“Kong Bak Pau” Chinese Pork Sliders

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The Taiwanese call it “Gua Bao”, but most Singaporeans know it as Kong Bak Pau. These chinese pork sliders has taken London by storm in the recent years, especially with the restaurant Bao being the forerunner in the bun trend.

This is one of my comfort food and reminds me of my grandmother ‘Ah Ma’ (meaning granny in Hokkien). While growing up, Ah Ma loves to make this for Sunday family meals. Everyone will gather around the dinner table and make their own pau. It’s like a taco party, only that they are chinese sliders instead. We will have any leftover pork with rice the next day. Last Sunday, Mister and I decided to invite his family over for a South East Asian dinner experience. I wanted it to be communal where everyone was hands-on because it’s always fun to build your own sliders. Thus I decided to bring out Ah Ma’s good old recipe and have a Kong Bak party!

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Pork Belly is usually used for the buns. However I decided to try on a shoulder cut and see if it can taste as good. Also, the meat is usually braised with mushrooms and garlic. I chose to marinate the meat overnight and oven roast it instead. It was quite a risk since it was my first time preparing the dish in the non traditional way and it could turn out tasting nothing like the real deal. But I have to say that I’m happy with the results! I then made some braised mushrooms with the same ingredients as the pork marinate. When the pork is ready, it is dipped in the braised mushroom gravy before serving, to give it extra moisture.

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Kong Bak Pao (makes 6 servings)

2kg pork shoulder joint

Pork Marinade

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

2 tbsp soy sauce

1/2 bulb of garlic, flatten each clove

2 star anise

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/2 tsp five spice powder

1/8 tsp clove powder

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

Braised Mushrooms

100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1/2tbsp sesame oil

1/2 bulb of garlic, flatten each clove

1/2 star anise

1/8 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp five spice powder

1/8 tsp clove powder

1/4 tsp sugar

1/2 cup water

Additional Condiments

Coriander

15g cashew nuts

5g sesame seeds

Pau/Bao (you can buy them from asian supermarkets)

  1. Mix all the ingredients for pork marinate together.
  2. Scorn the skin of the pork. Pour the marinade over pork and massage it into the meat. Make sure it covers every surface of the pork. Place the garlic and star anise in between the slits on the pork skin. Cling film and let it rest overnight in the fridge.
  3. Preheat oven to 220 degree celsius. Place the pork on a roasting pan and pour any remaining sauce all over pork. Roast in the oven for 30mins. After that, decrease oven temperature to 190 degree celsius and roast for 1hr 50mins. To check if the pork is ready, use a sharp knife and pierce into the middle of the pork. Juice should be clear in colour. Alternatively you can use a thermometer and the middle of the pork should be at a temperature of 70-80 degree celsius, depending on how pink you like your meat to be. Let the pork rest for 20-30mins and slice into thin pieces.
  4. Prepare the braised mushrooms. put all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Let it simmer until mushrooms are tender and the sauce is slightly reduced.
  5. Blitz sesame seeds and cashew nuts together until a semi fine texture. I like chunks of cashew thus I only blitz until it’s coarse. Alternatively you can chop up the nuts and mix in sesame seeds after.
  6. Steam Pau for 5mins. Once Pau is ready, assemble your sliders with slices of meat, mushrooms, nuts and coriander.

 

Enjoy! xx

 

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