a mixture of a LOT of garlic, crushed to a paste; 1/3rd cup red bean curd; water, and some medium or dark brown sugar.
The meat fibers are separated by working it with a wooden spoon. When all the liquid has evaporated and there is oil rendered, the meat and oil are transferred ro a large skillet. Over very low heat it is then cooked further, until it resembles "matted wool" and smells a little toasted. The cooking is continued until all the meat is "wooly" and dry and succulent.
It is then placed on paper to dry and cool.
This keeps for months in a tightly sealed container, at room temperature.
I'd say that this resembles Mexican machaca, of shredded dried beef.
There's nothing really offputting or unpalatable about the production of pork sung. It's just cooked, dried pork. No wierd preservatives or offal. If people knew more about how pork sung is made and what it is, it'd probably be a lot more popular. You can't say that about most sausages.