Roasted Pork Steam Buns with Black Garlic Mayonnaise & Spicy Cabbage Slaw

Roasted Pork Steam Buns

with Black Garlic Mayonnaise & Spicy Cabbage Slaw

50 MIN
3 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

A famous East Asian street food, steam buns (or “bao”) are delectably fluffy, sweet buns, traditionally steamed in a bamboo basket and wrapped around a rich center. Tonight, we’re adapting them for the stovetop and filling them with roasted pork, marinated cucumber and mayonnaise seasoned with black garlic—or garlic heated for weeks, resulting in deep color and complex, caramelized flavor. On the side, our ten-minute take on kimchi balances the buns with a kick of Korean spice. (Best of all: you’ll have enough for leftovers!)

Get Cooking
  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    725 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Sear & roast the pork:

1 Sear & roast the pork:


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on all sides. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork and cook, turning occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board; let rest for at least 5 minutes.

Prepare the ingredients & marinate the cucumber:

2 Prepare the ingredients & marinate the cucumber:


While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of water to boiling on high. Core and medium dice the cabbage. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottom and green top. Peel and mince the black garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds and place in a bowl with half the ginger and half the vinegar; stir in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the slaw:

3 Make the slaw:


While the cucumber marinates, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, white bottom of the scallion, sesame oil, remaining ginger, remaining vinegar and as much of the gochugaru as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the black garlic mayonnaise:

4 Make the black garlic mayonnaise:


While the slaw marinates, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and black garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Steam the buns:
5 Steam the buns:

Once the pork has roasted for about 15 minutes, rest a strainer (or colander) over the pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the strainer. Working in batches, place the buns in the strainer; cover with the lid of the pot. Steam 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and puffy. Carefully transfer the steamed buns to a clean, dry work surface.

Finish the buns & plate your dish:

6 Finish the buns & plate your dish:


Find the lines of the muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice against the grain. Gently open each steamed bun and spread with a thin layer of the black garlic mayonnaise. Divide the sliced pork and some of the marinated cucumber between the buns. Garnish with the green top of the scallion. Divide ⅔ of the finished buns and slaw between 2 dishes (you will have extra buns and slaw). Serve with any remaining marinated cucumber on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

Sear & roast the pork:

1 Sear & roast the pork:


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on all sides. In a medium pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork and cook, turning occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes, or until browned on all sides. Transfer to a foil-lined sheet pan. Roast 18 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. (An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.) Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board; let rest for at least 5 minutes.

2 Prepare the ingredients & marinate the cucumber:


While the pork sears, wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of water to boiling on high. Core and medium dice the cabbage. Cut off and discard the root end of the scallion; thinly slice on an angle, separating the white bottom and green top. Peel and mince the black garlic. Peel and mince the ginger. Thinly slice the cucumber into rounds and place in a bowl with half the ginger and half the vinegar; stir in a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the slaw:

3 Make the slaw:


While the cucumber marinates, in a large bowl, combine the cabbage, white bottom of the scallion, sesame oil, remaining ginger, remaining vinegar and as much of the gochugaru as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to combine. Set aside to marinate, stirring occasionally, for at least 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper to taste.

4 Make the black garlic mayonnaise:


While the slaw marinates, in a bowl, combine the mayonnaise and black garlic; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the black garlic mayonnaise:

Steam the buns:
5 Steam the buns:

Once the pork has roasted for about 15 minutes, rest a strainer (or colander) over the pot of boiling water, making sure the water doesn’t reach the bottom of the strainer. Working in batches, place the buns in the strainer; cover with the lid of the pot. Steam 3 to 5 minutes, or until softened and puffy. Carefully transfer the steamed buns to a clean, dry work surface.

6 Finish the buns & plate your dish:


Find the lines of the muscle (or grain) of the rested pork; thinly slice against the grain. Gently open each steamed bun and spread with a thin layer of the black garlic mayonnaise. Divide the sliced pork and some of the marinated cucumber between the buns. Garnish with the green top of the scallion. Divide ⅔ of the finished buns and slaw between 2 dishes (you will have extra buns and slaw). Serve with any remaining marinated cucumber on the side. Enjoy!

Finish the buns & plate your dish:

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