Archive for September, 2010

Hum Bao Two Ways

Taste Test: The bbq style (left) was a lot easier, but not quite as good as the Asian style Hum Bao.

As a fan of “Top Chef” and “Top Chef Masters,” I always get a chuckle when the contestants cook something multiple ways.  Hi Padma. I made Monkfish three ways.

Just once I’d like Padma to reply with: Oh DID you? Well then you’re an idiot. 

Is winning on “Top Chef” so easy that, what the heck, you might as well triple your work? Those two ways/three ways chefs always get eliminated about halfway through the season.

I on the other hand had an excuse. I had about 9 pounds of leftover pork butt and for some time I’ve wanted to try making a traditional barbecue pork Hum Bao. I had all the ingredients ready to go, when this bottle of Show-Me BBQ sauce started talking to me in secret barbeque language.  Since when have I let you down, the Show-Me asked.  Hmmm… fair point.

So after consulting with my friend (Dave Chilimaker), I decided, to heck with it, I’ll just make both. I’ll make traditional style pork Hum Bao AND a Blue State BBQ original, Show-me style Hum Bao.

Both were great. Really, really great.  But if I had to pick, I’d say the traditional Hum Bao was better, but a whole lot more work.   So if you have the time, go Asian style.  If you’re in a hurry, the BBQ style was plenty delicious.

Here are the instructions:

First, two days prior, barbecue one magnificent, slow cooked pork butt. Feast on your pulled pork sandwiches. Instructions here!  Then save your leftovers for this…

Traditional BBQ Pork Hum Bao

 (I used a flour mix from the Asian grocery for my dumplings.  I’m sure it’s probably really easy to make the flour mix, but the mix worked out great. No complaints.)

 1)      You’ll need between a pound and two pounds of your pulled pork.  I tried to grab the pork without a ton of bark on it, but I didn’t completely avoid the bark either.

2)      Put the pork in the following marinade, and cook at very low temperature in a pan for about 5 minutes.

  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs of creamed honey.  
  • 2 Tbs Oyster Sauce
  • 4 tsp Hoisin Sauce
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Pinch of allspice

 3)      Put the pork with its marinade in a container and put in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours.

4)      Prepare the following, and set aside…

  • In small bowl, 3 tsp of Oyster Sauce missed with a tsp of sesame oil.
  • Dice half a small onion

5)      In a frying pan, sauté the onion in 2 Tbs of vegetable oil over medium heat until the onions start to get golden.

6)      Drain the marinade off the reserved pork, and mix the meat with the onions in the pan.

7)      Reduce heat to low and add the following:

  •  1 tsp soy sauce
  • 3 tsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 4 Tbs chicken broth
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp Mirin (rice cooking wine)

 8)      Cook at a low simmer for 5 minutes.

9)      Stir in the Oyster Sauce/Sesame Oil mixture, and cook for another 3 minutes.

10)   Remove from heat

11)   Prepare your steamer (I just used a Dutch oven with a stainless steel fan steamer )

 For the original Blue State BBQ Show-Me style Hum Bao

1)      Don’t do any of that stuff above.

2)      Mix your pork with some Show-Me Liquid Smoke.

3)      Laugh a little at how little prep that required, and eat some before making your dumplings.


Flour mix, ready to go.

Per the instructions on the flour mix. Again, I assume this flour mix is really easy to make. I just didn’t bother. Also note: The dumpling dough is very sticky. Have plenty of flour on hand.

 When the dough is made, you roll out little pancake sized discs, put a spoonful of pork in the middle, and fold it up.  Then you place the dumpling on a little square of wax paper.

 I overstuffed my dumplings, to be honest, and this gave me some weird looking buns. But I for one would rather have plenty of pork in my Hum Bao over a perfectly shaped Hum Bao.


I steamed the dumplings for 20 minutes on top of little squares of wax paper.

Then (this is optional) I put them on a cookie sheet, applied a light egg wash, and broiled them for just a few minutes to get a light golden brown crust on top.


Read Full Post »

Roy’s BBQ: A second taste

Roy's signature sandwich

Sauce on mush. But the slaw was delicious.

Ok, I gave Roy’s another shot. I’m going to cook a pork butt tonight, so I figured, might as well have a pulled pork sandwich to get in the mood.

You may recall in my review a few weeks back, I found Roy’s pulled pork mushy and unpleasant to eat, in spite of all the great reviews.  So, I pledged to give it another try.

Upon further review: I found Roy’s pulled pork mushy and unpleasant to eat, in spite of all the great reviews.

I can only guess what reviewers are liking about Roy’s is the great atmosphere and the tangy mustard-based sauce on their signature sandwich.  But the bbq itself is like pork flavored mashed potatoes. Sorry Roy’s; I won’t be back.

Read Full Post »

Where’s the BBQ?

I haven’t grilled anything in DAYS!  It’s killing me.  But not to worry, I have two treats lined up, so stay tuned.

First, I’m going to try a honey ginger duck. The duck is in my house, so it just needs to get cooked.  And second, I’m going to cook a pork butt, yum.  But, the real experiment is day two – I’m going to make BBQ pork Hum Bao.  

So, apologies for the long stretch of nothing.  But with the NFL season starting soon, the silence can’t and won’t continue!

Read Full Post »