Barbecue pork puffs

These barbecue pork puffs, from Ching-He Huang’s Chinese Food Made Easy, have been on my radar for an age, but the main ingredient in the marinade is yellow bean paste which I was sadly lacking. Once I got my hands on some, I was raring to go. The recipe makes a ton of pork; you’ll barely need half of it to make six puffs so you can either make twice the number or fry the meat up with some greens or some fried rice the next day. You could also use the meat to stuff buns to make cha siu bau (these are cha siu so) but that’s an experiment for another day.

For the marinade, finely  chop three cloves of garlic and enough ginger to get a heaped tablespoonful. Stir together with two tablespoons of yellow bean paste (which contrary to expectations is not yellow. It’s gloopy and black and has a texture quite a lot like Vegemite (as distinct from Marmite)). It’s also very strong so I wouldn’t lick the spoon. Then add in two generous tablespoons of clear honey, a tablespoonful of rice wine, four tablespoons of light soy sauce and a tablespoonful of plain oil (not olive). Give it a good stir and then add the meat, 500g of pork tenderloin. Give it a good dunking and admire how it looks a bit like something out of a horror film, then marinate it for as long as you have. Overnight would be good, but I managed three hours which was fine.

Remove the pork from the marinade (saving the marinade) and roast at 180°C for 40 minutes, turning and basting with some of the inky juices halfway through.

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Leave it to rest for 10 minutes when it gets out of the oven and then cut into small dice. Add to a pan with the rest of marinade then boil down hard till all the liquid has nearly gone, stirring regularly, which will help break some of the meat up into tender threads.

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Once this is done, spread the mixture out on a plate and leave to cool while you get the pastry ready. I used half a 500g block of puff pastry (so 250g), rolled it out until it was roughly 10 by 60cm, then cut it into 6 squares.

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You can then cut each square into two triangles as I did here, though it would have been easier to simply fold them over. Put a teaspoon of pork on a triangle, place a second triangle over and pinch the pastry around the edges to seal. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds, then bake at 180°C for twenty minutes until the pastry is gloriously flaky and golden.

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