Cook This: Homemade Pork Floss, A Solution to Your Insatiable Cravings for FlossJune 16, 2017
In whatever shape or form you first encountered it, the questionable appearance of pork floss must have left you wondering whether it was edible or not. It looks like nothing you’ve ever encountered before. Is it dried fruit? Shredded wheat? How does this fluff constitute as meat and why is it on my bread and congee? Though once these wisps melt away and leave its distinct mix of sweet, salty, and meaty flavors, you know you’re hooked. Now, the problem lies in the lack of quantity and not in its initially confusing appearance—there never seems to be enough pork floss to satisfy your cravings.
Start your journey to an unlimited supply of rousong, as referred to in Chinese, with this recipe. The first step of this recipe isn’t in your kitchen but in the market. You will have to choose a very lean cut of meat. The dry fibers that is characteristic of pork floss is due to the use of lean meat, as the stiff composition of the cooked pork will help with the shredding process. To achieve the familiar texture of pork floss, you will need a stand-alone mixer and ample kitchen time to allow the pork to tenderize and to shred it down to fibers.
With your pork in tow, you can start the first step of this recipe: boiling. Here, the pork is boiled twice, and through each stage of boiling flavors are infused into the meat by adding aromatics and spices into the water. The first round of boiling purges the meat of denatured protein, which comes up as scum on the surface of the water and lays down the groundwork for building up flavor. The second round in the pot ensures that the meat is tender enough to be shredded into the stiff cotton-like texture we know. Once tender, the pork is shredded by a stand-alone mixer, then fried to remove any remaining moisture.
The base of pork can be substituted with chicken, beef, or fish. Though the cooking times may vary per protein, the same basic procedure in this recipe can be applied. Whether you enjoy piling on pork floss into your congee, or you’re curious what these strands will taste like with your cinnamon rolls, ice cream, and in salads, your pairing options are endless with this recipe in your arsenal.
Homemade Pork Floss
Yield: 4 cups
Time: 2 hours
- 600g lean pork, cubed
- 1 stalk scallion
- 1 ginger, thumb sized
- 2 star anise
- 3 tbsp soy sauce, divided
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp five spice
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- sugar, to taste
- salt, to taste
- In a pot, mix the scallion, ginger, star anise, and two tablespoons of soy sauce together.
- Add pork to pot and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and skim off the scum that forms on the surface.
- Simmer for 30 minutes.
- Drain and clean off any spices that have stuck to the meat.
- In a clean pot mix sugar, five spice, and one tablespoon of soy sauce together.
- Add pork back to pot and cover with water.
- Place over fire and cover pot.
- Simmer until all the water evaporates.
- Remove pork and place in a mixer with a dough hook attachment.
- Turn on mixer and mix until pork starts to look like floss.
- Heat the oil in a pan and fry pork in it over medium heat.
- Add sugar and salt to taste.