Tag Archives: Fish Sauce

Pork Belly Steamed Buns

This week I stepped out of my comfort zone a bit on a couple of dishes I tried making for the first time. I always try a recipe the way it is written and then if needed I would change it up a bit to better suit our tastes or I would change it based on the ingredients I had on hand or could get my hands on.

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I am lucky enough to have an Asian market; not really close to me; but along my route when I make a trip to Sam’s Club. I was planning on making Pho a Vietnamese Noodle Soup and a Chinese Pork Belly Steamed bun. While I liked the Pho, my guys liked it better than I did. I am going to share with you the Pork Belly recipe that didn’t turn out how I envisioned it would, but was incredibly tasty and worth mentioning. I Kept telling my husband they weren’t how I wanted them, he said and I quote, “I don’t care they are delicious and you should cook pork like this all the time”

I was able to pick up the steamed buns in the frozen section and a Pho seasoning packet; which is a good thing since it needed 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tbl coriander seeds, 1 tbl fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 1 cardamom pod, 6 whole cloves all to be placed in a mesh bag and all of it came in a $1.99 packet. I thought that was awesome!!!

As I mentioned I bought the frozen buns and I was a little less than thrilled as how small they were, the taste was excellent I just wanted them to puff up more, I will try to make my own the next time I make them.

This recipe is best done in two stages. Bake the pork the day before so it has time to cool and sit tight until you need to slice it. If you want to use this today you should let it sit for at least 2 hours. It could sit in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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Pork Belly Buns

2 lb slab of pork belly

Wrap in heavy duty tin foil and place on a baking sheet

Preheat oven to 275’ and roast for 2 hours. Let it sit and cool and then put it in the fridge till you need it tomorrow. Do not unwrap as you want it to stay compact in the tinfoil.

Unwrap the pork belly, and slice into 1/2” pieces

1 tbs cooking oil

2 cloves minced garlic

1 tbs grated fresh ginger (I did not have this)

1 fresh chili pepper seeded, deveined and finely chopped (optional)

1 green onion diced

Caramel sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

2 tbs rice vinegar

3 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs soy sauce

½ cup water

Heat oil in a large saute pan or wok over high heat; once hot swirl the oil and add the pork, do not overlap, work in batches if you need to. Fry on each side till nicely browned

Put heat on low and add the garlic, onion, chili if you are using it; saute for 30 seconds just until fragrant. Pour caramel sauce into the pan and return the pork belly slices back into the pan. Let simmer for 10 minutes.

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My make due with what you have steamer

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Yes the pork was larger than the buns but they were delicious!!!

I used frozen buns but here is the recipe I am going to make the next time I make this.

2 tbs AP flour for dusting

2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough

20 parchment squares about 4×4 – keeps them from sticking

Dust work surface with flour, open and separate out the biscuits. There should be about 10 in each can. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel so they don’t dry out. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half, place on parchment square, keep covered until ready to steam. Steam in batches and do not overcrowd or they will stick together.

Adapted from a Steamy Kitchen recipe my daughter sent my online

Banh Mi

My daughter has started her second year living in Japan; she has done some traveling to different countries in Asia and she is also a foodie she shares with me some of her favorite finds.  I have tried making Ramen and Gyoza from Japan and she especially loved the street food in Vietnam. I have been toying with the idea of trying to make something that you might find on the streets of Vietnam.  The guys and I do enjoy a nice sandwich so we were excited to try making a Banh Mi a Vietnamese sandwich.

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With our weekends being booked up for the last few weeks and the next few coming up; I wanted to make it somewhat simple so I could make it during the week without stressing out too much.  I blended the ingredients for the marinade, sliced the pork and placed both in a Ziploc bag overnight.  The next night I cut up some of the veggies and grilled the pork. I placed everything out on the island and you could add what you wanted to your sandwich; it went fairly quickly and the end result was quite tasty.

She just got back from the Philippines we need to catch up soon so I can work on my next Asian inspired dish.

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Makes 6 sandwiches

2-3 lb boneless pork shoulder

3 large cloves of garlic chopped

1-2 shallots chopped

1 stalk of lemongrass, trimmed and coarsely chopped (if hard to find and not sure how to work with it, you can substitute lemongrass in a tube) (I had to as my local market did not have the stalks)

¼ tsp black pepper

2 Tbs sugar

2 tsp soy sauce

2 Tbs fish sauce

1 Tbs canola oil

Cut the pork across the grain into strips about 4 to 5 inches long about ¼ inch thick set aside.

In a blender or food processor add the remaining ingredients blend until semi-coarse puree.

Add everything to a Ziploc bag and massage the meat.  Place in the fridge over night; you could leave on the counter for an hour if you don’t want to wait.  If you place the bag in the fridge take it out let it sit for an hour or so to come to room temperature.  You can cut up some veggies while you wait.

You can skewer the meat or not, if you have small pieces and are grilling you may want to.  I did not; I started the grill and let it get real hot.  I spent like 5-7 minutes cooking the meat – I believe they cook theirs longer till very dark, I did not, I wanted the meat a little tender.  I also grilled the buns slightly to harden them a bit.

Possible vegetables – Pickles, cucumbers, tomatoes, radish, cabbage, carrot, chili’s, pickled veggies (brine removed), fresh herbs, avocados.

Add Mayo and salt and pepper or you can add soy sauce.  Mine was veggies I had on hand and Mayo.