If you are the cook for the family, you probably know the importance of ground pork in the daily meal. It appears that the pork, with the great flavor and texture, is the final and optimal choice to cook without any complaint. From children to older people, everyone can eat ground pork.
If you accidentally forget to buy extra ground pork or the meat turns spoiled, you may wonder, “What can I replace ground pork with?” Is there any way to save the meal?
Yes, it is. There are seven ground pork substitutes that you can consider. Scroll down and learn about each to see which one you should buy to replace the ground pork in the meal tonight!
Ground Pork – What Is It, and How Does It Taste?
What is ground pork made of? As its name suggests, ground pork is a product made from pounding and grinding the pork into small, smooth, and minced pieces. Compared to the “normal” whole piece one, the ground pork is softer and easier to mix and cook with other ingredients.
To be more specific, the whole-piece pork is rough and tenacious because the tendon is still there. Meanwhile, the ground pork has lost all the sinews after going through the process of grinding. So, the adhesiveness between the slates is weaker, and the meat is more delicate. All juices are also extracted out through the preparation process.
Another factor that you must concern when eating this food is the pork’s nutritional facts, especially the fat content. Typically, people believe that pork is super fatty, but it contains lower levels of monounsaturated fat than beef. The pork, instead, is high in protein.
Which Is The Best Ground Pork Substitute?
1. Loose Sausage
You can make sausage from ground pork, so the sausage is compatible enough to be a substitute for pork. In other words, they have a similar taste.
To be more specific, the sausage is made from sea salt, vinegar, syrup, flavorings, and ground pork. The sausage provides a fatty, meaty taste with a thick and chewy texture. Compared to ground pork, the fat, the meaty, and the tenacious flavor are the same. Meanwhile, the sausage seems fatter and saltier than the ground pork as you must add other flavorings.
The loose sausage can substitute the ground pork in most recipes, from boiling, frying, stir-frying to roasting. However, we believe that the best combo with sausage is still a topping in sandwiches recipes.
2. Ground Veal
What is veal, anyway? Veal is the meat of a young female or male calf. Thus, the veal and the beef originate from the same animal – beef. However, the veal is from the younger, immature one, meaning the taste is more delicate, while the beef is more tenacious.
As mentioned, the veal is tender. On the first try, we were so surprised because it is even more delicate than we could expect! The softest beef types, like Kobe beef, cannot even provide such a good taste as the veal can do. You definitely should try the veal once.
Veal meat contains a lower fat level, and the sinew portion is also less. Therefore, it is easier to digest, meaning the veal is more suitable for children and older adults. In general, the veal is a great substitute for ground pork in case there is no pork available in the kitchen.
3. Ground Chicken
Chicken is widely preferred for its low fat, low cholesterol, and high nutrition level. The chicken provides a neutral taste – not too sweet, sour, or salty – just naturally bland, juicy, and lean. Such flavor makes the chicken a great choice for diet.
Given that fact, ground chicken is a good choice if you are seeking ground pork alternatives. You can make the ground chicken by yourself by using the mixer, blender, or simply pounding the chicken in mortar and pestle.
Compared to ground pork, ground chicken seems to be less fatty. The chicken meat is ideal for diet, so it is super healthy with no fat, cholesterol, or harmful elements. You can use the chicken to alternate in any ground pork recipe, such as soups, stews, boiling, frying, roasting, stir-frying, etc., and the taste will not change.
4. Ground Beef
We usually compare ground beef and ground pork together because they have a similar fatty texture. As mentioned above, beef contains high levels of monounsaturated fat despite being considered as “healthier”.
Initially, ground beef is made by mincing beef into small, smooth pieces. All the fat and tendons are smashed during the grinding process, so the ground beef is much more tender than the whole beef.
Besides, there is not much juice from the beef retained in the ground beef. You can find it soft but dry.
So, how compatible are the ground pork and ground meat? Well, these two can be used interchangeably since their flavor and texture are the same. The beef is a bit fatter than the pork, though.
Typically, people use minced beef to make tacos, lasagna, and meatballs. The fat level of beef suits these recipes, so it will raise an appealing, buttery aroma to the dish.
Most people may find it unbelievable to see tofu as ground pork substitution. Literally, they have nothing in common. So how can we use tofu to replace the ground pork?
Let us explain to you this case. The silken tofu contains a high level of water, and the texture is semi-hard. It can work well as a separate dish and blend well if smashed with other ingredients in a recipe. Such a meaty texture of the tofu makes it a good replacement of ground pork.
The tofu is quite bland, to be honest. Made from coagulated soy milk, tofu does not have any specific, distinctive taste. Still, this is an advantage as it will not change the dish’s overall flavor or other ingredients!
If you want to have the meaty ingredients but not a very distinguished tasting one, then tofu is not a bad choice, right?
6. Ground Turkey
Ground turkey is one of the greatest pork substitutes. You may be confused when reading the title – turkey – and start questioning, “Is turkey and chicken the same?”. Well, in terms of the appearances and the general texture, they do look the same. But, regarding the taste, they are not.
Ground turkey is a combination of dark and light turkey meat. The chef will chop down the turkey, season them, and put them into the blender with skin-on and fat-on, to mince into soft, grounded pieces.
How does the turkey taste? From the first bite, we were impressed by its juicy, lean, mild salty flavor. The slices are non-crumbly and thick. So, here is the key: it shares a similar brothy and umami taste with pork.
7. Aibiki Meat (Mixture Of Ground Beef And Pork)
In the last segment, let us introduce you to a special dish that you guys may never hear of in the West – aibiki meat. Theoretically, the aibiki meat is a mixture of beef and pork, widely used in Japan for multipurpose use. Yes, it is so versatile that it can serve well in any recipe.
Based on our experience, the aibiki meat seems sharper, saltier, and fatter than ground pork. It provides an appetizing and satisfactory taste that you are looking for in a pork substitute.
However, since it is a manufactured product, do not expect too much that it can be as authentic and fresh as raw meat.