Pork substitute

Having just returned from Vietnam, I now drool over Charles Phan's Vietnamese Home Cooking. The problem is I don't eat pork and there are a lot of pork recipes in there (and in Vietnamese cuisine in general). What would be a good substitute for pork in all its forms? I have sometimes substituted minced chicken when a recipe calls for minced pork. But other than that I'm pretty much clueless. What kind of meat should I use instead of pork ribs? Or pork shoulders, pork neck, pork belly, and even bacon, texture-wise and flavour-wise? Thanks!

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Elizabeth Rex
Elizabeth Rex February 28, 2013

How about veal? While I don't know if there's an exact substitute for bacon (turkey bacon is just not the same!), a couple of months ago, we braised some veal breast at work, then pressed while it chilled. After slicing it and giving it a sear, it had a similar meat-to-fat ratio that pork belly does, and just as delicious. I haven't had much veal other than that (and ground), but I imagine veal would be the way to go if you want to something akin to pork's mild and sweet flavor.

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Maedl
Maedl February 28, 2013

Smoked duck and duck fat were used as kosher alternatives to bacon in northern Italy.

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ChefJune
ChefJune February 28, 2013

D'Artagnan is making some incredible duck bacon. Now that's far from the oxymoron that "turkey bacon" is...

creamtea
creamtea February 28, 2013

I have substituted ground veal for ground pork in Chinese recipes, for example, Ants on a Tree. Grow and Behold offer kosher organic beef bacon (not exactly the same though; it's not smokey and is seasoned with celery salt).

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pierino
pierino February 28, 2013

Fatty short ribs would be another possibility.

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sel et poivre
sel et poivre February 28, 2013

Thanks everyone for your answers. I will look out for those meaty goodies whenever I have a pork recipe on my mind!

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