Pickling pork is a new way to spice up your meal besides many classics like roasted or stewed pork.
But what if your family goes vegan or just because you are not able to find pickled pork from your local grocery store, what can you use instead?
This article will provide you with a list of the best pickled pork substitutes so that you will never have to worry about running out of this dish anymore.
What is pickled pork?
Pickled pork is a dish that is made by brining pork chunks in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, vinegar, other spices like cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, and herbs like thyme or bay leaves.
Pickling pork used to be a way to preserve meat in the past when the fridge was not invented.
Today, it is meant to add flavor and create a new dish to spice up your meal.
Normally, the recipe of pickled pork calls for pork butt, pork shoulder, or pork ham because these cuts have a perfect ratio of meat and fat, resulting in more flavorful and juicy meat.
Pork is cut into chunks instead of pickling the whole big cut because it is hard to evenly ferment the meat and it will also take a lot of time.
Pork should be pickled for about a month before it is served as a dish.
Due to the curing process, pickled pork can be eaten straight from the bag, otherwise, it can be cooked in numerous ways and traditionally served with refried beans.
It can last for three days in the fridge.
If you want to lengthen the shelf life of pickled pork, it is best to remove it from the brine and store it in the freezer.
Can you substitute pickled pork in cooking recipes?
Yes, you can substitute pickled pork with other ingredients in any cooking recipe.
Pickled pork has a meaty, salty, and sour taste.
Therefore, other dishes that have a similar flavor and texture can be used as an alternative for pickled pork.
You can use other pickled meat or fermented vegetables to substitute pickled pork.
Either the homemade version of these dishes or the store-bought counterpart, all can work well in your kitchen.
However, making your own pickled pork substitute will always be better because you can control the quality of your dish, but it will take a lot more time, that’s why many people tend to choose canned products instead to save a lot of time spent in the kitchen.
What can you substitute for pickled pork?
Below are some of the best pickled pork substitutes that you can comfortably use in any recipe:
1. Salt pork
Salt pork is relatively similar to pickled pork because they have a salty taste due to being cured with a lot of salt.
Salt pork, on the other hand, should be cooked before being consumed.
Salt pork is often dry-cured, so it lacks moisture like pickled pork.
Therefore, it will be better to slow-cooked in recipes like stewing or braising and serve with saucy dishes.
2. Pickled okra
You can also use pickled okra to substitute for pickled pork.
This vegan option is best for those who are looking for a salty and sour taste with a crunchy texture to accompany their meat dishes.
Okra is also a healthy plant that provides many vitamins and minerals to our bodies.
You can make your own pickled okra and it takes less time compared to making pickled pork.
Otherwise, if you don’t have the mood or time to make your own pickled okra, you can easily buy canned pickled okra from any grocery store across the country.
3. Canned pineapple rings
Canned pineapple rings are another option to alternate your pickled pork.
The sweetness of pineapple goes perfectly with the sour taste of the brine.
The resulting dish is soft, balanced, and ideal to pair with either meat-based or vegan-based dishes.
The bottom line
Your pickled pork substitute options are endless and we have compiled a list of the best ones to make your decision easier.
Don’t worry if you are planning a meal with pickled pork being a star and there is nothing left at the grocery store, now you have many other options to use in place of pickled pork, from vegan to meat-based dishes.
Hopefully, you will give all of the aforementioned pickled pork alternatives a try and then find out the one you like the most.