Sweet Adobo Steamed Buns
If 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.