Attempting to make the Momofuku Pork Buns

When we were in New York, the bf and I got a glimpse of heaven – food heaven, that is – when we visited the Momofuku Noodle bar and had an order of their famous pork buns.

What exactly is a Momofuku pork bun anyway? Well, it’s somewhat similar to a char siew bao except for three things:

  • The bao is not closed, it’s open like a burger.
  • The pork belly is not minced and cooked with char siu sauce but just roasted.
  • There’s added flavour with sugar pickled cucumber – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

I’ll be honest. This recipe does take awhile, especially if you live in this tiny corner of the world where the white buns are not available pre-made. So, the bf was tasked with the dough kneading work since he’s got more dough kneading training than I have. (The bf’s Dad bakes bread every week, they don’t buy bread at all…unless a certain guest feels like having croissants for breakfast *cough* *clears throat*)

You might need some motivation before you embark on this culinary adventure so here’s a photograph of what I’m talking about:

My attempt at making Momofuku Pork Buns

So this is the only photograph I have as I misplaced my SD Card along with the Card reader and hunted high low, but alas…it was permanently gone. I have a feeling I threw it away by accident. I know! How could you do that Fieran? *facepalm*

There are three steps to making these extremely delicious buns.

  1. Marinate and roast your pork belly.
  2. Make the buns.
  3. Pickle the cucumber.

None of these recipes are mine. I used this recipe to make the bun and roast the pork; this recipe to pickle the cucumber.

Trust me, the effort is worth it. We spent about 4 hours trying to make this dish (the pork was marinated overnight) and it was definitely a success. We ate it as an evening pre-gym snack on Sunday, then dinner that Sunday and also dinner the next day, Monday. It was a dish that kept on feeding [..like a gift that keeps on giving] 🙂

Reference: Exerpt from the Momofuku Cookbook

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6 responses

  1. Oh no Fieran, you’ve done it again! You always tempt me with your delicious-looking foods. It does sound delicious, although I’d be pulling away the fat from the pork belly before eating it – I absolutely can’t stand it 😉 It does look very lovely, and the flavours sound clean. Sugar-pickled cucumber is an old favourite here, we serve it with fish all the time, salmon in particular =)

    Hope your Valentine’s meeting finished quickly! 😉

  2. I am such a foodie and I’m trying to spread that foodiness via the blog 😉 Actually I don’t usually eat pork belly much myself. I’m spoiled as my Mother usually cooks very lean meat. In Malaysia, you get “Char Siu” which is usually barbecued pork shoulder. “Siu Yoke” is the roasted pork belly. I’m more a fan of “Char Siu”.

    That said, this dish required the pork belly. But I’m sure you can roast any other pork cut and it will taste similar and be even healthier 😉

    I have eaten sugar-pickled cucumber with salmon, now that you mentioned it. I just didn’t make the connection that it was the same thing as what was used in the recipe. Thanks for pointing it out 🙂

    Yes, the meeting finished at the expected time and I got to catch a 55-minute spinning class at the gym. It was worth it!

    • You should 🙂 It’s a bit time consuming as the dough for the white buns need to rise a few times and then you have to steam them – but they are so worth it. There will be around 50 buns and you can freeze them so you don’t have to make them again but..it tastes so good that you might not want to freeze any 🙂

  3. Oh, god, those look so good. And they look exactly like the pork buns from Momofuku! It seems like everyone’s on these lately, too, ’cause I’ve just been haunted by all these photos of pork buns on food blogs… It’s too bad I don’t cook. 😦 Such a good Valentine’s gift to yourself!

    • I made these a few weeks ago actually 🙂 Just finally found some time to blog about them after not being able to find the photographs. Luckily I took 1 photo on my phone.

      Cooking is not hard though. Just kind of time consuming and a bit of trial and error. I usually save all my challenging recipes for the weekend and stick to the 30-40 minute dishes for the week.

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