Jun 1, 2021 • 27M

XO Soused - How crucial is lard in Chinese cooking?

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
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A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
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With so many oil and fat substitutes available to the modern chef, what role does lard still play in professional Chinese kitchens? What classical Chinese - and particularly dim sum - recipes require lard? And how is the fat from the pork put to other uses by Chinese chefs, including and legendary Cantonese chef, William Poon? What techniques using pork fat has Mr Poon taught Andrew recently?

How have dim sum chefs adapted their pastry making to suit western palates unused to the porcine aroma of lard-laminated dough? And what of the other dishes that use lard - how have these recipes changed in recent time? And does this lard taming mirror the work that Chinese chefs had to do in the past?

A single baked golden pastry on a white plate
Andrew's layered puff uses pork lard to create the crisp finish, but butter is essential to the layering effect

Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com

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