Taiwanese Hamburger 虎咬豬
A few places, like Momofuku Ssam Bar, may have popularized this idea of meat (usually pork belly) nestled between a steamed lotus leaf shaped bao (bun), but the concept of this is Fujian Chinese in origin and it’s been around for awhile. In Taiwan, a similar version is lovingly called the Taiwanese hamburger. It makes sense because Taiwan, is right across the sea from Fujian and experienced a huge influx of Chinese immigration during WWII & the Second Sino-Japanese War.
Three important items for these ‘burgers: steamed lotus leaf buns 荷葉包, spicy pickled mustard greens (post forthcoming) and pork belly. I have seen vegetarian AND vegan friendly options, but I plan on creating this for a future post! As for the buns, this is so embarrassing to admit, I have not been able to successfully make steamed buns from scratch like my grandma so I do not have a recipe listed below. Fortunately, you can find steamed buns at most Asian grocery stores.
Braised Pork Belly
For 4 servings:
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 bunch green onions, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 lb. pork belly (Duroc or Berkshire), cut into 4 strips
½ c. Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp. dark soy sauce
2 tbsp. light soy sauce
4 star anise pods
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1/2 oz. yellow rock sugar
2 c. water (or enough to cover the pork)
Accoutrements: steamed buns sliced cucumber, cilantro, steamed buns, ground peanuts, spicy mustard greens
Heat vegetable oil over medium heat in a dutch oven. Add green onions and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add pork belly and cook until all edges are seared. Remove pork belly and add the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil. Add pork and reduce heat to low. Cook on low heat for 2 hours, occasionally flipping the pork.
To serve, sandwich pork between steamed buns with cilantro, cucumber and ground peanuts.
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