Pork is THE Chinese staple meat, and is available all over China. If the menu just says 肉 (rou /roh/ i.e. “meat”), then it will be a pork dish. Pork is considered to be the most versatile meat in China, with a flavor that can be combined successfully with the greatest range of other food types.
“Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Don’t eat pork… I’m sorry, what was that last one? Don’t eat pork? Is that the word of God, or is that pigs trying to outsmart everybody?”
– Quote by Jon Stewart
Sample of Chinese dishes that contain pork
- Wonton Soup
- Pork Fried Rice
- Pork Dumplings
- Pork and Chinese Vegetables
- Pork Chops
- Pork Lo Mein
- Roast Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
- Pork and anything… and everything!
Fun Facts About Pork
- Domestication of pigs took place in China around 7500 BC. China still is the largest producer of pigs.
- Pork tenderloin cuts are almost as lean as skinless chicken breasts.
- Modern regulations have ensured that pork continues to become as lean as possible.
- Pork has more protein than chicken and is high in zinc, iron and B-vitamins.
- Over a third of the fat in bacon is the same as the healthy fat found in olive oil, which is known to lower cholesterol levels.
- At the global level, pork is by far the most widely consumed meat.
- Pork is the most versatile meat. It can be marinated, roasted, grilled, skewered, dry rubbed, boiled, baked, barbecued, microwaved, pan-fried or stir-fried.
- During the War of 1812, a packer named Uncle Sam Wilson sent off several hundred barrels of pork for the troops. Each package was labelled ‘U.S.’ and it didn’t take long for ‘Uncle Sam’ to be a household name for the government. (University of Virginia)
Why Pork is not Kosher
No matter how you think about it, pigs are a rather dirty animal. They are considered the scavengers of the farm (created to eliminate any waste on the farm), often eating anything they can find. This includes not only bugs, insects, and whatever leftover scraps they find laying around, but also their own feces, as well as the dead carcasses of sick animals, including their own young.
This in itself can explain why the meat of the pig can be so dirty or at the very least not so appetizing to consume. And while being ‘grossed out’ may or may not be a valid reason not to eat something it’s vital to understand a bit more about pork before reaching your own conclusion.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 100 viruses come to the United States each year from China through pigs. There are some obvious concerns about this. Aside from not needing more viruses to fight off, some of these viruses can prove to be downright dangerous to humans.
Of course, you’re probably familiar with H1N1, better known as ‘the swine flu.” This too is a virus that has made the leap from pig to human.
Does pork get a bum rap? Yeah. I think so. Ensuring pork food safety is a complex undertaking that requires awareness of the role that everyone plays in the food chain. On the farm, many factors can affect the safety of pork, which is why today’s farming operations employ a wide variety of technology and techniques to minimize food safety threats. Modern practices such as raising pigs indoors and closely monitoring all aspects of bio-security have vastly improved today’s pork in terms of safety and quality.
And make sure to cook it thoroughly! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, pork cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F is considered medium-rare and up to 160° F is medium well. This range of cooking will result in a flavorful, tender and juicy eating experience much like you have come to expect with steak. Use an instant-read thermometer to determine when meat is cooked to a safe temperature.
Humbly submitted for your consumption,
—Mee Magnum (“Pork Chop! Chop!”)