Pork Floss, also known as meat floss or meal wool, is a popular food item in Chinese cuisine. Made from seasoned and dried shredded pork, it has a unique texture that resembles cotton candy and a sweet, salty, and porky flavor.
Originating from China, pork floss is widely used as a topping for various dishes such as congee, rice, and bread. It is known for its versatility and can be added to different dishes to enhance their flavor and texture.
Pork floss is also an affordable and readily available food item, often sold in Chinese supermarkets and online food stores. Whether you are a fan of Chinese cuisine or simply looking for a new and unique food item to try, pork floss is definitely worth considering.
What is pork floss?
Pork floss, also known as meat floss or meal wool, is a popular snack and condiment in Chinese cuisine. It is made by cooking and shredding pork, then seasoning the shredded meat with a combination of soy sauce, sugar, and other spices.
The mixture is then fried over low heat until it becomes dry and fluffy, resembling cotton candy in appearance. Pork floss has a sweet, salty, and porky flavor and is often used as a topping for rice dishes, such as congee, or as a filling for buns and pastries.
It is readily available for purchase at Asian supermarkets and is often packaged in small containers for convenient use.
Types of Pork Floss
There are two main types of pork floss: pork sung and pork fu. Although some sources differentiate between the two, they are often considered to be similar in nature.
A review of three brands found at a local Chinese grocery store showed that two of the brands had the same ingredients for both types of pork floss, with the only difference being that the third brand’s pork fu did not contain green pea flour.
Visually, pork fu appears lighter in color compared to pork sung. In terms of taste, pork fu is less shredded and less dry than pork sung and has a milder flavor due to less seasoning.
Another variation of pork floss that is available is one mixed with sesame seeds and seaweed, offering a unique twist on the classic pork floss flavor.
Another type of pork floss, known as crispy pork floss, was discovered in Singapore by Kenji’s wife. This type of pork floss is incredibly dry and crunchy, offering a unique texture that sets it apart from traditional pork floss.
What part of the pig is pork floss?
Pork floss is typically made from any part of the pig, including pork belly, shoulder, or lean cuts of meat. The meat is first boiled until tender, then shredded and seasoned before being fried until dry and fluffy.
The end result is a shredded, fluffy product that can be used as a topping for rice dishes, added to sandwiches, or used as a snack on its own. The type of pork used to make floss will impact the flavor and texture, but any cut of pork can be used to make the dish.
What does pork floss taste like?
Pork floss has a unique taste that is both savory and sweet. It has a salty flavor from the soy sauce and sugar used in the seasoning, combined with the richness of the pork flavor.
The texture of pork floss is fluffy and light, with a crunchy exterior that dissolves in the mouth to release a burst of flavor. The overall taste is similar to a mixture of jerky and cotton candy, with a hint of sweetness, saltiness, and the meaty flavor of pork.
Some people describe the taste of pork floss as similar to bacon bits or ham, but with a more delicate texture and a sweeter taste.
How to make Pork Floss?
Making pork floss at home is a simple process that requires a few basic ingredients and some patience. Here is a basic recipe to get you started:
- 500g (1 pound) pork shoulder, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon MSG (optional)
- In a large pot, bring the pork to a boil in enough water to cover the meat. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the pork is tender. Drain the pork and let it cool.
- Shred the pork into fine pieces, either by hand or using a food processor.
- In a pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the shredded pork, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and MSG (if using). Stir the mixture constantly for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir the mixture until it becomes dry and flaky, about 20-30 minutes. Be sure to stir the pork floss continuously to prevent it from burning.
- Once the pork floss has reached the desired consistency, remove it from the heat and let it cool completely. Store the pork floss in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Note: You can adjust the seasoning to your preference by adding more sugar or soy sauce as needed. Feel free to add other spices or herbs to the mix as well.
Is pork floss healthy?
Pork floss is not a healthy food, as it is high in sodium and fat. Pork floss is usually made by boiling and shredding pork, then frying it with soy sauce, sugar, and seasonings.
The high sodium and sugar content, combined with the frying process, can make pork floss a high-fat and high-sodium food that is best consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
If you are concerned about your health, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
Can pork floss be made vegetarian or vegan?
Yes, vegetarian or vegan alternatives to pork floss can be made using plant-based proteins such as seitan, tofu, or soybeans.
The process of making the floss would be similar, with the plant-based protein being boiled and shredded, then fried with seasonings such as soy sauce and sugar.
The end result would be a fluffy and shredded product similar to pork floss, without the use of animal products. There are also several commercially available vegetarian and vegan floss products available, which can be found in specialty health food stores or online.