Friday, March 20, 2009

Wax a loin.......

Today, I will show you how to wax a loin of pork without hassle and pain in this simple recipe. These preserved delicacies are called "Lap mei" in Cantonese and are often mistaken that they are waxed because of their waxy appearance and the word "lap" which also means wax in that dialect. These air dried pork, duck and sausages are preserved without any wax. Waxed meat and poultry and sausages are traditional gifts during the festive seasons, especially during the Chinese New Year.

Basically they are marinated with salt, soya sauce and wine for a day and left to dry in the sun during the autumn months..

1 kg pork loin or belly pork
1 ½ Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoon sugar
2 Tablespoon rice wine or whisky/brandy
2 Tablespoon soya sauce
Cut pork loin or belly pork into 30 mm strips. Rub in sugar and salt into meat and pour in the remaining ingredients to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Turn meat often to marinade evenly.
Puncture a hole to pull a string through and tie string with a knot.
Hang up to dry in the sun for 1-3 days and move to a windy place to dry for another 2-3 days.

Steam air dried pork(lup yuk) for 8 minutes over high heat. Slice thinly and serve with rice.
The air dried pork (lup yuk) is often used in the claypot rice recipe as an added ingredient or two into the rice halfway through cooking together with mushroom(dried shitake mushroom), Chinese sausage(lup cheong), thinly sliced ginger and shredded spring onion. (Detailed claypot rice recipe to be posted later).


  1. Hi Uncle Phil,

    Some questions; how would i know the dried pork is air dried enough and ready to be eaten?
    the last step of steaming the pork, are you refering to the whole piece of pork and after which i can store tat pork? what is the best way to store the dried pork, in the fridge or just leave it in a cool dry place?


  2. Hi Soo,
    It takes roughly about a week for the pork to cure. Steaming is not part of the final process for storing the waxed meat.It is the cooking method before serving it as a dish. Traditionally it is stored outside in a cool and dry well ventilated place. Since this is homemade without preservative it is best kept in the fridge. Most store bought "lup mei" has saltpetre (potassium nitrate) added as a preservative to allow longer selves life.
    We do not like that in our food. Do we?

  3. Can this air dried procedure be done in Singapore too? We know Singapore has a very humid climate, over 85% humidity most of the time. So can this be done in Singapore too or only in dry climate?

  4. Hi Retireed,
    I think humidity can be a problem over there. Why don't you try a small piece and let us know.