Pig: How it’s Used and Raised in Asia

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A pig is any of the animals in the genus Sus, within the Suidae family of even-toed ungulates. Pigs include the domestic pig and its ancestor, the common Eurasian wild boar (Sus scrofa), along with other species; related creatures outside the genus include the babirusa and the warthog. Pigs, like all suids, are native to the Eurasian and African continents. Juvenile pigs are known as piglets. Pigs are omnivores and are highly social and intelligent animals.

Pig is used in Asian cuisine in a variety of ways, including steamed, marinated, ground, sliced, and served in different cuts. Cooking methods include frying, stir-frying, and braising. Some of the most famous pork dishes include char siu, dongpo pork, and sweet and sour pork.

In this article, I’ll explore the many ways pig is used in Asian cuisine and why it’s such a popular meat choice.

What is a pig

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The Pig: A Versatile Meat in Asian Cuisine

Despite its dirty character, the pig is a staple in many Asian countries, including China, where pork is the primary meat consumed. The word for pork in Chinese is “rou,” and it is commonly found in a wide range of dishes. Pork is also a great source of protein, and it is worth millions of dollars in production.

The Importance of Pork in Asian Cuisine

Pork is a primary ingredient in many traditional Asian dishes, and it is used in a variety of ways, including steamed, marinated, and ground. The meat is sliced and served in many different cuts, including the shoulder, which is commonly used in Chinese cooking. Despite the differences in cooking methods, the key to using pork in Asian cuisine is to choose the right pieces of meat and to use the right knives.

The Different Cuts of Pork

There are many different cuts of pork, and each one requires a certain method of cooking. Some of the most common cuts of pork used in Asian cuisine include:

  • Shoulder
  • Belly
  • Loin
  • Leg

The Art of Cooking Pork

Cooking pork requires a certain understanding of the meat and the cooking process. Some of the key methods for cooking pork in Asian cuisine include:

  • Steaming
  • Quick-frying
  • Marinating
  • Stir-frying

Famous Pork Dishes in Asian Cuisine

Some of the most famous pork dishes in Asian cuisine include:

  • Char siu (Chinese BBQ pork)
  • Dongpo pork (braised pork belly)
  • Twice-cooked pork
  • Sweet and sour pork
  • Pork dumplings

The Effects of Pork Consumption

Consuming pork in moderation can have many health benefits, including:

  • Plenty of protein
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Lower risk of heart disease

However, consuming too much pork can cause health problems, including:

  • High cholesterol
  • Increased risk of heart disease

The Role of Pork in Asian Cuisine

  • Pork has been a staple in Asian cuisine for thousands of years, with evidence of pig farming dating back to ancient China.
  • Chinese cuisine, in particular, includes many pork dishes, with the meat being used in a variety of preparations.
  • Pork is considered an important ingredient in Asian cooking due to its rich flavor and high energy content.

Preparation Methods

  • Pork is used in a variety of ways in Asian cuisine, including boiling, frying, and roasting.
  • One popular method of preparation is to boil the pork in water with soy sauce and other seasonings to create a flavorful broth.
  • Another common preparation method involves slicing the pork into thin strips and stir-frying it with vegetables and rice.
  • Proper preparation of pork is key to achieving the ultimate flavor and texture.

Cuts of Pork

  • Different cuts of pork are used in Asian cuisine, with some being more popular than others.
  • Some of the most commonly used cuts include pork belly, which is known for its high fat content and gelatinous texture, and pork shoulder, which is often used in stews and soups.
  • Other cuts, such as pork loin and tenderloin, are also used in Asian cooking and can be prepared in a variety of ways.

Pork in Modern Asian Cuisine

  • While pork has been a part of Asian cuisine for centuries, modern chefs are finding new and unique ways to incorporate the meat into their dishes.
  • Some chefs are combining traditional pork dishes with new ingredients and techniques to create exciting new recipes.
  • Pork delivery services are also becoming more popular, allowing consumers to receive fresh cuts of pork without having to leave their homes.

Pork in Different Asian Languages

  • The word for pork in Chinese is “zhūròu,” which is pronounced “joo-roh.”
  • In Japanese, pork is called “buta,” while in Korean it is “dwaeji.”
  • The use of different words for pork in different languages reflects the spread and heavy consumption of the meat throughout Asia.

The Complex World of Pig Farming in Asia

Pig farming in Asia has a long and rich history, dating back thousands of years. It began in China, where pigs were considered a traditional and highly important part of the local food supply. Over time, the practice of pig farming spread throughout the country and beyond, with many other Asian countries adopting similar methods.

Revolutionizing Pork Production: How AI is Changing the Game in Asian Cuisine

China is the world’s largest pork producer and consumer, with pork being a staple in Chinese cuisine. However, the country has been facing challenges in pork production due to outbreaks of diseases such as African swine fever. To combat this issue, Chinese farmers are turning to artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the quality and safety of their pork products.

Here are some ways AI is revolutionizing pork production in China:

  • Disease Detection: AI-powered cameras are being used to monitor pig behavior and detect early signs of illness. This allows farmers to isolate sick pigs and prevent the spread of disease to the rest of the herd.
  • Feeding Optimization: AI algorithms are being used to analyze data on pig behavior, such as eating habits and weight gain, to optimize feeding schedules and reduce waste.
  • Quality Control: AI-powered sensors are being used to monitor the temperature and humidity of pig pens, ensuring that the pigs are kept in optimal conditions for growth and health.
  • Traceability: AI is being used to track the entire lifecycle of a pig, from birth to slaughter, to ensure that the pork products are safe and of high quality.

The use of AI in pork production is not only improving the quality and safety of pork products but also increasing efficiency and reducing costs for farmers. This is good news for consumers who can enjoy better quality pork products at a lower price.

The Future of Pork Production in Asia

The use of AI in pork production is not limited to China. Other countries in Asia, such as Japan and South Korea, are also adopting AI technologies to improve their pork production. Here are some potential future developments in the use of AI in pork production:

  • Robotics: Robots could be used to automate tasks such as feeding and cleaning, reducing the need for human labor.
  • Predictive Analytics: AI algorithms could be used to predict the health and growth of pigs, allowing farmers to make informed decisions about breeding and feeding.
  • Genetic Engineering: AI could be used to analyze pig DNA and develop new breeds of pigs that are more resistant to disease and have better meat quality.

The use of AI in pork production is just one example of how technology is transforming the food industry. As consumers become more conscious of the quality and safety of their food, we can expect to see more innovations in food production in the future.

The Reforming of Pig Rearing in China

For hundreds of years, pig farming in China was defined by small-scale, household operations that largely relied on indigenous breeds. These pigs were raised on a narrow range of landrace breeds, such as the Duroc, and were packed into confined housing. They were fed a diet that included water, manure, and periodic vaccinations. The manure and urine were used as fertilizers for crops.

The Industrialisation of Pig Rearing

In the 1950s, attempts were made to reform China’s agricultural sector during the socialist period. The idea was to modernize the industry and increase production. This led to the development of commercial pig farms that adopted new methods and innovated new models of pig rearing. These new methods included the use of imported breeds, such as the robust domestic breeds from Europe and the United States.

The Rise of Industrial Pig Operations

In the 1980s, the pig industry in China came under heavy industrialization. The system intensified, and pig farms grew in number and scale. The traditional methods of rearing pigs were replaced by modern agribusiness operations that raised pigs exclusively for meat production. The number of small-scale household farmers declined, and the industry became one of the largest operations in the country.


So there you have it- the many ways pork can be used in Asian cuisine. 

It’s a versatile meat that’s been a staple in the diet for thousands of years, and it’s a great source of protein. 

So, don’t be afraid to try some new dishes with pork!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

Try it out for free with Kindle Unlimited:

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.