Quick and Easy Chinese Pork Buns
One of the best things about living in San Francisco is the plethora of dim sum restaurants that abound. My friends and I regularly spend weekend mornings filling our bellies with endless hot tea, shrimp dumplings, pork potstickers, scallion pancakes, crispy spring rolls and steamed barbeque pork buns. I’ve managed to recreate formidable versions of all listed—except for the pork buns. So when I stumbled upon folded, fillable steamed buns in the freezer section of my local Asian grocery store, I knew I had to give them a try.
These are essentially the dim sum equivalent of sloppy joes—in that they are soft buns housing moist loose meat (is that not the least appetizing sentence I have ever written?), but when you bite into them, you will be greeted by a sweet-spicy-juicy filling, absolutely bursting with flavor.
Next time you and your friends have a hankering for dim sum, you might try throwing your own dim sum brunch, featuring these, plus Scallop-Scallion Dumplings, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Vegetarian Egg Rolls and Scallion Pancakes.
What’s your favorite dim sum dish?
- 2 tsp vegetable or canola oil Pantry
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped Pantry
- 1 1” piece ginger, peeled and chopped $0.50
- 1/2 lb ground pork $1
- 1/8 cup plus 2 tbsp hoisin sauce $2 for 8 oz.
- 2-3 tsp (more/less to taste) Asian chili sauce $2 for 8 oz.
- 1 tbsp plus 2 tsp soy sauce Pantry
- 1 small handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped finely $1 for a bunch
- 6 frozen folded steamed buns $2.50
Total Cost of Ingredients $9
Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant, stirring once or twice.
Add the ground pork and cook for 1 minute, using a wooden spoon or spatula to spread the pork around the pan.
Stir 1/8 cup of the hoisin, the chili sauce and the soy sauce into the pork mixture. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce has been absorbed and pork has cooked through, about 5 minutes.
While pork cooks, wrap the frozen buns in damp paper towels and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Flip buns over and microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and arrange on a plate.
Stir in remaining hoisin and cilantro.
To assemble the pork buns, spoon 2-3 tbsp of pork mixture into the prepared buns. Serve hot.
Makes 6 pork buns.
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