I really wish I could try these at the Momofuku restaurant for a point of reference. I know people who have and they've said they couldn't stop eating them and even had dreams about them. With endorsements like those how could I not try the recipe in the book?
Holy crap are they ever good!!!! David Chang's are probably better but my little buggers are addictive! I'm really glad I only kept 4 buns out and sent the rest of them and the meat to the freezer. These are totally worth the full day commitment and there's plenty of inactive time to get things like laundry and housework done.
I made the pork in the early morning. The pork recipe is really simple.Rub, bake, refrigerate and slice.
The buns were a bit trickier for me because I sucked at rolling them into the perfectly formed clamshell buns in the book. I used my food scale which helped and despite their non uniformity they still tasted good.
Chang says cutting the recipe in half doesn't work. That's OK because we'll definitely finish these off and I'll make another batch.
Full recipe and picture of Chang's prettier bun is HERE. I think these directions for the buns are a bit easier than in the book. I also used my bamboo steamer. I also should have stuffed mine with more pork belly.
It doesn't mention to quick pickle the cucumber slices, which I thought added more flavor than plain cukes. All you do is slice 2 kirby cukes into 1/8 inch slices (the mandoline is my friend here). Toss with 1 tbs sugar and 1 tsp salt. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Taste and if the slices are too salty or sweet, rinse in a colander and taste again and adjust sugar or salt and let sit for an additional 5-10 minutes Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.