Recently, I really want to eat some nostalgic food such as Gantiao Noodles (干挑面 gāntiāo miàn) - one of the most popular breakfast for locals in my area. However, to make an authentic gantiao noodle, lard is necessary.
Therefore, this triggered me off making lard oil by myself.
The process of making lard oil is quite easy. The things you need are just lard and a pan (or a wok). Attention, you need to fry it with moderate heat all along the way. Otherwise, it will become less tasty, and also it may spill out and hurt you.
From my experience, 500 grams of pork fat can make around 300 grams of oil.
A short story of lard oil in China
In the eighty and nineties, or even earlier, fifty and sixties, almost every Chinese family would make lard oil, especially during the years when we had to use oil coupons (油票 yóupiào) to buy oil.
Lard is really a necessary supplement for Chinese people’s demand for oil.
In those years, it is heard that people particularly are fond of buying fatty pork, because it can be used to make oil, the fragrance increases people’s appetite. In addition, pork residue is also a relish, it can also be served as a condiment in a dish.
Lard is fat from a pig, it is odourless and tasteless when rendered properly.
In Chinese, we call it ‘猪油’ zhūyóu - pork fat, it is also known as ‘荤油’ hūnyóu. It is easy to reserve, you can simply pour it into a clean bottle, it starts to curdle quickly.
The dishes that we can cook with it
In fact, people would love to add a bit of lard oil to any kinds of dishes, such as fried rice, or boiled noodles with lard oil, the latter one is even more popular among several gastronomes.
Moreover, lard oil is also one of the essential ingredients for making Chinese traditional desserts. Especially old lard oil, it can bring the best results for puffing pastry (make lots of layers).
Let’s have a look at the functions of lard oil
Intaking moderate amount of lard oil is good for health, lard can quickly help the human body recover lost energy and protein. At the same time, the food you cook with lard oil is full of fragrant, it can easily increase people’s appetite.
Reduce cough and phlegm
Lard oil can also be regarded as a folk prescription. If you have an irritation in your throat or cough a lot with phlegm after catching a cold, by intaking a small amount of lard oil, it can moisten lungs and achieve the effect of relieving cough and phlegm.
Clear heat and detoxify
According to ‘Compendium of Materia Medica’, it is good for blood vessels, reducing heat and moistening lungs. When the weather is dry, intaking an appropriate amount of lard oil can clean up toxins from the body, downbear fire and detoxify drugs. It can be one of the good medicines for the treatment of gynecological inflammation.
Lard contains a trace of carotene. A small amount of β-carrot can promote the normal content of rhodopsin. Thus it avoids the damage caused by strong light after a dark field of view, and also the blunt adaptation of a dark field of view caused by lack of vitamin A.
I am not encouraging you to eat more pork fat, as it can cause obesity, increase the cholesterol in the blood, and raise the risk of catching a disease of the heart and blood vessels, especially for seniors.
Although lard oil has already slowly faded out of our Chinese recipes, back to the age of lack of supplies, it played an important role in our diet.
The most important, it’s one of my childhood memories.
Now, I have lard oil, next time I can make some Gantiao noodles for you as well. 🙂