Historically, Lap means "ritual" in old Chinese, it was very often that surplus meat after the ritual would be cured for use in times of scarcity. 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. There are three types of "Lap-mei"and they are preserved Chinese sausages, preserved pork, and preserved ducks.
In Chinese tradition, they are usually prepared around the time of December of lunar calendar, as one of the delicacies to celebrate the 'Spring Harvesting Festival'. They are traditional gifts during the festive seasons, especially during the Chinese New Year.
It has been found that 'Lap-mei' prepared commercially, has nitrite/nitrate and coloring which are not very desirable, therefore this gives me a reason to prepare 'Lap-mei' at home - preservative free.
I have to thank Claire, my dear friend, who came with the special Rose Wine and Dark Soya Sauce.
5 lhs belly pork
5 ozs sugar
1/4 cup Mui Kwai Lo (Rose Wine)
1/2 cup light soya sauce
1/4 cup thick dark soya sauce
3 tbsp table salt
First day of drying
Second day of drying or airing
Cut belly pork into 1 1/2 - 2 inch 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. I kept them in the refrigerator for 3 days.
Drill a hole on top of a strip of meat with the sharp point of a boning knife and pass a piece of string through the hole 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. I had sun for only a day but managed to get 2 windy days. Took them in and hang them near the ventilation vent and the heat was good, it dry the meat pretty good.
Steam air dried pork(lup yuk) for 8 minutes over high heat. Slice thinly and serve with rice.