Can You Fry Prosciutto?


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When you hear of prosciutto, you hear of it being served “raw” or uncooked. You can eat this ham-like meat sliced, wrapped, or on a sandwich. So, it is usually salted, cured, dried, but never cooked. It is safe to eat like this and can be used in some delicious dishes. 

Even though most of the time this Italian-style ham isn’t cooked, it most certainly can be. You can warm it up in an oven or use it in various dishes. But, what if you want it to be crispy? Can you fry prosciutto?

You can fry prosciutto. It is easy and simple to do and can make the meat crispy. Frying it is a lot like frying bacon. Fried prosciutto can be eaten by itself or used to top recipes like pasta or other cooked meals for a delicious dinner.

Can You Fry Prosciutto?

The Italian word prosciutto means “ham”. It comes in 2 different types, prosciutto crudo (raw and cured) or prosciutto cotto (cooked). Most of the time the raw and uncooked version of this meat is referred to when talking about prosciutto. Cooked prosciutto is simply ham. 

Made from high-quality pork legs, this meat is salted and left to rest for weeks. The salt draws out blood and moisture from the prosciutto preventing bacteria growth and causing the flavors to become more concentrated. After it is salted, it is washed and seasoned by hand. 

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This seasoning is usually a secret family (or company) recipe. 

Then the prosciutto is left to dry and age at a controlled temperature for about 14 to 36 months. This seems like a long time, but it is necessary to get flavorful meat. So, to make the prosciutto taste better, it is left to dry for many months. The combination of salt, air and time the prosciutto is cured at gives it its sweet and delicious flavor. 

Different techniques are used depending on the area it is produced in, who produces the prosciutto, and the company producing it. Since the air it is cured at can affect its flavor, this includes the climate it is cured at as well. Different regions give the meat different flavors. 

The longer the prosciutto is aged, the more complex it is going to taste.

It is recommended to eat prosciutto in thin slices. Because of its curing process, we can eat prosciutto “raw”, although it isn’t completely raw since it has been salted and cured before you ever eat it. 

But, since it is cured for so long, prosciutto is completely safe to eat without being cooked. Just like salami, smoked hams, pastrami, and biltong, prosciutto doesn’t have to be cooked before you eat it. The process of curing prevents any bacteria from contaminating the meat. 

Prosciutto isn’t typically cooked, but this doesn’t mean it can’t be. If you are looking for a way to cook prosciutto to make it crispy, you can certainly fry it.

To see the most popular types of prosciutto just click here. 

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Can Prosciutto Be Used Instead Of Bacon?

So, the Italian meat prosciutto isn’t usually cooked but, if you are craving some crispy slices of the cured ham, it can be fried. Fried prosciutto results in a food that looks and tastes a lot like bacon. 

So, can prosciutto be used instead of bacon?

Prosciutto can be used in meals and recipes instead of bacon. It is thinly-sliced and can be cut into small strips and fried until crispy. Both prosciutto and bacon look and taste similar and even though they are different types of meat, fried prosciutto can be substituted for bacon.

If you want to warm up the prosciutto, you can just put it in the oven for a few minutes. If you want it crispy, then you can fry it in some oil in a frying pan. The only ways that porscotto is usually cooked is warmed up or fried. 

This thinly sliced meat doesn’t have to be cooked to be eaten and is good uncooked. But, for added flavor or to be used as a garnish, you can fry it up.

Now, if you are thinking that prosciutto would be good crispy, then you are absolutely right. When cut into strips, this meat is very similar to bacon. To get prosciutto crispy, you have to fry it. 

To fry prosciutto follow these simple steps:

  1. Preheat some olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cut the meat into ½ inch wide strips.
  3. Place the meat in the pan and brown for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Once they are crispy, remove from the pan.
  5. Serve and enjoy the proscot as a garnish for flavoring pasta, sauces, or cooked meat.

Both prosciutto and bacon are cured meats. These popular cuts from pigs are similar in the way they look and how they taste but they each have their own unique flavor, texture, curing process, and ways they are eaten. 

Bacon has to be cooked while prosciutto doesn’t (since it is cured). But, you can fry prosciutto to be a substitute for bacon and a healthy one at that. Even though it contains a lot of salt from its curing process, prosciutto is healthier than bacon. 

So, frying prosciutto is a lot like frying bacon. In fact, prosciutto can be a good substitute for bacon. Its sweet and salty flavors taste so good with a crispy outer layer and it is healthier than bacon. Prosciutto is lower in calories in fact than bacon is. 

Although it should be eaten in moderation, if you are looking for a healthier alternative to bacon, then give prosciutto a try. As you can see, when prosciutto is fried it can be used instead of bacon.

Rovagnati Prosciutto Cotto Gran Biscotto Whole Ham

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, if you want to, you can fry prosciutto. Salted, cured, and left to dry and age for several weeks, prosciutto is typically eaten without being cooked first. Because of its curing process, it is safe to eat prosciutto “raw” or uncooked. 

This uncooked ham isn’t usually cooked but it can be. If you want crispy slices of the meat, simply fry it with some oil just like you would bacon. Prosciutto can even be used instead of bacon since they are both similar in appearance and taste. 

As you can see, the flavorful Italian cured ham prosciutto can be fried.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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