This popular Bai dish, known as “sheng pi” – literally, raw skin – has a long history. Marco Polo even reported on it after visiting Yunnan in the 13th century. He wrote, “The gentry also eat their meat raw; but they have it minced very small, put in garlic sauce flavoured with spices and then eat it as readily as we eat cooked meat”. Thankfully for those of us who find the idea of raw pork unpalatable, there is a cooked version where the meat is fried in rapeseed oil before being finely shaved. This version is known as “zhu sheng pi”, or “cooked raw pork”. Destination Flavour China
- 250 ml (1 cup) rapeseed oil, or canola oil
- 1 kg pork shoulder, skin-on, cut into 2 cm-wide slices
- ½ tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 60 ml (¼ cup) black vinegar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp kecap manis or dark soy sauce
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 3 bird’s eye chillies, finely minced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 coriander plant (everything attached to one root), finely shredded
- 2 spring onions, finely minced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Serves 6 as part of a shared meal.
1. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. When hot, fry the pork slices for about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes.
2. For the dipping sauce, toast the fennel seeds and Sichuan peppercorns in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and grind with a pestle into a fine powder.
3. Combine the powder with the remaining sauce ingredients in a serving bowl.
4. Using a sharp knife or cleave, very finely slice the pork, as if taking thin shavings of it.
5. Serve the pile of shaved pork with the dipping sauce.
Photography by Adam Liaw.