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Pork Floss – Rousong

Rousong, also called meat wool, meat floss, pork floss, flossy pork, pork sung or yuk sung, is a dried meat product with a light and fluffy texture similar to coarse cotton, originating from China. Rousong is used as a topping for many foods, such as congee, tofu, and savoury soy milk. It is also used as filling for various buns and pastries, and as a snack food on its own. Rousong is a very popular food item in Chinese cuisine and Taiwanese cuisine.

Production

Rousong is made by stewing cuts of pork in a sweetened soy sauce mixture until individual muscle fibres can be easily teased apart with a fork. This happens when the collagen that holds the muscle fibres of the meat together has been converted into gelatine. The teased-apart meat is then strained and dried in the oven. After a light drying, the meat is mashed and beaten while being dry-cooked in a large wok until it is nearly completely dry. Additional flavourings are usually added while the mixture is being dry fried. Five kilograms of meat will usually yield about one kilogram of floss.

Pork-less versions

Fish can also be made into floss (魚鬆; yú sōng), though initial stewing is not required due to the low collagen and elastin content of fish meat.

In Muslim majority Indonesia, beef floss is the most popular variant, and meat floss is commonly called abon. Malaysian Muslims make and consume meat floss made from chicken or beef called Serunding, which is a popular delicacy during Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

In Muslim majority Hausa cuisine, dambu nama is a dry shredded beef snack, similar to Rousong. It is fried and heavily spiced in its preparation.

Other versions

A very similar product is pork fu (肉脯; pinyin: ròufǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: bah-hú), which is less fried and less shredded than rousong, and has a more fibrous texture.

Pork Floss - Rousong
Ingredients
  • 1.25 kg pork shoulder
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 4½ tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 250 g sugar
Instructions
  1. Cut the pork shoulder into 1 cm thick slices. Simmer the slices in 1½ cups water until the pork is soft. (About 1 hour.)
  2. Stir in the soy sauces and salt and pepper and continue simmering over a medium heat until there is about ½ cup of liquid remaining.
  3. Remove the meat and cut the meat into fairly big pieces then shred into fine shreds with a fork.
  4. Put the shredded meat into a wok together with the remaining cooking liquid and stir-fry until almost dry.(Be careful not to burn the floss)
  5. Lower the heat and add the sugar while the meat is still moist.
  6. Continue to stir-fry over a medium heat until the meat floss is crispy and dry.
  7. Remove from wok and use as desired.

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