Soy & Five-Spice Pork Belly Buns

Source: Kikkoman
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Main Ingredient: Pork, Vegetables
Menu Part: Entree
Cuisine Type: American
Serves: 6-8 servings

Easy to share and adaptive to global ingredients, sliders are a favorite on appetizer and small plate menus. Chef Tila gives his recipe a Pan-Asian accent, starting with soy-braised pork belly and topping the meat with pickled Japanese cucumbers. Mayonnaise spiced up with Sriracha and Japanese seasonings makes a zesty condiment.

Ingredients

Soy-Braised Pork Belly
7 cups cold water
1/2 lb. dark brown sugar or 1 cup rock candy
2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup Shaoxing wine
1 piece (1 in.) gingerroot
6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 3-in. pieces
3 lb. skin-on pork belly
6 to 8 bao buns

Pickled Cucumbers
2 to 3 Japanese cucumbers (2 cups sliced)
Kosher salt, to taste
1 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Spicy Mayo
2 qt. kewpie mayonnaise
17 oz. Sriracha hot chili sauce
10 tbsp. shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice powder)
1 1/2 oz. yuzu kosho (Japanese seasoning paste)

Steps

  1. Prepare pork belly: In a pan wide enough to hold the pork belly in one layer, combine water, sugar, soy sauce, wine, ginger and scallions. Add pork belly, skin-side down, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer; cover and braise 30 min.
  2. Turn pork belly skin-side up; cover and braise 3 hr. longer. (The pork should be immersed in liquid about halfway.) Liquid should be reduced by about half by the end of cooking time.
  3. Cool pork belly in liquid overnight and cut into 4-by-6-in. pieces.
  4. Prepare pickled cucumbers: Slice cucumbers on a mandolin. Cover generously with salt and allow to stand 30 min. Rinse and drain well.
  5. In nonreactive saucepan, bring vinegar, water and sugar to a boil over med. heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved; cool. Place cucumbers in a bowl; pour vinegar mixture over. Allow to stand at least 1 hr. Drain off excess vinegar mixture before using; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Prepare spicy mayo: Whisk together all ingredients and transfer to a squeeze bottle.
  7. To serve, simmer pork belly in cooking liquid to reheat. Layer pork on bao buns; top with cucumbers and mayo.