Greetings, Mystic Meows!
As always, I hope that this little tasty food blog finds you doing as well as can be! As you can see by this groovy picture, I made some Bao Buns! Ok, ok… Maybe not “made” as in “made from scratch”, but I did end up doing about 50% of the cooking and prep for this frozen meal. YES! I was super excited when I saw that there was a bao bun kit at my local grocery store! I cook for myself so often and am always looking for something that I haven’t had in a long time. These reminded me of my days in NYC, dining with my friend Anasua, at a great West Village joint called The Fatty Crab, which sadly, closed for good back in 2016. They had THE BEST Fatty Sliders using bao buns to house an amazingly seasoned Lamb Patty with a huge hunk of pickled cucumber, onion, cilantro, and some kind of spicy mayo. This thing was EPIC!!! And a dish I totally intend to replicate!
These came nowhere near Fatty’s Crabs sliders, BUT they did give me all the feels considering that the primary components, the buns, were a part of the kit and came complete with it’s own pickled vegetables and of course, the marinated, cooked pork belly. So here’s where things got interesting for me. When cooking ANYTHING you always have to taste as you go. I often find with meal prep kits from the market, they are heavily marinated, heavily salted, and heavily seasoned with other ingredients that don’t always deliver where they should in the flavor dept. In this case, the pork belly provided by the kit was very pungent with ginger. Now I love me some ginger, but the flavor in the pork was way to overwhelming for meow. Thankfully I had some leftover pork loin that I was able to add into the pork mixture, and with a few other seasonings, it all balanced out.
The pickled carrots that came with it as well was extremely underwhelming with little flavor other than cilantro and a very scant amount of vinegar. So I made my own quick cold pickled veg using some thinly sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, green Thai chilis, a hefty spoonful of the carrots, cane sugar, rice wine vinegar, a splash of apple cider vinegar, honey, and a teaspoon of sambal oelek. Along with garnishing with some fresh cilantro leaves, I also made a sriracha mayo to add some creaminess and cut through those strong flavors and then pull them all back in for a big giant hug! Each bite was tastier than the last, and I was very satisfied with how it all turned out. I can’t remember for the life of me what the name of the brand was… ( bad Chef! ) but the kit on it’s own was heated and ready to plate in under 6 minutes, which is pretty good. You take the buns out half way through the cooking time, and they were really quite perfect. Soft, airy, yet dense and chewy.
Sometimes when we buy these frozen meals, it’s hit or miss. I mean, I don’t always WANT to cook and every now and again, taking a few short cuts with cooking for yourself is something we all do. I just wanna eat! With this situation, I was able to save it and turn it into something I could enjoy, rather than just tossing it cause it was at first like biting into raw ginger! It did however reawaken a forgotten food memory and a lovely experience with one of my dearest friends, and inspired me to want those damn Fatty Crab sliders and add that to the zillions of other recipes I need to attempt to make. So although I honestly wouldn’t purchase the kit again, I’m grateful for having had the experience remind me of how even though things aren’t always what they seem at first glance, if you put a bit of effort into it, you could turn it into something far superior than expected. And with that dear reader, I bid you adieu! Thank you so much for stopping by! Until we eat again, Bone crap da beef! 😂 Happy cooking!!
Cheers, Hugs, and Meows!
xo Nikki ✨😻🖤🔮
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