lb pork belly
tbsp sesame oil
tbsp brown sugar
cup all purpose flour
cup 1% milk
tbsp granulated sugar
packet rapid rise yeast
tsp baking powder heaped
tbsp vegetable oil + extra for folding the buns
sliced thin cucumber
large sliced thin radishes
tsp chilli flakes or fresh finely chopped chilli
tsp granulated sugar
tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
sliced thin, spring onions
handful cilantro leaves
Lay the pork in a roasting dish and rub with the sesame oil, brown sugar, and salt and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 5 hours.
Make the buns. I would do this once the pork has been in the oven for about 3 hours for easy timing at the end. Mix the flour, baking powder, yeast, and sugar until evenly distributed, then mix in the milk and oil and knead for 10 minutes until a smooth dough forms. Put in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prove in a warm area for about an hour or until doubled in size. Once proved, knock the dough back with a couple of fist punches and divide into 20 even pieces. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and cover the buns with plastic wrap to prove a second time for 30 minutes. Roll out each bun into ovals about 4" x 5" and fold in half over an oiled chopstick. Set aside on a square of parchment until ready to steam.
Prepare the pickle. Toss the sliced cucumber and radish with the chilli, rice vinegar, and granulated sugar and chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
Once the pork is finished roasting, let it cool until just before you’re ready to serve, about an hour will make it easy to handle, but chilling longer in the fridge will give you perfect slices.
Steam the buns. Do this only about 30 minutes before you plan to serve. Lay the folded buns on squares of parchment paper and arrange in the steam basket. Steam the buns over a pan of simmering water for 8-10 minutes. If you're McGyvering your steamer, set the open veggie steamer in the pan of simmering water and steam the buns in batches with the tea towel laid over them and the lid on top of the towel. The tea towel will swell upwards from the steam as well as absorbing the condensed vapour and stop it dripping back onto the buns.
Crisp the pork just before you’re about to serve. Cut the chilled pork into 1/2 inch slices and lay on a baking sheet. Heat the oven to 400 degrees Celsius and crisp the pork slices until golden and warm, about 5-7 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to prevent them from drying out.
To serve, put 1 or 2 slices of pork in a bun and top with the pickled cucumber and radish, as well as some sliced spring onion and cilantro. Drizzle with some Sriracha or hoisin if you want some extra pizzazz!
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