Clockwise from right: steamedporkbunburger, sr., his lover bokchoy with oyster sauce, and their lovechild steamedporkbunburger, jr.)
I don't know if I can call this a burger either. It's certainly more burger-like than last night's sushi. But this is, like some of my other burgers, a not hamburger pretending to be a hamburger.
This was two days in the making. The initial plan was to turn a Chinese steamed pork bun into a burger. So I started looking for recipes all over the place for steamed pork buns. I found a bunch but was reminded during my search of the wonderful pork buns that David Chang serves at his Momofuku Noodle Bar. I knew that I couldn't do the actual pork belly, and I know I will have to save that for another day-- oh, to have Chang's tender buns in my mouth again. (hahaha)
So I thought I would at least copy that whole folded bun and some cucumber fixins thing and I found this recipe. I at least had the steamed bun part down, or so I thought. My dough was an utter failure at first. It just didn't rise. As the dinner hour approached, I became more despondent. Bettina and Leslie both told me not to be so stressed out about this. In the end, I went and had sushi. When i came back, I found that my dough had finally risen. After a test case using the flat folded bun method, I realized it was best if I just steamed whole chunks of bun without flattening them per the recipe because my test cases were utter failures. Just slice off chunks of dough, about 2 inches high and about 3 inches in diameter and steam these suckers for about five minutes. Reassured that my project hadn't failed yet, I waited another day. And in case my personal attempt fell apart, Leslie went ahead and made her own versions of the buns just to see if those would work differently than mine.
The burger was adapted from this recipe for something called Chinese lion's head pork. It's pretty much the Chinese minced pork recipe version of Vince Carter (can play the small forward and shooting guard positions), or the Chinese minced pork recipe version of Miley Cyrus (triple threat: can sing, can act, and can dance). I mean to say that this lion's head pork thing is a recipe that might work well with any number of dishes-- in soups, dumplings, steamed pork buns, or in this case, steamed pork buns disguised as burgers.
1/2 pound ground pork
1 scallion chopped
1/2 tsp ginger, finely minced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp rice wine (I actually used sake)
1/4 tsp sesame oil
3/8 tsp salt
1/2 of a beaten egg
2 tbsp corn starch
pepper to taste
1 tbsp oil to fry in
Just mix everything together. The cornstarch dries it up a little and pulls things together. It probably will get stickymushy but thats fine. As long as you form a couple of patties, that's great. Heat the oil up in a pan and get it to around medium. Fry the patties in the pan about 3--4 minutes each side, or until it gets a little golden.
Slice the steamed buns and make burgers.
They kind of tasted like good, fresh steamed pork buns.