My version of a steamed bun sandwich: crispy pork belly topped with a wasabi napa cabbage slaw and pickled tumeric daikon radishes.
After my successful visit to Off the Grid (see my last blog) yesterday with my friend Chelsea, I had this incredible craving for those delicious little steamed bun sandwiches. Luckily, Ranch 99 (an Asian foods market) is within 15 minutes from me and I knew I could find the steamed buns, the pork belly and the napa cabbage. I had a great plan to take a break from studying and create my version of steamed bun sandwiches.
What I did:
For the pork belly, first braise the pork belly in boiling water, vinegar and a bit of soy. I usually let them go for about 30-45 minutes. Remove and let dry completely. Heat up oil for a shallow pan fry and cook each side for about 3-4 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. I strongly recommend a lid or a grease splatter guard. After pork belly is cooked, set on some kitchen towel to dry and cool down.
For the wasabi slaw, shred cabbage (I used about 1/3 of a big head of cabbage). In a bowl mix together about 1 tbsp of store-bought mayo, 1/2-1 tsp of wasabi, 1/2 tsp sugar and a splash of vinegar and mix into a dressing, add in the cabbage and set in the fridge until you are ready to assemble your buns.
For the daikon, using a mandolin slice the daikon using the 1/8 inch setting. Place daikon in a mason jar. Meanwhile, add about 1.5 cups of vinegar in a sauce pan, 1 heaping tbsp of sugar and about 1 tsp of turmeric. Bring to the boil, turn off, let cool slightly and then pour pickling liquid into mason jar and seal.
For the buns, most packets will direct you to steam the buns for about 15 minutes. I will let go for about 17. After buns have steamed for 15-17 minutes they are ready.
NOW…you are ready to assemble your buns.
Take a steamed bun, add about 3-4 pieces of the crispy pork belly on the bottom, add about 3-4 slices of the pickled daikon on the top and then the wasabi slaw in the middle.
Bon au petit!