Pork Threads

I know them as “Moo Foy“.

These lovely soft threads of seasoned pork are so versatile. I was first introduced to them when I was young and they were sprinkled on top of a hot bowl of “Khao Piek” (rice soup), yummy!.

Since then I have seen them used in sandwiches and other snacks (best of all, wrapped up in sticky rice!). There are different types available, crunchy and crispy or soft and fluffy. The latter is probrably its most popular form, and due to its appearance is sometimes referred to as Pork Floss.

Seeing as we live and work “out in the sticks“, there are no Asiatic stores nearby and we only ever get Moo Foy when someone visits from abroad (the visitor is always given a shopping list prior to arrival….. 😆 ), so in “Good ole Laocook fashion”, we decided to make our own. :biggrin:

Questions were thrown about in the kitchens on how to achieve the end result. Theories mentioned included roasting stewed pork, shredding it then allowing it to dry in a low temperature oven. This seemed okay, but how would we get the “fluffiness”? It was clear that the meat had to be moved around whilst cooking. Also, the oven technique wouldn’t allow us to get the “crunchiness”. Deep frying the shredded meat would give us a result that was too crunchy.

We knew that fluffiness could be achieved by cooking the shredded meat in a bowl placed over simmering water, we have used this technique before with fish when making our sushi ingredients.

In the end, we decided to make three batches of Moy Foy using different finishing methods.

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Pork shoulder is slowly cooked then shredded whilst still warm. Shredding any meat is much easier when it is warm.

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Over a low flame the pork is then seasoned with soy sauce, salt, sugar and slowly cooked and stirred. This method would result in our crunchy(ish) Moy Foy. As the sugar melts in the pan it takes on a lovely caramel colour and provides a slight crispiness to the pork. Vigilance is important here, lack of attention could end up with a burnt and bitter tasting result.

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With the second method, the pork was finished in a bowl over simmering water. This method was the hardest, and most time consuming, but would yield the fluffiest result. Constant stirring is needed here so that the pork dries out evenly and air is incorporated.

Half way through this technique when some of the meats moisture had been removed, half of the pork was transferred to a large baking tray and placed in an oven at 90ºc for just over an hour.

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Meanwhile, there were other tasks that needed attending to.

More pork was being cooked, this time our version of “Char Sui” or Chinese Style Roasted Pork. However, our cooking process started the night before. 😎

Our pieces of pork are cooked “Sous Vide” for 12 hours.

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This results in a very tender and juicy piece of meat. The meat is browned in a hot pan just before serving.

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Another dish which had its preparation started beforehand was our mini terrine of Foie Gras and Duck. These small slices would later be served as our evenings “amuse bouche”.

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Our second appetiser was Beef on Toast.

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Thin slices of beef are dressed with a Soy, Mirin and Sesame sauce mixed with Truffle Oil and served on toasts that had been brushed with Shallot Oil before being toasted.

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On the other side of the kitchen our Pho was given a new treatment by “frozen clarification” (taking the well seasoned browned broth, freezing it and allowing it to defrost whilst suspended in a cloth over a bowl in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours). The golden clear liquid is then gelified with king prawns.

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Seaweed and Truffle Vinaigrette finish off the dish.

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Back to our Moy Foy.

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The three different cooking methods produced very different results. On the left, the wok finished meat was nice and crispy and full of the salty sweetness that we expected.

In the centre, the oven dried pork resulted in a cloth like texture.

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This will later be used in our Jéow Bong recipe.

And lastly the third batch, finished in the bowl over simmering water produced a very fluffy result.

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This texture almost seems to melt in the mouth.

Three different Moo Foy. Nice. :biggrin:

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