Chinese pork delight (pork rind jelly, 肉皮冻)

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Last week, I served something new to my culinary fans in our Red House. In appearance it was light brown with white strips running through it, had the texture of jelly and was seasoned with a savoury and spicy dressing. Everyone loved its texture and taste, but nobody could figure out what it was. It was actually Chinese pork rind jelly (肉皮冻), an aspic dish made from pork rind and its spiced stock. My culinary fan No. 2 suggested calling this scrumptious dish “Chinese pork delight” (inspired by “Turkish delight” I guess).

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Pork rind jelly is a popular Chinese dish that my dad often cooked when I was young. Back then, meat sold in the market was often large chunks. My dad would keep pork rind for making this jelly dish which was loved by everyone in our family. I remember being amazed by how the stock (in which the pork rind is braised) turned into jelly on its own.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

As pork rind has a large amount of natural gelatin, after being boiled in water it thickens the stock. When cooled completely, the stock congeals then a solid jelly-like block forms. The making of pork rind jelly is very natural and simple. There is no commercial gelatin involved. The only thing you need is a bit of patience as it does take a while to boil, plus several hours for waiting the stock to congeal.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Before braising, it’s essential to blanch the pork rind for a few minutes which makes slicing much easier (raw pork rind is too tough to cut). It also helps to remove any impurities. I suggest you scrape any fat remaining on the pork rind. This will make the final stock less cloudy. Similar to other Chinese meat dishes, my recipe of pork rind jelly calls for herbs and spices: spring onion, ginger, star-anise, cinnamon, bay leaf, etc.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

When the stock (and the pork rind strips in it) is cooled and congealed to a jelly, you can cut it into any shape you like. Smooth, slippery and springy, the texture of pork rind jelly is truly delightful. Now what you need is a tangy, flavourful dressing to complete the dish. My favourite seasoning for pork rind jelly is very similar to the easy Chinese dressing I introduced in the post on cucumber salad (Check the recipe HERE). I also love adding a dash of homemade Chinese chilli oil (see how to make it HERE) to make this dish more exciting.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Chinese pork delight (pork rind jelly, 肉皮冻)
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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings

Chinese pork delight (pork rind jelly, 肉皮冻)

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Ingredients

    Group 1: For braising the pork rind
  • 200g / 7oz pork rind
  • 600ml / 2.5 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 3 slices ginger
  • 1 star-anise
  • 1 small piece cassia cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Groups 2: For the dressing
  • 4 teaspoons black rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon homemade chilli oil (or fresh chilli, chopped)
  • Sesame seeds
  • Coriander, chopped

Instructions

  1. Boil pork rind for 3 minutes then drain. Cut it into narrow strips when cool enough to handle (see note 1).
  2. Pour water into a clean pot. Add pork rind strips and other ingredients from group 1. Bring the water to a boil then leave to simmer (with lid on) for 50-60 mins until the pork rind becomes very soft.
  3. Discard spring onion, ginger and the spices. Pour everything else into a container. When completely cool, store in the fridge for 3-4 hours until a hard block of jelly forms.
  4. Cut the jelly block as you like (thin slices or cubes) then place on a serving plate. Mix all the ingredients from group 2. Pour the dressing over the jelly then serve with plain rice and other savoury dishes (see note 2).

Notes

1. Scrape off excess fat from the pork rind if there is any. This is to make the jelly less cloudy.

2. This recipe makes approximately 4 servings. In China, this dish is usually served as part of a multi-course meal. Thus half of the quantity will normally be enough for one single meal (as you have other dishes to share at the same time). You can store the rest of the jelly in the fridge for up to 3 days.

https://redhousespice.com/pork-rind-jelly/

As I promised to my culinary fan No. 2, I used “Chinese pork delight” to name this dish in the post. Hope you are interested in trying out the recipe and that you find it delightful.

Have a yummy day!

An enthusiastic cook with a Chinese palate and a global mindset.

Slippery, springy and spicy, Chinese pork rind jelly is truly a delight to enjoy. There is no commercial gelatin involved and it’s very simple to prepare.

Other dishes that are great for summer:

Cold soba noodles in beef broth (延吉冷面)

Chinese-style spaghetti salad (凉拌意面)

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