|Alternative names||Lizhi rou|
|Place of origin||China|
|Region or state||Fujian|
|Ingredients generally used||water chestnut, red wine lees|
Lychee pork or lizhi rou (Chinese: 荔枝肉; pinyin: lìzhī ròu; Eastern Min: Liĕk-chiĕ-nṳ̆k) is one of the most well known dishes in Fujianese cuisine. Small pieces of deep fried pork and sliced water chestnut are served in a sweet and sour sauce. As is typical in Fujian, red wine lees are used to add flavor and give bright red color. The pork pieces curl up and are stained red, thus resembling lychee skins, hence the name.
Lychee Pork in China
Lychee pork is a traditional special cuisine in Fuzhou city, Putian city and some southern eastern areas of Fujian Province of China. Under the 8 major branches of Chinese cuisines, the Lychee pork is classified into Ming cuisine which means this cooking style has been accepted and spread by original inhabitants living along the Ming River for approximately 1500 years. Lychee pork is famous for its “Lychee shape” because the reddish balls are resembled as many mature Lychees (a kind of delicious sweet fruit only produced in southern China). The taste of Lychee pork is mixing with sour and sweet, which is favoured by most of the taste buds of the southern Chinese. The additional vegetative ingredients are yams, water chestnut, tomatoes, and green onions
Lychee Pork in U.S.A.
In overseas, Lychee pork is the rudiments of some famous cuisines in Chinese restaurant. As we know, chicken ball and pork ball are two common cuisines that customers can order in Chinese restaurants menus in North American. Two hundred years ago, the first group of Chinese from Guangdong and Fujian province moved across the Pacific Ocean to west coast of America to help American government to build railways or because they were facing the starving poor challenges in their hometowns. The offsprings of Chinese workers had no choice but to open some Chinese restaurants to make livings because they could not integrate into American society compared to white people at that time. They brought the cooking skills from their hometown and modified traditional southern Chinese food (including Lychee pork) into American style food to earn money. Today, we can still find many similar features between Lychee pork and Chicken/Pork balls
The history of Lychee Pork in Putian
1500 years ago, there was an imperial concubine called Mei who was from Putian Province of China. She was beautiful, elegant dressed, dignified, and fairy looking. She was a great dancer who danced like a bird extending wings, and like a fairy frying in the sky. Because of her special talents and stunning beauty, she was loved by the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang. However, Mei missed her hometown very much in the palace for her home was in thousands of miles away. She did not have good appetite because she did not get used to northern food. As a result of that, Xuanzong commanded his personal chief to invent a cuisine which will heal the home sickness and food picking of Mei. The mission came to an old Fuzhou chief named Jiang, he invented a food that shaped like Lychee and also tasted like lychee. After that, Mei was so happy after eating the cuisine made by this chief, she said that she recalled her childhood time when she was sitting along Min River bank watching many red mature lychees hanging on the trees while chatting with her best friends. Two days later, Mei also invited Xuanzong to taste the great food. Xuanzong surprised by the unique taste and he was relieved and happy as Mei recovered from homesickness, thus he named this cuisine as “Lychee Pork” meanwhile awarded 1000 “Liang” of golds (a that time, one Liang of gold was able to trade a sheep) to this old chief
The ingredients of Lychee Pork and how to make
300 grams of lean pork, 15 grams of onion, 2 garlic cloves, 10 water chestnuts, 15 grams of soy sauce, 13 grams of vinegar, 15 grams of white sugar, 5 grams of Monascus powder, 35 grams of wet starch, 30 grams of bone soup, 35 grams of sesame oil, and 5 grams of cooked lard
Classical Fuzhou taste Lychee Pork
Step 1 Cutting art
In order to make the meat which is curved like Lychee
Cut the meats into many slices with each slice of about10 centimeters long and around 5 cm wide and approximately 1.3 centimeters thick. On each meat, cross cut (horizontally and vertically) the surface with many 0.5 centimeters wide and 0.8 centimeters deep openings. After that, cut the slices of meat with “knife flowers” (a name of Chinese cutting knifing skill to make meat broken but not break through) into 2.5-1.5 cm wide slant. And then, cut many deep slices on the surface of water chestnuts. Then, combine water chestnuts with meat slices with Monascus powder (about 30 grams) and wet starch (around30 grams). Finally, Shake and grab the meat water chestnuts mixtures with bare hands for about 5 minutes.
Step 2 cooking secrets
Firstly, Prepare a bowl shaped big pan and put the pan onto big flame oven. Add pig fat into the pan and make pig oil. Wait until the oil temperature goes up, some bubbles coming from the bottom. And then, we should add the pork slices into the boiled pig oil. We can see that the pork slices quickly curve into many balls. Use long chopsticks to pick the golden colored pork balls (means that the pork is fully cooked) and set them on other place waiting for next step. Repeat the steps until all done, we get many pork balls.
Secondly, after treating all meats slices in the oil then we fry the water chestnuts. Throw the water chestnuts into the boiled pig oil batch by batch. Use the long chopsticks to pick out the golden colored water chestnuts.
Step 3 Making Sauce
The Lychee Pork is famous for its sweet and sour taste which requires the cook to make a kind of stick red colored source to give people great appetite. Also, red colored sauce looks fancy and jubilant which may let Chinese people get happier when they are in the special festivals, like spring festival, and moon festival.
As the sauce is the key in this dish, I will list how to make it step by step.
Green onion, chicken broth, ketch up, sweet potato powder, Fujian Old cookery wine, peanut oil, vinegar, soy sauce (two types of sauce, “old soy sauce, and seasoned soy sauce), garlic and salt.
1.Open the fire of the oven to heat up the pan to a high temperature about 100 centigrade
2.During the time of heating pan, cut up garlic and green onion into tiny pieces (approximately 0.5 cm for green onion and 0.2-0.3 cm for the garlic). The amount of garlic is about 10-15g per dish and the amount of green onion is about 5-10g each dish.
3.Pour in the peanut oil (about 10ml) and waiting it boil
4.Throw the prepared green onion and garlic into the pan to fry it for about 1 min.
5.Pour the old soy sauce (2 spoons) and seasoned (2 spoons) soy sauce into the pan
6.Pour the Chicken broth into the pan (4 spoons)
7.Add sweet potato powder (2 spoons) into the pan
8.Add sugar (4 spoons)
9.Add vinegar (2 spoons)
10.Add Fujian Old cookery wine (1 spoon)
11.Add salt (1 spoon)
12.Add ketch up (2 spoons)
13.Cook the sauce for more than 5 min, the water will evaporate from the sauce. As we add sweet potato powder into the pan, the sauce will get more and more sticky.
14. As everyone’s preference, as some sesamums and peanut add additions.
15. Throw in 10 Lychee pork balls and 10 water chestnuts into the sauce
16.Str the balls and chestnuts for 10 seconds.
17. Lychee pork finished
Nutritional ingredients of Lychee Pork
Calories: 1199.71 calories
Potassium: 602.86 micrograms
Phosphorus: 407.52 micrograms
Carotene: 293.2 micrograms
Cholesterol: 207 micrograms
Sodium: 175.84 micrograms
Vitamin A: 96.63 micrograms
Fat: 92.53 grams
Protein: 44.5 grams
Magnesium: 43.68 micrograms
Calcium: 40.03 micrograms
Vitamin C: 14.17 micrograms
Selenium: 9.03 micrograms
Niacin: 8.79 micrograms
Iron: 7.54 micrograms
Carbohydrates: 6.29 grams
Vitamin E: 3.19 micrograms
Zinc: 2.84 micrograms
Folate: 2.8 micrograms
Iodine: 1.25 micrograms
Vitamin B1:0.8 micrograms
Dietary fiber: 0.49 grams
Copper: 0.43 micrograms
Vitamin B2:0.35 micrograms
Manganese: 0.04 micrograms
Vitamin B6:0.03 micrograms
The protein of the Lychee Pork is easily digested by human body. Also, the Lychee pork is full of vitamins which is good for human health. The only disadvantage of the Lychee pork is the Fat content, high fat content will cause the risk of obesity