Knowing my profile, you might laughed... thinking why an Asian me is learning to cook Asian cuisines from a non-Asian celebrity chef, Bill Granger. Simple! Yup... Simple is my reason.
Bill Granger is a self-taught cook, restaurateur and food writer who is well known for his simple and yet stylish cuisine which are all artistically displayed in his shows and books. After cooking and baking a variety of his recipes, I have to say that his recipes are mostly pretty simple to cook and also pretty good to eat.
Being a learner for all cuisines, I like to use Bill's simplistic approach to learn and cook Asian food and this is one of his Chinese influenced recipes that I have attempted. In fact, this is a twisted version of an English classic pork roast using mostly Chinese ingredients resulting unbelievable wow-flavours. It is really not difficult at all to cook and all I have to do is the assemble the ingredients and roast the pork in the oven - Like I said, simple!
Eating slices of these tender pork slices with steam buns, feel like we are eating an alternative or English-Chinese fusion version of Kong Bak Pau which means braised pork buns in Hokkien dialect (also known as Chinese version of pork sliders). We reckon, these are best with generous serve of braised soy sauce...
|Our alternative way of eating Kong Bak Pau|
|A classic pork roast but cooked with...|
|... lots of Chinese ingredients|
|Like all classic roasts, rub salt and pepper before roasting.|
|I can hear crackling sound as I removed this from the hot oven.|
|The whole house smelled of this wonderfully rich flavours while roasting.|
|Wonderfully rich braised sauce made from the very-reduced-pan sauce.|
|These Chinese steamed buns are made with cooked oat porridge.|
|Shaping the buns|
|The buns are ready!|
|Lots of thumbs up when my husband and son enjoyed this crackling skin...|
Here are the recipes
(with my modification and notes in blue)
Spiced Slow-cooked Pork Shoulder from the book, Bill's Everyday Asian by Bill Granger
2kg pork shoulder on the bone
(I used the boneless one that is tied with strings)
2 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp freshly ground white pepper
2 tbsp light flavoured oil
(I used sesame oil)
200 ml light soy sauce
(increased to 250ml)
4 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
10 thin slices ginger
5 garlic cloves, lightly bruised with the flat of a knife
2 spring onions, chopped
Preheat the oven to 240°C (or 220°C fan forced). Score the pork rind every 1 cm with a very sharp blade taking care not to cut through to the meat. Place the pork in a deep roasting tray and rub half the salt, the pepper and the oil into the rind. Sprinkle with the remaining salt. Roast for 20 mins or until the skin is crackled.
Remove from the oven and add the soy sauce, 200 ml water (increased to 250ml), sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, ginger, garlic and spring onion to the tray. Reduce the temperature to 180°C (or 160°C fan forced) and cook for a further 1 hour 40 mins or until the pork is very tender. Slice and serve.
Note: The original recipe serve slices of pork with spring onion pancakes and hoisin sauce but I served with my own braised sauce with (not the traditional but an alternative kind of oat) Chinese steamed buns.
My Wonderfully-Rich Braised Sauce
Please do not discard the heavily-reduced pan sauce after roasting.
Transfer these thick blacken sauce into a saucepan. Add 4-5 chopped spring onions, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp water and 1 1/2 tbsp cooking caramel sauce and cook the sauce until the onions are cooked. You may add extra water or cooking caramel sauce to adjust the consistency of the sauce accordingly to your preference.
Oat Mantou adapted and translated from the book, the first book of noodles for beginners by Carol Hu
Makes 16 medium buns
50g old fashion oat
150ml boiling water
Cook all ingredients A until porridge-like. Set aside and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Oat mixture made with ingredient A
30g wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp yeast
1/8 tsp salt
(added extra 3 tbsp water while mixing the dough - I find the dough can be quite difficult to mix initially but reckon the extra water can make the dough a little too soft)
extra canola oil to brush
Using a bread maker, mix all ingredients B and knead into a smooth dough and allow it to prove for 1-2 hr or double in size. At this point, you can either store the dough in the fridge to use it on the next day or use it now.
Divide dough into 16 portions. To shape, roll each portion of dough into ball. Using a rolling pin, roughly roll it into oval shape. Brush one side with oil and fold it into half. Repeat shaping with the rest of 15 portions.
Place on steaming rack lined with baking paper or any non-stick paper and place the rack under lukewarm water (about 37°C) and let it prove for 40 mins or double the size.
Steam buns for 15 mins. At the last 3 minutes of steaming, use a chopstick to lift the cover of the steamer slightly to form a small opening.
Turn off heat immediately after steaming. Allow all excess steam to escape through the small opening for 3-5 mins. Remove the steaming racks and allow buns to rest for 3-5 mins before opening the baskets cover.
Happy Baking and Steaming
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