I always try to eat delicious food. Unfortunately I don't have that much money, so I have to cook a lot of it at home. But thats OK because I love cooking and I love eating at home with my wife. This is a website with my favorite recipes and a little bit of commentary.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chinese Pork Buns

I was paging through Gourmet magazine and I found an interesting recipe for Chinese Pork buns. Apparently they are all the rage in New York right now. The recipe I used came from Gourmet magazine but it was unusable as it was written. The original recipe called for pork belly so the first thing I did was modify it for use with pork loin. I also fixed a few other preparation issues from the article.

Chinese Pork Buns

Modified from the October 2007 Gourmet magazine

Prepare the pork:

2 pounds pork, cut into ½ inch slices

½ cup salt

½ cup sugar

4 cups water

Dump everything into a ziplock bag. Put in the fridge overnight to brine. The next day preheat the oven to 300. Discard the brine. The pork will be very salty! Rinse the pork and p in a shallow baking dish with 1 cup water. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for 2 ½ hours. Cut into ¼ inch slices, return to baking dish, cover with tin foil and keep warm.

Make the buns:

1 cup warm water

½ t yeast

3 T sugar

2 T nonfat dried milk

3 ½ cups cake flour

Oil for brushing

Take ¼ cup of the warm water and add the yeast and a pinch of the sugar. Let stand until foamy. Whisk dried milk into the remaining ¾ cup water. Dump the rest of the ingredients except the oil into the mixer. Kneed until it forms a soft dough, about 5 minutes. You don’t want a sticky dough so you may have to add a little more flour. Place into an oiled bowl and let rise for 2 hours.

Next punch the dough down into a disk on a lightly floured counter. Sprinkle 1 ½ t baking powder over the dough and kneed for 5 more minutes. Return dough to the oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit another 30 minutes.

Cut 16 4X4 inch pieces of wax paper. Form dough into a 16 inch long log. Cut into 16 equal pieces. Roll each of the individual pieces into a 6 by 3 inch oval. Brush half of the oval lightly with oil and fold over like a letter. Place the folded over piece onto a piece of wax paper. When all of the buns are prepared thus, cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 30 minutes.

Set a large steamer rack in a wok. Pour water in until the water reaches to about ½ inch from the bottom of the rack. Bring to a boil.

Place the buns on the wax paper, about 4 at a time, into the steamer. Steam until cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes. Keep warm.

Hoisin Sauce

4 T low salt soy sauce
2 T peanut butter
1 T honey

1 T molasses
2 t white vinegar
1/8 t garlic powder
2 t sesame oil
20 drops chinese hot sauce, habenero or jalepeno
1/8 t black pepper

Combine everything in a bowl and stir until well mixed and smooth.

To serve, heat the sliced pork in the oven at 350 until heated through. Brush the bottom of the bun with hoisin sauce, load in some pork and top with a thinly sliced cucumber and green onions.