Sweet Adobo Steamed Buns

IMG_6935If you like dining at Chinese restaurants, you may have encountered steamed buns in their menu.  I especially like roast or smoked duck served with steamed buns and sweet peanut butter sauce. I could eat an entire platter of those! Today, I had a sudden craving for steamed buns but didn’t have duck meat in my freezer.  I did have pork belly, though.  So I thought of slow-cooking the pork, adobo style, with soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and dried basil.  Then I added brown sugar to the sauce mixture.  While the pork was cooking, I drove to my favorite Asian supermarket and picked up a package of frozen steamed buns, the kind that’s open-faced, and some fresh cucumber and cilantro. Craving satisfied!


1 lb pork belly, sliced into 2-inch cubes

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup white vinegar

6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

4 dried basil leaves

2 tbsps brown sugar

1 small fresh cucumber, peeled and sliced

1 dozen frozen steamed buns

Fresh cilantro for garnish


In a slow cooker, combine pork slices, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, basil leaves and sugar.  Turn slow cooker to “low” and cook for 6-8 hours. Place frozen steamed buns in a steamer and cook for a few minutes, just enough to heat and soften the frozen buns. Drain the pork of the sauce and discard the basil leaves.  Using the back of a fork, mince the pork slices.  Fill each bun with a couple slices of cucumber and a spoonful or so of the pork.  Add fresh cilantro and secure the bun with a toothpick.  Serve warm.



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