Sunday, June 7, 2015

Char Siu/Xa Xiu Bao

You say char siu (Cantonese), I say xá xíu (Vietnamese).  You say baozi, I say bánh bao.  You say awesome pork buns, I say...well, awesome pork buns.

There's a general class of yeast-leavened, no-butter, no-egg, steamed dough that is prevalent in a lot of Asian cultures; their common ancestor is likely mantou, a simple steamed dough made from flour, water, and yeast.  Though the dough is not new in any way, I would argue that David Chang's famous Momofuku pork buns have played a huge role in shepherding Asian steamed buns into today's hip food scene.

Another popular dish is char siu, which is basically marinated roast pork (some might call the marinade a form of Asian barbecue sauce) with a caramelized honey (or maltose) glaze.  Char siu and its variants are used in a bunch of dishes, including char siu rice, bánh mì xá xíu, chāshū ramen, and many others.

So today, we're going to combine the two and make char siu bao from scratch.  Let's go!


Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Mother Sauces: Velouté/Suprême, Sous Vide Chicken

Next in our series on the five mother sauces is velouté sauce.  Velouté is similar to béchamel sauce in that it's a single liquid thickened with roux. Also like béchamel, you'll see that's it's pretty darn easy to make.

For this post, we'll be making the mother sauce, velouté, a child sauce called sauce suprême, and some awesome sous vide chicken and vegetables.

Part I: Sauce Suprême
Velouté Sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock

Sauce Suprême
1 cup velouté sauce
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp cold butter for mounting

Inspiration for the chicken and vegetables comes from the ChefSteps recipes for chicken roulade and whole poached chicken. The sauce suprême recipe is from a combination of a few recipes + personal experience.