Recipe courtesy of Genevieve Erin O'Brien

Pork My Buns XXXX

These delicious and flavorful sausage buns call back to delicious roast red pork flavors and are bursting with spice and freshness from the cilantro and cucumber. These buns are addictive, perfect for your next party and absolutely worth the effort!
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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 16 hr (includes marinating and drying times)
  • Active: 1 hr 30 min
  • Yield: 12 pounds sausage, 4 servings of sausage bao buns
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10 pounds boneless pork shoulder

2 1/2 pounds pork fatback

1/2 cup honey granules

1/2 cup soy sauce powder

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

1/4 cup rice wine

1/4 cup tuong hot fermented beans

4 tablespoons fermented red bean curd (2 tablespoons liquid and 2 tablespoons solid bean curd)

3 tablespoons five-spice powder

2 tablespoons red yeast sea salt or coarse sea salt

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

1 package 27-millimeter pork casings


10 folded bao buns, steamed

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

1 firm cucumber, cut into matchsticks

1 1/2 cups fresh cilantro sprigs

1/2 cup hoisin sauce


Special equipment:
meat grinder, sausage stuffer, sous vide machine, sausage poker
  1. For the sausages: Cut the pork and pork fatback into 2-inch square pieces, put into a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Add the honey granules, soy sauce powder, hoisin sauce, rice wine, tuong hot, fermented red bean curd, five-spice powder, salt, sesame oil and ginger powder to a blender and blend until the mixture is homogeneous. Pour this marinade over the pork, cover it and let it marinate for at least 12 and up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Coarse grind the marinated pork using a meat grinder. Stuff the sausages using a sausage stuffer. Once you are done casing the sausages let them dry a bit in the fridge before linking. 
  4. Link the sausage in 3-inch long sausages by twisting every other sausage in the same direction. Let the linked sausages dry in the fridge for a few hours.
  5. Take the chilled and now drier linked sausages and use the sausage poker to poke each sausage a few times and then cut the links.
  6. To cook the sausages, vacuum seal them in a sous vide bag and sous vide for 45 minutes at 145 degrees F. Remove the sausages from the bag and transfer them to a heavy pan, preferably cast iron, on the stovetop to finish off. (Alternatively, you can cook the sausages directly from raw but be sure to let the links come to close to room temperature and put them into the pan without oil slow and low.) 
  7. To assemble: Serve the sausages in the steamed folded bao buns with the green onions and cucumber, topped with a few sprigs of cilantro and a squeeze of hoisin. Serve immediately. 

Cook’s Note

If you are using a lower-powered meat grinder, use a few ice cubes to keep the pork cool as you grind. Before you stuff the sausages, cook a little uncased sausage to make sure the flavor is right! It should be a little sweet and taste similar to xa xiu or char su (red roast pork). Adjust salt to taste and add more honey granules if it needs to be sweeter. The flavor will intensify when cooked in the casing so don't over salt it. You want to give the links time to dry so they don't come undone when you cut them. Don't put cold sausages in a hot pan; they will immediately explode and leak out the ends.

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