To round off the series of recipes I produced that went from a slow cooker to a pressure cooker, I remade and retested my fave bao recipe with hoisin and ginger beer pulled pork. This is one of the easiest ways to feed a crowd. Especially in a more casual party environment and people can just DIY their own baos. Don’t be afraid to make the bao, they are much easier than you think, but do require a little time for all the proving.
So if you have time and remember to do this in advance, do it in a slow cooker. If you are pressed for time or didn’t get your act together to plan in advance like I so often don’t, then the pressure cooker is your friend.
The fresh garnishes and dressed slaw liven these bao up and add zesty crunch.
Recipe – gua bao with hoisin & ginger beer pulled pork in the slow & pressure cooker – published in Food & Home Entertaining July 2017 issue
Pulled pork with hoisin and ginger
- 1 x 3kg – 3.5kg pork shoulder / Boston butt, skin removed and fat trimmed (you will need a smaller one for the pressure cooker)
- 2t five spice powder
- salt and pepper
- 1t dried chilli flakes
- 2T grated fresh ginger (about 10cm piece of ginger)
- 6 – 8 cloves garlic minced
- 300ml hoisin sauce
- 300ml ginger beer
Steamed buns – gua bao dough
- 200ml water, at room temperature
- 10g instant dry yeast (I sachet)
- 300g all purpose wheat flour (cake flour)
- 10g milk powder
- 4T caster sugar
- A pinch of salt
- ½ t baking powder
- ½ t baking soda
Dressing & slaw
- 2T lime juice
- 2T lemon juice
- 2T rice vinegar
- 1t sugar
- ½ tsp soy
- 1tsp honey
- 1 1/2 cups finely shredded cabbage
- ½ cup finely sliced carrots
- Cucumber ribbons
- fresh coriander/ cilantro
- sriracha hot sauce
Rub the pork generously with the salt, pepper, five spice, chilli and ginger. Place in the main pot of the slow cooker and allow to marinate for about an hour. Pour the hoisin sauce over and add ginger beer the garlic. Turn it to high, cover and cook for about 4 – 6 hours on high or 8 – 9 hours on low depending on the size of your pork. Once cooked, turn off and allow cool.
Remove the meat, place on a tray and shred it with forks. It will literally pull part. Pour the sauce over it and keep anything left over in a pot for later if desired.
Cut the pork into 2 larger pieces and use a maximum of 2.5 kgs for a 6Litres capacity pressure cooker (so 2 / 2.5ks divided into 2). Rub the pork generously with the salt, pepper, and five spice. Heat a skillet and brown the meat briefly on all sides until sealed and starting to brown (about 3 minutes per side. Place in the main pot of the pressure cooker and add the ginger, garlic, hoisin sauce and ginger beer (600ml) *NB – double the quantity of ginger beer for the pressure cooker recipe. Cook for 70 minutes and then use the slow release method to release the pressure. Shred the pork as you would for the slow cooker and mixing it back into the sauce. *cooks note – if you are using a stove top pressure cooker, once you have reached the pressure point cooking over high heat, be sure to place the pressure cooker over the lowest flame for the balance of the cooking time to prevent burning.
To make the slaw, mix all the dressing ingredients together and toss with 2 cups of finely shredded cabbage and carrots.
To make the dough, add yeast to the water in the bowl of the stand mixer and allow to activate for about 10 minutes.
Use the paddle attachment, add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix briefly until you have a wetish dough. Scrape the paddle, attach the dough hook and continue kneading for about 5 minutes. Remove from the bowl onto a floured surface and briefly knead to form a round dough ball that is springy to the touch.
Place this in a greased bowl, and cover with a sheet of greased cling film and allow to prove in a warm place for about an hour. It should double in size.
Pinch back the risen dough on a floured surface and roll this into a log shape. Divide this into 12 equal parts. Roll each of these parts into a ball and place on a floured tray. Cover with a tea towel and allow to prove for a second time for around 30 minutes. It should double in size again.
While this is proving, cut out twelve 8cmx8cm squares of baking paper. Fill a steamer with water and set to STEAM.
Roll a bun into an oval shape, dip a chopstick into a bottle of oil and fold the two pieces over this stick, which you then slide it out. Place this folded piece of dough on a piece of baking paper. Repeat with all 12 pieces.
Steam the buns 3 at a time in the steamer for 5 minutes. They will be firm to the touch and cooked through. Repeat until they are all cooked.
To assemble the gua bao, add sliced cucumber and or pickle to the bottom of the bun. Fill with pulled pork and top with the dressed slaw and fresh coriander leaves. Add a hot sauce such as Sriracha if you like.
*for a quicker version and to skip making the buns, make these into tacos using corn or flour tortillas, or burgers using burger buns.
For my other recipes that can be made in either a slow or a pressure cooker:
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