Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pork Fried Rice

Johnny Zhu of Monsoon is selling a Wooly Pigs oriented dish: pork fried rice. The meat is from Mangalitsa-sired pigs and the rice is fried in lard (from Mangalitsa pigs).

Once you eat that dish, you can't go back to the vegetable-oil version. Vegetable oil just isn't as pleasing in the mouth as Mangalitsa fat. It takes just one bite to see the difference.

I'm not implying that all rice cooked in lard would be good. Because a the pig's fat composition is a function of breed, feed and age, there's a lot of variation in fat quality.

I'm very happy to announce that I recently found a USDA-inspected processor that can make lard. They said they only get asked to do it once or twice a year - but thank goodness some people do things the old-fashioned way.


Lance said...

Okay, now I'm unhappy. My wife and I were in Seattle last week to celebrate our anniversary (she grew up there) and we made a special trip to Monsoon (East).

The only mangalitsa item on the menu was an appetiser with shrimp (it was delicious). I would have loved to try this pork fried rice!

Moo said...

Hi Heath,
I purchased some fat from u at the Seattle location awhile back to process my own lard. Does this mean u won't have fat available for those who render their own??

Heath said...

Lance -- Monsoon in Seattle serves more pork from Wooly Pigs than Monsoon East. That's because the Eastside guests are so different from the Capitol Hill guests.

Moo - Customers like you are our best ones. We'll keep selling you fat. Having a ready-made lard is a big deal, because there's a whole different crowd who want to cook with it but can't be bothered to make their own.

Moo said...

Whew..thanks! Here's a couple of recipes,if u like. I make a Gascony butter well I call it that. The original is made with duck fat. I just cream together mangalitsa fat and pureed garlic. This goes nice with a grilled grass fed ribeye steak. I find grass fed beef has less marbling than I like, so I add a smear as it comes off the grill. I just tried a smear on the first corn on the cob of the season. It was heaven as it made the sweetness of the corn really pop! This is gonna be on my grill for summer.

Heath said...

Moo -- do you render the fat or eat it raw? One problem with pork as it is done in America is that most slaughterhouses spray carcasses with acid to kill e. coli. It cooks off - but if you don't cook, you might taste it if you eat fat that's been sprayed.

On the safety side, I think you are OK eating raw fat. It doesn't rot the way meat does, and parasites tend to be found in the meat. You are probably better off though, if you deep freeze that fat, the way they do pork used to make fermented sausages. Deep freezing the fat kills parasites.

Amanda said...

Leaf lard is the fat that surrounds the pig's kidneys. It is of very high quality and, when rendered, makes some of the best tasting and flakiest crusts ever!

Heath said...

Amanda - people like me who raise Mangalitsa pigs raise them to have excellent fat. They feed thems special things and kill the pigs at a relatively old age.

I can't detect a difference between the lard I render from Mangalitsa fatback or from Mangalitsa leaf lard.