Beijing’s Traditional Specialty Dish Su Zao Rou 老北京特制菜苏造肉

Su Zao Rou (meat in broth) is unique to Beijing. It is neither homemade nor prepared for banquets. However, locals cherish a great fondness for this dish. The words “Su Zao” do not mean that the dish is cooked in the Suzhou style, but it is a common assumption. The recipe was from the court of the Qing Dynasty. Cooked with several traditional Chinese medicines and spices, the dish is appetizing and has many benefits for the spleen. Braising and simmering are very important in the cooking process. What the words “Su Zao” actually mean is that this dish is both soft and crisp.
Main ingredients of Su Zao Rou are pork and pig offal. The secret of delicious Su Zao Rou lies in the stock and Su Zao broth. Famous braised pork with soy sauce depends on the proper preparation and preservation of stock. For example, Tianfu Restaurant is expert at stock, thus its famous braised pork shoulder with soy sauce is highly spoken of.
Boiling the meat in the stock is the first procedure. The second and also the last procedure is making it soft and crisp. When preparing the Su Zao broth, add a proportional amount of soy sauce and salt into water. Grind the traditional Chinese medicines into powder, seal them in a small well-sewed cloth bag, and put the bag in the boiling soup. When the scent of medicines and seasoning is clear and fragrant, the Su Zao broth is ready and it can be used for simmering meat. Remaining Su Zao broth is preserved, increased and recycled just like stock.
Slice the meat and put it in a bowl (or pot or jar as appropriate), sprinkle the meat with the stock, and no other seasoning is necessary (spicy food lovers may add some spicy sesame oil). It is then ready to eat. It can be eaten together with wine or sesame pancakes. The broth is thick and fresh, and the meat is soft and crisp. Su Zao Rou is a unique and tasty dish suitable for people all ages.

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