Firewood, rice, oil, salt, sauce, vinegar, and tea constitute the essential elements of every family’s life. Flavored cooking oil, in particular, plays a crucial role in Chinese cuisine, indispensable for frying and stir-frying. In this article, I’d like to share with you the aromatic oils we consistently stock throughout the year, sourced from both animals and vegetables. The preparation and ingredients are quite simple, requiring only a bit of patience.
Simple and Efficient Lard Extraction
For those pressed for time, freezing purchased lard is a convenient option. When needed, thaw and soften it before following standard cleaning procedures. Personally, I prefer to clean and marinate it with salt for about 10 minutes after cleaning. According to a local pork seller, this salting method enhances oil extraction, resulting in crisper pork lard.
Occasionally flip the lard during the cooking process to prevent burning and ensure even heating, expediting oil release. As the lard nears completion, transfer it to wide-mouth jars. Refrigeration transforms it into an ointment, extending shelf life. Using wide-mouth jars facilitates easy scooping for cooking or noodle-making purposes. Crispy pork lard in dry noodles enhancing flavors with its unique crispiness.
Garlic Flavored Cooking Oil
When making garlic oil, pour cold oil into a pot and add minced garlic, frying slowly over low heat. Stir occasionally for even heating. Remove the garlic when it achieves a golden hue, as residual heat will continue to darken it. Overcooking may result in bitterness. For a quick and light meal, drizzle the fragrance oil of your choice (or a mix of different oils) over steamed vegetables, finishing with crispy garlic for a simple yet delectable dish.
Maintaining Crispy Fried Shallots
Achieving and retaining the crispiness of fried shallots depends not only on the preparation and storage but also on the choice of shallots. Opt for rose shallots to ensure a longer-lasting crispiness. While the method remains the same, this simple change yields miraculously crispy results. Typically, supermarkets offer two types of shallots: the cheaper, lighter-colored ordinary shallots and the pricier, darker rose shallots. Choose the latter for a more satisfying crunch.
When extracting vegetable oil, peeling the shallots is often a cumbersome step. However, this extra effort pays off, as aside from the refined oil, the fried garlic serves as a crispy seasoning for noodles or steamed dishes. Unlike lard, vegetable oil provides versatility, allowing you to choose any preferred cooking oil. Maintain a 1:2 ratio of garlic to cooking oil for optimal flavor. Prepare smaller quantities for immediate enjoyment, or if not consumed promptly, store them in the refrigerator for prolonged freshness.
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Flavored Cooking Oils
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- 150 g Rose Shallots
- 300 g Cooking Oil
- A Pinch Of Salt
- 300 g Pork Fat
- A Pinch Of Salt
- 150 g Garlic
- 300 g Cooking Oil
- Peel, clean and slice shallots against the grain. Try to cut the thickness into standard sizes, only then can it be cooked evenly.
- Place the sliced shallots on the baking sheet, add a little salt marinade it and spread evenly.
- Place in the oven at about 120 degrees Celsius, turn on the whirlwind and bake for 30 minutes.
- Add the shallots and cooking oil to the cold pot and turn on medium heat. It needs to be stirred all the time during the process. Especially the edge of the pot is the most likely place to burst!
- When you see about 80% of the shallots begin to turn light brown, you are ready to pick it out.
- Spread it out on a pot, drain the oil and let it cool before canning it. Otherwise, the water vapor will cause the shallots to become soft!
- Drain the washed pork fat, add a little salt stir evenly and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
- Pour the pork fat into a pot, turn on medium-low heat, spread it out and fry it in a dry pot to release the oil. Just stir-fry occasionally.
- When the lard is almost done, you can start to scoop it out and put it into a wide-mouthed jar. Because putting it in the refrigerator can extend the shelf life but it will turn into a ointment. Therefore, you need to use wide-mouthed jars. Then it’s convenient when you want to use it
- Drain the crispy pork lard and let it cool before putting it into a jar. Put it in the refrigerator to make it taste drier and stay fresher.
- Peel them first, then cut them into small pieces for easy granulate in a blender or minced it with a knife.
- Put the minced garlic in a cold pot and add cooking oil. Fry the minced garlic over medium heat. Fry over slow heat to fully cook the minced garlic.
- Stir continuously throughout the process to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- When you see that the minced garlic turns light brown, you are ready to put it into the strainer.
- Spread out the crispy garlic and place it on the pot to drain excess oil
- After cooling, put the garlic oil and garlic crisps into jars respectively and you are done.