Nothing says yum like good food and great friends. Try my adaption of a BBQ Pork Bun. This make-ahead recipe was a crowd pleaser at my house. You can make the steamed buns or order out from your favorite Asian bakery. Everything else can be made ahead and assembled the day of the event.
Special Equipment Needed : Parchment paper and steamer if you are making the buns. Anova Precision cooker if you are using a Sous Vide cooking method and not using the stove top method to braise the pork.
For the Pork
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup good quality chicken stock
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 cup oyster sauce
5 cloves garlic, cleaned and smashed
1 large onion, cleaned and peeled, rough chop
1/4 cup corn starch
2 pounds pork butt, cut into large cubes
2- 1 inch knobs of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
Salt and pepper the pork cubes well and place in a gallon sided zip lock. In the bowl of your food processor add all the ingredients except for the pork and the ginger. Process until liquid. Reserve a 1/2 – 1 cup of the marinade. Add 1 piece of smashed ginger to the reserve and set aside air tight in the refrigerator.
Add the additional knob of ginger to the remaining marinade and place in a small high-sided sauce pan. Heat marinade to a boil stirring occasionally until thicken. Remove and cool.
Place the marinade in the bag with the pork and distribute evenly. Seal. Allow pork to marinate overnight. Preheat the water bath with your Anova precision cooker set to 160”F. Anchor the cooking bag and submerge the marinating pork for a minimum of 48 hours until meat is fork tender and shreds.
Or cook for 8-10 hours simmering on stove in large stock pot. Make sure meat is always covered in stock or water while cooking. ( still reserving 1 cup of the sauce before marinating meat. )
Once pork is cooked through-remove and shred with a fork. Heat a large skillet with a few drops of cooking oil, add the cooked pork, toss to brown. Add the reserved marinade liquid. Stir just to warm through and moisten meat. Taste, adjust seasoning.
Split warm pork buns and fill generously with pork filling. Top with slaw and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
For the Slaw
2 carrots, peeled very thin
1/2 green cabbage,sliced very thin
1/2 purple cabbage, sliced very thin
4 scallions, cleaned and sliced thin diagonally
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, crushed ( optional )
2 teaspoons raw sugar
4 Tablespoons honey or agave
2 Tablespoons neutral flavor vegetable oil
1/8-1/4 cup rice wine or apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
White and black sesame seeds for garnish
In a small mixing bowl combine the cabbage, carrots, scallions and cilantro. Toss and set aside. In an additional small bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix well to combine. Taste. Adjust seasoning and sweetness to your liking. Drizzle over the cabbage and toss to coat. Set aside. Garnish with sesame seeds before serving.
For the Steamed Buns ( The day of )
The buns are best made right before serving. Serve them warm and allow your guests to split and fill. So easy but does requires special equipment. Wok, or high sided wide pan to fit a three-tier steaming basket on. Parchment paper. You can also ask your local Asian bakery if they can make these for you. Or improvise and steam in your steaming pasket. Just make sure each bun in ontop of parchment paper and not directing on the steaming surface.
2 packets fast acting active dry yeast
1 -1/2 cups warm water ( add more if mixture need it)
4 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons baking powder
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment (you can also just use a regular mixing bowl and knead by hand), dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm water. Add the sugar. Allow to sit for about ten minutes until the yeast is activated and foams.
Sift together the flour and baking powder, and add it to the yeast mixture along with the oil and salt. Add more water until the mixture comes together , knead an additional 1-2 minutes on low setting until the dough is smooth and pulling away from the sides and you begin to see a ball forming.
Turn out into a slightly oiled bowl. Cover with a slightly damp cloth, and allow to rise let it rest for 2 hours. Once dough has doubled in size twist of golf ball size pieces and form balls. Please on a lined cookie sheet and allow to rise again for about 30 minutes.
When balls are puffy, place in a parchment lined steaming basket covered and steam for 12-15 minutes depending on the size. Remove from parchment when warm. Serve Immediately.