The first one is this one Sticky Pork Belly Banh Mi-Vietnam's answer to street food. It was amazing. The second recipe was this one.
My family absolutely love this.
These buns are so soft and fluffy, and really easy to make, but they do take some time. Now I make them in my freestanding mixer, with a dough hook, as I don't really like to knead all that much, I do it when I have to. But if you don't have a mixer, you can do it by hand, just knead it for about 10-12 minutes or until it is smooth.
The filling is delicious, so delicious, so much flavour. The pork belly is so soft. The flavour combination here is amazing, watching my family eat this brought me so much joy.
With the pork belly I like to cut it into smaller pieces just before frying as I prefer it to one larger piece of pork in my bun, but you slice it how you like it.
My husband would have liked some pickled cucumbers with this, so next time I would add it. You can find the recipe here for pickled cucumbers.
So if you love steamed buns, give these a try, they will not disappoint.
Makes 12-15 buns
1.2kg piece pork belly
2/3 cup light soy sauce
2/3 cup Shaoxing wine
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce (use normal soy sauce if you don't have dark)
5 slices ginger
2 spring onions, trimmed, halved crossways
2 cups water
2 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
Pork Bun Base:
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
300g bread flour
55g caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons instant skim milk powder
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
35ml vegetable oil
1/2 cup mayonnaise, I like Thomy
1-2 tablespoons Sriracha, this is to taste
Shredded green cabbage, to serve
Sliced spring onions (scallions), to serve
Crushed roasted peanuts, to serve, optional
Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan forced.
Combine the ingredients for the braising liquid in a casserole dish, just large enough to fit the pork. Slice the piece of pork in half and add it to the liquid, skin side up. Pour in enough water to allow the braising liquid to just cover the pork. Cover with baking paper and cover with a lid. Place in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Set aside in the fridge overnight to chill.
To make the buns: combine the yeast and 170ml warm water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the flour, sugar, milk powder, sea salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and start the mixer on medium speed. Add the vegetable oil and mix until the dough comes together. Reduce speed to low and continue to mix for 8-10 minutes. Remove the dough, place in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to rest in a warm place for about two hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
To make the spicy mayo, mix ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
Back to the buns: Once risen, transfer the dough to a work surface, if the dough is sticky, dust a little flour on your dough. ‘Punch down’ the dough by kneading it for 5 minutes. The aim here is to remove as many air bubbles as possible. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out to 1/2cm thick. Then use an 9cm diameter pastry cutter (or a plastic cup of the same diameter) to cut out rounds. Remove the excess dough. Dip your fingers in vegetable oil and lightly spread the oil over the surface of your rounds. Fold rounds in half and flatten slightly with the rolling pin, rolling from the fold to the edges. Place on a square of baking paper and place onto a tray. Repeat with remaining dough (excess dough can be re-rolled and used). Cover the folded rounds and set aside to prove for 30 minutes.
Scoop out and discard any pork fat in the dish. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Place 1 cup of the braising liquid in a small saucepan over high heat (save the remainder in the freezer to use as a master stock). Simmer the braising liquid for 10-12 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Cook the buns: Pour about 4 cm water in a wok (steamer should not touch water) and bring to rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
Place 4 to 5 buns in your steamer basket, I do it in two steamers at a time, so I can cook 8-10 buns at a time, cover with steamer lid. Steam, in batches for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through, I steam them for 8 minutes.
Preheat a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Use a sharp knife to cut the pork into thick slices or squares. Grill for 2-3 minutes each side, spooning over some of the reduced braising liquid as the pork cooks.
Serve buns hot. To assemble, open up your bao buns gently, spoon spicy mayo onto the bottom of each bao bun. Top with cabbage and pork. Then sprinkle with peanuts (if using) and spring onion. Drizzle with more spicy mayo and serve.
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