Bao Buns are steamed individual breads, pillowy soft and filled with fragrant slow cooked pork.
The pork belly cut is a thick slab of meat which when cured and sliced becomes bacon. The sticky, fragrant sweetness of the pork for the Bao is a set-it-and-forget-it recipe once the marinade is made, and this recipe uses Chinese five spice as a basis for the sweet, sticky sauce.
It was serendipitous that the recipe coincided with the news we have been waiting for this week. We won a SOFI award (which stands for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation), a coveted prize in the food industry, for our Sichuan Blend.
For over 40 years, the SOFI awards have been “honoring the best in specialty food”. We entered our newly launched Sichuan Spice blend into the new product category, with a hope of fulfilling our dream for 2017 – to win. We are delighted to be heading to the Summer Fancy Food Show 2017, in New York in June, to collect our award.
The Sichuan Blend is from our collection of innovative Whole Spice Infusions, a muslin bag hand filled with premium spices, which steeps in the slow cooker to infuse the recipe with the spices’ essential oils. The flavor profile is uniquely Sichuan with lemony overtones from the peppercorns.
- 2lb piece boneless pork belly
- 3 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 tsp / 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 inch piece ginger, minced
- 75ml Shaosing rice wine
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese five-spice powder
- a handful of washed mustard greens
- 1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- pepper to taste
- place the pork into the slow cooker
- in a small bowl mix the sugar, garlic, ginger, rice wine, soy sauce and Chinese five spice powder, pour over the pork
- cover and set to LOW for 8 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours
- remove and slice the pork into 1/2" slices
- for texture fry the slices for 1-2 minutes per side in a medium hot skillet
- serve in warmed bao buns (available from Asian grocery stores in the freezer section) or on tortilla
- the sauce in the slow cooker will have formed a thick-ish paste, spread a little onto each bao bun or tortilla and top with pickled greens
- the pork is easier to slice if refrigerated first, wrap in plastic wrap and make sure to spread it with all the sauce from the slow cooker
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
– Arthur Ashe