Crispy Pork Lard and Oil (猪油渣/Zhu You Zha/La Pok)

This has got to be my favorite decadent condiment of all time. As I type this, I picture my friend Chipmunk just fuming up. There is a story to this…

Chipmunk and I were college dorm neighbors (we had singles), and soon became close friends, although we were polar opposites. She was the slacker, sporty and health-conscious type, while I was the chiongster (super hardworking), couch potato and #yolo type. I ate all the ‘unhealthy’ (to her) but delicious foods because they tasted great, and were delicious, and I loved supporting the local hawker culture. Chipmunk would steal food from my plate because she think I was eating too much or too unhealthily. For the most part, I was fine with that, but when it comes to stealing the crispy lard bits off my plate, that was too far a line crossed. We still bicker about her stealing my lard off my plate, and she still does it when we eat. It’s cute. It’s endearing. I’m lucky I have a friend who cares, but… crispy lard bits are the foundations of the Singaporean hawker culture. Please leave my lard bits alone!

Anyway, enough of my story. It still remains that crispy lard bits are the best condiments and everyone should know how to make them. If you’re a hater of crispy lard bits, then I feel sad for you!

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Ingredients

  • pork fat/lard
  • salt

Directions

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Cut up your pork lard/fat pieces into 1/2 inch or 1.5cm cubes. I trimmed these from a large roast I bought.

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Place all the lard bits in a small saucepan, then turn the heat up. Add a few pinches of salt!

Stir the lard pieces around while the oil is slowly released from the lard pieces. This ensures that the lard pieces don’t get stuck to the bottom of the pan.

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Keep an eye on the heat!

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It will start bubbling furiously after a while. This is good. Keep the heat on!

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When the lard bits start to float, turn down the heat a little. They will start to brown.

Keep your eyes on the bits. You want them golden brown, not burnt!

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When they get a little browned on the edges, turn off the heat and scoop the lard bits out onto a plate lined with a paper towel. They are not completely golden brown yet because they will continue browning even outside of the oil.

Do not discard the oil! It is so flavorful! I keep it in a jar in the fridge. 🙂

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Crispy bits! So so good!

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