Whole Roast Pig BBQ

 Posted by on August 29, 2013 at 10:39 am  Food & Cooking  No Responses »
Aug 292013
 
Whole roast pig on custom BBQ

Whole roast pig on custom BBQ

My friend Jeff invited me to a whole roast pig BBQ a few weeks ago and I gladly accepted as I have never seen a whole pig barbecued before outside of a commercial establishment. Jeff, having hosted a roast pig BBQ for 18 years, was clearly an expert in the method of whole pig BBQ. He even built the huge custom BBQ used for the occasion.

Whole roast pig is transported to table

Whole roast pig is transported to table

The pig is brought at a local market and slow roasted for 18 hours. the pig is wrapped in chicken wire so it doesn’t fall apart as it cooks. In the early morning hours before the party, I got an email from Jeff expressing some consternation that it was raining on his BBQ. But not to worry as the end product was excellent! The pig was roasted to perfection; the meat was moist and extremely tasty. The pork was carefully hand pulled by Jeff’s able assistants. One of the best BBQ pork meals I’ve ever had.

Hand pulled pork from whole roasted pig

Hand pulled pork from whole roasted pig

 

 

Share

Dim Sum Guide: Steamed Pork Dumplings

 Posted by on April 10, 2012 at 6:01 am  Food & Cooking  No Responses »
Apr 102012
 
Steamed pork dumplings (sui mai)
Steamed pork dumplings (sui mai)

Steamed pork dumplings (sui mai)

Steamed pork dumplings (siu mai) are a mainstay of dim sum brunches. The dumpling is made of pork, shrimp, black mushrooms, scallions, and seasonings. The filling is wrapped with wonton skins or other thin dough. In many cases, you’ll see a small orange dot on top. This is usually done with crab roe or minced carrots. A good siu mai dumpling will have rather large, firm chunks of pork and shrimp that separate as you eat it. They are great dipped in a little chili oil and soy sauce.

Share

Dim Sum Guide: Baked Barbecue Pork Buns

 Posted by on March 27, 2012 at 6:35 am  Food & Cooking  No Responses »
Mar 272012
 
Baked barbecue pork buns
Baked barbecue pork buns

Baked barbecue pork buns

Baked barbecue pork buns (guk char siu bao) are the oven baked version of the very popular steamed barbecue pork buns. The baked buns have the same barbecue pork filling but the golden brown bun is quite different. The buns are more similar to baked bread and are top coated with honey or sugar mixture. In addition, baked barbecue pork buns are quite a bit larger than their steamed cousins so you get more for your money. These buns are commonly available in Chinese bakeries as well as dim sum restaurants.

Share
Mar 232012
 
Steamed spareribs with black beans
Steamed spareribs with black beans

Steamed spare ribs with black beans

Steamed spare ribs (pai gwut) is a major treat for meatlovers. The pork ribs are cut cross-wise into small pieces and steamed with fermented black beans and a touch of sesame oil. Sometimes, the dish will be garnished with hot peppers but any spiciness is subtle. The juice in this dish, unfortunately high in salt and fat, is great on rice. I’ve seen some mediocre restaurants use larger pieces of spare rib for this dish.  The small ribs and tips are much better.

Steamed spareribs have bones!

Steamed spare ribs have bones!

Warning: It takes some effort and attention to eat this dish if you don’t want to chip your tooth. After a few pieces of practice, however, you should be able to carefully nibble around the bones. It’s acceptable to spit out your bones. In some places in China, diners will spit them out on the floor but I don’t recommend you do this if you want to be welcomed back by the restaurant. Steamed spare ribs have quickly become a dim sum favorite of my kids.

Share

Dim Sum Guide: Steamed Barbecue Pork Buns

 Posted by on March 16, 2012 at 6:51 am  Food & Cooking  1 Response »
Mar 162012
 
Steamed barbecue pork buns
Steamed barbecue pork buns

Steamed barbecue pork buns

Steamed barbecue pork buns (char siu bao) really need no introduction since it may well be “the classic” dim sum item. Small pieces of tender, sweet Chinese barbecue pork are stuffed inside a soft steamed wheat bun. The bun itself should have a dry surface, a hint of sweetness, and a delicate, fluffy and somewhat chewy texture. The baked version of barbecue pork buns is quite different but equally delicious.

Steamed barbeque pork bun closeup

Steamed barbeque pork bun closeup

I use this dish as one of standards for comparing the quality of dim sum restaurants.

Warning! These placid-looking buns can be lethal: I’ve seen dim sum virgins get addicted to dim sum after eating these buns. It’s usually a good idea to order enough dishes so that everyone in your party can have a whole bun. These buns will quickly dry out when kept in the refrigerator so it’s best to eat them fresh.

Share