Year of the Pig
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
The Golden Pig is finally here and people all over China are coming together to celebrate the beginning of the new lunar year. Festive meals are being prepared in every household, and families are indulging in all sorts of local delicacies. Fish and chicken are typically served during the celebrations, but pork always remains the main source of protein for most Chinese. Being world’s largest producer and consumer of pork, China really can be considered an expert when it comes to creating all sorts of scrumptious dishes using every part of the pig.
Here in Yunnan, local dry-cured hams are a specialty. It is not very common to eat Yunnan ham cold, so most cooks will fry, braise or boil the ham to release its complex flavour. Stir-fried with seasonal vegetables, such as asparagus or green peppers, boiled with corn, winter melon or carrots, and added to stews and soups, Yunnan ham adds a delicious salty note to any dish.
Most popular ham comes from Xuanwei, a city in the northeast of the province, famous for its unique mountain climate, the key element in making a delicious leg of dry-cured ham. Yunnan ham is available at most Kunming markets and restaurants, but finding the real Xuanwei taste and quality might be challenging.