Shredded pork shoulder on steamed buns

Asian steamed buns are sometimes filled with spicy pork, but in this recipe, Aaron and Nate make them into succulent sandwiches.

Serves 4 to 6

Braised Pork

1 (3-pound) bone-in pork shoulder
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sriracha (Thai hot chili sauce)
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 cups water

Steamed Buns

Makes 8 to 10, depending on size of bun

2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons rapid-rise yeast
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water, at 110°
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon shortening or lard
1½ teaspoons baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 300°; place pork shoulder in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Combine soy, sriracha, hoisin and water and pour over shoulder. Cover and cook, basting every 20 minutes, until the pork is very tender and looks lacquered, about 3 to 4 hours. If you start to lose too much braising liquid or if the liquid gets too dark—and the pork is still not finished cooking—add water, ¼ cup at a time.
  3. Cool pork in braising liquid. When it is cool enough to handle, pull the meat apart and add enough of the marinade to moisten the meat to your taste.
  4. Dissolve sugar and yeast in water; let sit, undisturbed, for 10 minutes, until foamy. Place flour, shortening and baking powder in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook and mix at medium speed to combine. With mixer running at medium speed, slowly incorporate yeast mixture until the dough comes together into a ball and is smooth and elastic. (If your dough won’t come together in the mixer, knead it a few times by hand.)
  5. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise for about 1½ hours, or until it doubles in size. Punch the dough down and divide into 8 to 10 equalsized pieces. Form into balls and place on an oiled baking sheet to rise again, uncovered, until doubled.
  6. Meanwhile, place a metal steamer basket in a large, wide pot, adding enough water to just skim the bottom of the basket (or, use a bamboo steamer if you have one). Place 3 or 4 buns (as many as will fit at once without touching), cover and steam until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Carefully remove the buns from the steamer and cook the remaining buns.


Steamed buns (recipe above)
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons sriracha, or more to taste
Pickles (Nate and Aaron like pickled cucumbers, onions and shitakes)
Fresh cilantro leaves

Cut the cooked buns in half and griddle them, cut side down, on a lightly oiled griddle, nonstick or cast-iron skillet. Combine mayonnaise with sriracha and spread a generous amount on each grilled bun. Add a small forkful of purchased kimchi and a few pickles. Top with shredded pork and a few fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy.

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