Could I really do this? Yes, I can!
I decided to use the recipe provided by David Chang of Momofuku. So… Friday evening, I started my pork belly to brine.
There are so many benefits to homemade broth. I’ve written a post called, The Miracles of Broth which explains not only the nutritional benefits but the uses of it medicinally and as a source of nourishment. It was interesting to me as Christine explained that in the Asian culture dairy is not consumed as it is in the Western World. Asians, including Japanese, get much of their needed calcium through their stocks that they prepare and eat so frequently. In order to give my stock additional depth I added a chicken carcass that I had in my freezer, some chicken feet for additional gelatin, a couple tablespoons of vinegar to extract minerals, and ginger to enhance the flavors.
As far as the noodles go, I did attempt to make my own using freshly milled sprouted flour. Unfortunately, not having a pasta cutter was holding me back. I did freeze my dough and will be using it for ravioli soon.
Yesterday was a very busy day of cooking down stock, making dough and rolling pasta. I did have a wonderful time as my family was helping me out along the way. At the end we had a delightful meal of steamed pork buns and ramen that tasted beyond what words can explain. Although the steamed pork buns were different from Ippudo, they had a robust and vibrant flavor. I did add my own fermented pickles which complemented the flavors. I don’t feel a vinegar dill pickle would do this justice (New fermented pickle recipe coming this week). One thing that was particularly funny to me was as my mami and I were filling the steamed pork buns, each member of my family kept walking into the kitchen and saying, “oh… Chinese tacos.” That’s a Latino for you! As far as the ramen, it was infused with a delicate and nourishing stock topped with mustard greens, green onions and a hard boiled egg. The meal was embraced by everyone.
Steamed Pork Belly Buns by David Chang
I encourage you to give these steamed pork buns a try. They make a wonderful appetizer and will leave everyone speaking about them for days.
For the Pork
- 1/4 cup celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup pure can juice
- 4 1/2 cups water, divided
- 2 1/2 lb skinless boneless pork belly, cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110F)
- 3 tablespoons lard, melted
- 2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup pure cane juice
For the Pork
Stir together kosher salt, sugar, and 4 cups water until sugar and salt have dissolved. Put pork belly in a large sealable bag, then pour in brine. Carefully press out air and seal bag. Lay in a shallow dish and let brine, chilled, at least 12 hours.
Roast Pork while dough rises
Discard brine and put pork, fat side up, in an 8- to 9-inch square baking pan. Pour in broth and remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover tightly with foil and roast until pork is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours. Remove foil and increase oven temperature to 450°F, then roast until fat is golden, about 20 minutes more. Cool 30 minutes, then chill, uncovered, until cold, about 1 hour.
Cut chilled pork across the grain into 1/4-inch slices. Chill slices in pan juices, covered, while making buns.
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Heat sliced pork (in liquid in baking dish), covered, until hot, 15 to 20 minutes.
Brush bottom half of each bun with hoisin sauce, then sandwich with 2 or 3 pork slices, pickles and scallions.
For the Buns
In a bowl, mix together yeast, water, and lard. Let it sit 5 minutes.
Press the balls flat to make 4-inches wide rounds. Brush each rounds with oil and fold in half and place each one on individual piece of parchment paper. Let it rise again for 20 minutes. (cover).
When ready to eat, set up a steamer over boiling water and place buns in the basket. Steam for 7 – 8 minutes (in batches) until puffed.
- 6oz dried shiitake mushrooms
- 1 chicken carcass, (or chicken pieces)
- 4tbls grated ginger
- 1/2 onion
- 2 carrots cut in pieces
- 2 tbls raw apple cider vinegar
- 4 quarts filtered water
- salt to taste
- 3 packages ramen noodles from your local asian grocer.
- mustard greens, sliced
- green onions, sliced
- 3 hardboiled eggs, cut in half
- salt to taste
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