Many people missed granny’s cooking and they cannot replicate exactly the taste primarily because of two ingredients. Granny uses lard and MSG that most households are not using it because we were brainwashed that these two things are bad for health.
I AM NOT HERE TO PROMOTE THE USAGE OF LARD but I am here to share with readers how to prepare lard. Frankly speaking, I have been using lard alternate with normal cooking oil since last year.
I started to prepare lard on my own because certain Chinese pastry recipes required lard as the ingredients to increase the crispiness and aroma of the bake. Many of my recipes suggested to use lard though I have always provide an alternative to use cooking oil. Trust me, the taste and texture of traditional biscuits using lard is totally different from those using vegetable shortening, butter or cooking oil.
I do not exactly know how to describe to you the difference in aroma, but texture wise, it is much crispier as with lard, all these pastries can be baked or deep fried at higher heat. Example of my recipes that uses lard are : Char Siu Puff, Teochew mooncake, Flaky Shaobing, Suzhou mooncake. When I am free, I will do a compilation of recipes that called for the usage of lard.
I knew when i was young, my late mum uses lard in all her cooking. My wife’s relatives who is in Singapore at her age of 80s still uses lard in her cooking. My nephew’s wife who hails from China still uses lard in her cooking and the lard was prepared by her mum in China and “imported” into Singapore for her usage. The dishes that they cooked have very different aroma that those cooked using cooking oil.n Therefore, since I have lard at home, I have used it alternatively with normal cooking oil and get quite a good response from the family member.
I did do my homework before i used lard to cook my dishes as I have to consider the health aspect of my family members. I Googled and surprising there are many documents that promote the use of lard. I am not going to dwell into the details here . I am not a health specialist and I also do not have any capacity to give any professional opinion on lard benefits to my readers. However, if you are interested in understanding the benefits of lard “, you can easily Google “ lard benefits” and there will be many articles listed out for you the main benefits.
For the benefits of the readers, I will just list out some of the benefits:
- Lard is heat stable meaning it will not be oxidized easily. Oxidized molecules are bad for health .
- Lard is second healthiest after olive oil that has 48% mono saturated fat that are responsible of lowering LDL levels
- Lard is rich in Vitamin D that will aid in removal of harmful toxic metals and increase hormone production
With regards to heat stability properties, I can easily vouched that it is true. When you are sautéing minced garlic, the garlic get evenly brown faster using high heat. If you are using cooking oil, when the wok is too hot, you can see the smoke emitted from the oil. This will not be happen by using lard. Even for deep frying, I found that the kitchen is not as oily as using cooking oil. That is also one of the reason to switch to lard, i am lazy to clean the kitchen.
In Western countries, lard is commonly sold as a block like butter. But this is not sold here. Therefore, I will have to prepare my own self . Pig fats are rather cheap in Singapore and you can get it in wet markets or supermarkets like Sheng shiong. There are three main methods of preparing lard: steaming, water boiling and pan frying. I have never try steaming method but I will share both pan frying and water boiling method.
Water boiling method is preferred because the fats molecule will be more stable as the temperature used are lower but it took a much longer time by extracting the fats using low heat. In addition, the lard extracted will be whitish like snow as compared to slightly yellowish if using pan frying method. There are many articles that proposes the use of water boiling method as compared to pan frying method as it is claimed to be more aromatic and stable under high heat.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Water Boiling Method
- 600 grams of lard cubes
- 1 cup of water
Pan frying method
- 600 grams of lard cubes
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Cut the lard cube into almost the same size. Put the lard cubes and water in a non stick pan. Bring to boil. Once it boils, turn to the slowest heat to simmer the pork lard cubes which may take 1-1.5 hours. During this process, you can see that oil will start to be excreted and water will be evaporated. Once all the water are evaporated, the deep frying starts and eventually your pork lard cubes will start to turn brownish. The browner the pork lard cubes, the crispier will be the cube. On the contrary, the lard will be yellowish. If you off the heat before the pork lard cubes turn brown, your pork lard shall be whitish but you will have to throw away the white lard cubes as it will be greasy.
- Cut the pork lard into almost the same size. Put the pork lard in a wok. Stir fry the cubes in every 2-3 minutes until all the oils are forced out and the lard cubes become brownish and crispy. It will take about 15-20 minutes depending on the quantity. Drain and once cooled completely, the lard cubes have to be stored in an air tight container. The oil left is the lard.
- To store the lard, you can either keep it in a clean bottle at room temperature or using a container in a refrigerator. When chilled, lard will become solid.
I have decided to blog this for record. Previously there are members who are asking me how to extract lard..I hope this post will help. My reasons of switching to using lard are simple: more aromatic and more stable under high heat.
Lastly, may be some readers may not be aware, traditional English muffins uses lard as the ingredient as there are also lard cake in Western recipes. Do some research yourself and you will know the trend is turning back. Again, I am not proposing readers to use lard but if Chinese recipe call for lard without alternative, do try to use it . It will definitely make your pastry more aromatic and crispy. Rest be assured that it is much healthier than Crisco or the vegetable shortening called for in the recipes.
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have nice day. Should there be any imperfections in my blog layout, bear with me and I am trying hard to rectify it. In the event that you are a follower of Guaishushu at http://kwgls.wordpress.com, please do follow this new blog Guaishushu1 at http://www.guaishushu1.com.
You can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts. Also follow me at INSTAGRAM or TSU, a new social network for some more personal sharing other than recipes.
You can also join the FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED FACEBOOK GROUP and FOOD PARADISE 美食天堂to see more recipes. I am posting my daily home cooked food in the above Facebook Group daily. I would be more than happy if you can post in the Group for the recipes that you tried from my blog.
If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me where there are more than 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.