Beijing’s Traditional Specialty Dish Su Zao Rou

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

苏造肉是老北京特制菜肴,既不是家常自做,也不是筵宴所备。可是老北京人着实喜欢这一道菜。所谓“苏造”,并非仿照苏州口味烹造。原来是由清宫传出的做法,用多种中药和香料配合,有开胃健脾之功效。烹制时,着重于文火煨焖,“苏造”包含“酥造”的含义。

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 imp0rtant in the cooking process. What the words “Su Zao” actually mean is that this dish is both soft and crisp.

做苏造肉的原料主要是猪肉及猪内脏,关键在于使用“老汤”和“苏造汤”。谁家酱肉出名,取决于它的“老汤”配制保存得法,如闻名的天福斋酱肘子就是以老汤取长。

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.

用老汤煮肉是做“苏造肉”的第一道工序。“苏造肉”是第二道工序,也是成品工序。调汤时也是用一定比例的水和酱油、盐,开锅后,把需要使用的中药品种碾成粉末,用布袋缝制装好放入汤中同煮,汤中发出药料及调料的香味时,即成苏造汤。用以煨肉。用后,剩下的苏造汤,其贮藏、保管和增加的方法,会与老汤相同,也是更迭使用。

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.

切好放在碗中(或盆、罐),浇上原汤,不需再放什么调料(若吃辣的可加辣椒香油),就可以吃了,或佐酒,或就着芝麻烧饼,芝麻火烧吃。其汤很浓,很鲜,肉也很酥烂绵软,糯香柔韧,老少皆宜,别具一格,回味无穷。

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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