I like making appetizers and roast pork buns are my favorite. The only thing better, because they are easier to make and just as tasty, are pig's in blankets....
I wasn't sure I could copy the taste of the ones I get in the city but when the Mirrin hit the frying pan full of pork the entire kitchen filled with the unmistakable scent of pork buns. It's not an easy task and it takes me 2 days but it's really worth it.
Step 1: Pulled Pork
I like to start with my old Pulled Pork recipe. Just put a Pork shoulder or tenderloin in a crock pot and cover it with a 2 liter Dr Pepper then set it on low. 10+ hours later it should fall off the bone.
I usually use a 6-8 pound shoulder so there will be enough left to make the buns. I have 3 different sized crock pots. They are a great way to make Chicken Cacciatore, Shrimp, Andouille and Chicken Gumbo, Jambalaya, soups, mulled wine, whatever else is best cooked slow....
Step 2: Pork Bun Dough
To make the dough you'll need:
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup water @ 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit
- 4 cups Bread Flour
- 1 egg
- 6 tablespoons Crisco, Lard or oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
Mix the Sugar, Water and Yeast in the bowl of your mixer. After 10 to 20 minutes or so when it turns foamy add the other ingredients. Using a dough hook work until the dough comes together. Then knead it by hand for 10 minutes. Its tough to work the dough but its worth it. Put it back in the mixer bowl and cover it with a damp towel and let it rest until it triples in size, about 4 hours.
Step 3: Make the Filling
While you're waiting for the dough to rise its time to make the filling.
Start by making a sauce from:
1/4 Cup Mirrin
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 tablespoon Black Bean Sauce
1 tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
Just combine all ingredients in a bowl, whisk and set aside.
you will also need:
1 yellow onion
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, diced
2 tablespoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Sesame Seed Oil
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 teaspoons ketchup
1/4 teaspoon White Pepper
In a wok over high heat saute a half teaspoon of diced ginger, a medium diced yellow onion, and a diced shallot in a couple of tablespoons canola oil until it all becomes translucent. Add the pork mixture and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sugar cornstarch and Ketchup and toss well. Cook for another minute then add the sauce mixture. Continue cooking another minute or so until the sauce thickens.Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add honey, extra sugar or more Mirrin if desired.
Transfer the mixture to a shallow dish and drizzle on a teaspoon of sesame oil and stir. Let cool to room temperature.
Step 4: Putting It Together
After the dough has risen for 4 hours cut a dozen 3 1/2" squares out of Parchment paper. If you don't want to bother cutting up the paper you don't have too. it just makes it easier to control it. it also makes it easy to store and freeze them.
Knead the dough a couple of times and roll into a cylinder or loaf shape about a foot and a half long and 2" to 3" wide. Cut it into handball sized pieces.
Take a piece and roll it out to a 5 to 6 in round. Make a well in the center with your fingers. Add a heaping tablespoon or two full of the mixture to the well.
Hold the bun in one hand and pinch it closed with the other hand. Seal it firmly and place it seam side down on a parchment paper square. Place the buns on a cookie sheet. Try to place them about 2 inches apart. When you are done place a damp towel over them and let them rest for a half hour.
Heat your oven to 375F and take an egg and add an equal amount of water to it. Use a pastry brush to coat the top of each bun. Bake them for 15 minutes or until golden brown. It helps to spray them sightly with a little water and rotate the tray while cooking.
Step 5: Serving
That's the easy part. Just heat and eat. They freeze pretty well and come back in only a minute in the microwave.