This light, fluffy, and golden Bak Hu (Pork Floss) is a great topping for congee, noodles, and stir fries. Also, very tasty eaten with bread.
For me, Bak Hu (Pork Floss) was a childhood delight. It reminds me of past Lunar New Years because that was when we got to enjoy this meat floss and Bak Kwa. Back then, most people bought these goodies from seasonal street vendors that appear one or two months before the new year. People seldom make them at home because they were very time consuming to make.
What is Bak Hu (Pork Floss)?
Bak Hu is a Hokkien word meaning meat floss. It can be made using pork, chicken, or even fish but the most common is pork floss. The meat is cut into smaller pieces and boiled with spices, sugar, and soy sauce until very tender and easily shredded. After which, it is fried with the remaining cooking liquid at very low heat until the shredded meat turns into light, fluffy, and flossy strands.
Over here, store bought pork floss has a very pale color. I am more used to Bak Hu with a golden color and so I added a little dark soy sauce towards the end of frying cycle to give it that rich color and additional flavor.
How Is It Eaten?
Bak Hu can be eaten as is or as a topping for congee, rice, noodles, and stir fries. We like to eat it with white bread. Simply butter the bread and sprinkle some pork floss on the top. Then fold the bread in half and enjoy.
Another popular way to eat Bak Hu is to sprinkle it on congee. The sweet and salty meat will lend texture and a delicious flavor to plain congee.
Lunar New Year Charcuterie Board
Important Frying Tip
Boiling the pork and shredding it is the easy part. The challenge comes when you are frying the shredded meat because it requires patience. Use a thicker or heavier gauge pot for better heat control. Turn your stove on very low flame or heat, as low as you can possibly go. You should NOT hear any sizzling sound at all while you stir, press, and continue to shred the pork in the pot using two spatulas. If you hear any sizzling sound, then you have set the flame or heat too high. This will turn the shredded pork into jerky instead of floss.
It may seem futile at first and you will be tempted to turn up the flame or heat but DON’T do it. If you persist with that low flame or heat, you will see the shredded pork starting to turn fluffy and flossy after 30 minutes. The objective here is to dehydrate the meat while still stirring, pressing, and shredding it. If you use a dehydrator, the meat will remain chunky. This is why some people use the bread machine with the jam setting instead, to do the work. Others use the stand mixer to further shred the meat. I prefer using just one pot and some elbow grease. 🙂
Similar Products Used To Make These Bak Hu (Pork Floss)
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6 Piece Nonstick Cast Aluminum Pots and Pans with BAKELITE Handles
Le Creuset Silicone Craft Series Utensil Set with Stoneware Crock, 5 pc., Marseille
Winco UT-9 Coiled Spring Heavyweight Stainless Steel Utility Tong, 9-Inch
Clear Half Gallon Wide-mouth Glass Jars (2-Pack), 64-Ounce / 2-Quart
Bak Hu (Pork Floss)
- Bring a half pot of water in a large non-stick pot to a boil. Blanch pork strips in boiling water for 4 to 5 minutes. Remove pork with tongs and rinse in cold water. Set aside. Discard water and rinse out the pot.
- Return pot to the stove. Pour in the 6 cups (1.44 liters) water and all remaining ingredients except dark soy sauce and sesame oil.
- Turn on stove and bring liquid to a boil. Return blanched and rinsed pork to the pot. Bring liquid back up to a boil. Reduce flame or heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for approximately 1½ hours or until pork is very tender and can be easily shredded with a fork. Do occasionally flip the pieces of pork in the pot. If the liquid is drying up too fast, add ½ cup (120ml) water and continue simmering.
- After the 1½ hours of simmering, very little liquid will be left in the pot. Turn off stove and remove the pork. Using a strainer remove all spices from the remaining liquid. Shred the pork when it is cool enough to handle but still warm.
- Return shredded pork to the pot. Turn on the stove over very low flame or heat. You should NOT hear any sizzling sound at all while you stir, press, and continue to shred the pork in the pot using two spatulas.
- If you hear any sizzling sound, then you have set the flame or heat too high. Do this for 45 minutes. The pork should start to get fluffy.
- Drizzle dark soy sauce and sesame oil over the pork and continue to stir fry for another 15 minutes. By this time, the pork floss would have turned light and fluffy.
- Turn off stove and allow pork floss to cool completely in the pot.
- Transfer to an air tight container and consume within a week.
Storage and Shelf Life
Always store Bak Hu (Pork Floss) in an air tight jar or container and consume within a week. The recipe above yields about 12.5 oz (355g) of pork floss from 2 pounds (900g) of pork tenderloin which may not even last the week. 😉