Friday, January 29, 2010

Momofuku Pork Bun SERVES 1

Courtesy of Inuyaki
Top, I's homemade
Bottom, Momofuku's Pork Belly Bun

Belly and BUNS.

Growing up eating Peking duck as a special weekly treat which required ordering 24hrs in advance, our family treasures the soft, fluffy (wheat, non-paleo) bread-pillows that are used to envelope rich roasted duck accompanied by sweet plumy hoisin sauce and a hit of brightness from thinly sliced long scallions. The best duck were the ones with juicy, moist meat and a crispy, crunchy skin. My sisters and I would sometimes eat the brains from the duckhead which came with the whole roasted duck. We're Chinese, e.g. we eat everything. Head-to-toes *winky*.

Marrow, meat... feet.

Visiting Momofuku restaurant in New York is a great Paleo treat. I don't think the owner David Chang intended to have a phenomenal paleo-type restaurant but indeed that is what it kinda is. Fatty meat, pig pig pig galore and the most delicious awesome variety of fusion (Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc). I've only been there once with my little bro but I am looking forward again when I go back and he gives me a bionic tooth implant/crown (being a 4th yr Columbia dental stud). Waiting in line at Momofuku (translation Japanese: 'lucky peach') is not paleo *haa* IMHO but hey it is worth the price of unforgettable FOOD. Chang's cookbook is a FANTASTIC, engrossing read. If it were not for an unprecedented failure, he would not have adapted in the micro-niche of restauranting and evolved Momofuku's, one of the best, most heralded restaurants in NYC, the city of fast live-die-restaurant cycles. He is a cardinal survivalist and evolutionist. I admire those with the skills to identify what is not working and to tweak and adjust for things to work. His restaurant also applies the liberal use of LARD, pork fat. The pork belly recipe recycles food, like all good chefs. The rendered protein and fats are collected after the roasting which is gelatinous and similar to aspic (YUM) and used in other Momofuku dishes and to flavor soups.

PHAT FAT is treasured.

Quite frankly Chang is a F*KU genius. Ancestral food + neolithic brilliance.

Prior animal pharm post on Okinawan LARD and LONGEVITY.

The book is HELLUV entertaining. Watch out, the only cookbook with a precaution for R-rated language. *haa* Richard, Paleo-King, U'd LOVE IT (LIKE ME).

Stolen recipes, courtesy NY Time Out:

Abridged: Roasted Pork Belly
--skinless pork belly, 1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c salt
--dry brine 6 to < 24 hrs in fridge
--roast 450°F 1hr; lower heat 250°F another 1hr
--rest the meat then... F-E-A-S-T

David Chang's Momofuku book was a Xmas gift to my foodie brother (which THANK YOU U.P.S. arrived afternoon of Xmas Eve, delivered as I was walking to my car by a haaawwt U.P.S. male driver, why r they all so uniformly ridiculously ROCKN-in-shorts???! Job prerequisite?).

My bro's rendition ...(sorry, picture pending my download skills which are non-existent). YUMM. Hard to screw up. Easy to eat. Effort: NONE. His 3 lb-roast served 6 adults and 2 kids for TWO MEALS. Paleo-thrifty in these economic times. Completed one of our best Christmas dinners!

Value: Immeasurable
Cost: Sacramento local asian meat market, pork belly $1.70 per lb
(anatomically, belly is the same as bacon, see below)

Courtesy of Art of Not Working LOVE UR SITE


Calvin said...

Hey G,

As usual, your writing has captured my undivided attention: I too LOVE Belly & Buns---Oh Baby!

Your brother's x-mass gift was very thoughtful--great gift for the Evolutionary-Perfect, Hot, Hakka, Paleo-Diva :)

I buy pork belly from my local Asian grocery here in Anchorage at least weekly. They keep the meat section piled high with it--at least 2-3X more than any other meat selection. I always bake it for 2 hours: 350 for an hour, then 250 for the second hour--the second hour is necessary to really break-down the proteins making it spoon-tender, in addition to improving the texture/flavor of the fat--yum. Of course, I save all the drippings which I use with much of my other cooking.

Momofuku is on my short-list for my next trip to NY.

~ Calvin

Dr. B G said...


Where have u been? Grokin' out!! Actually the gift was 4 him coz he wouldn't buy it on his own ('principles' blah blah blah). HE LOVED THE BOOK and read it a lot while we were visiting Sactown. I finished it (sorta) inbetween his reading.

MMmmhh ur recipe sounds DELISH... *WINK*

Thanks for sharing as always.


Anonymous said...

WOW, my mouth is watering. Loving the use of fat.

x said...

Excellent post! I too have blogged several times about how the two most long-lived groups of people in the world eat everything but the oink on a pig.. including lots of pig fat. It drives me mad that the Mediterranean diet is thought to be just fish and veggies.. it's lots of pork!
Pork is a health food... yum yum!

Melissa said...

I LOOOOOVE Momofuku. We even had a Paleo meetup there recently. If you are ever in NYC, drop me a line! I'm always looking for an excuse to eat there!

Dr. B G said...

Hey HAAAWWWWWT Grrrrrl ;)

Definitely!!! I am looking forward to meeting YOU.

BTW thank you for the linkage love, dear! Adore your wonderful blog posts...


Anonymous said...

Dr BG, did you see this video in the WSJ Monday:

Disabled Marine Keeps Fit Doing CrossFit

Dr. B G said...

One word.


Thanks for the link!!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

OK, time for a new post- every time I see that picture my stomach starts growling!

How about posting some recipe ideas for traditional Chinese ways of cooking pork parts? We have tripe and other various innards available at my local Chinese market, but I don't know what to do with them.


Mike said...

Pork rocks! Just found a great local farm near my city:

Lookit them lil' piggies running around in the pasture! :)

Hey Dr. BG, do you actually check your gmail? ;)

Dr. B G said...


Mike -- just hit ya! Thanks for your patience. I love porking too :)

Dr. B G said...

Hi Drs,

*chuckle* A new post came out at nephropal but will be a few days before I get another one out here...

Tripe! love it but never made it! I like the tripe at Cantonese restaurants and dim sum -- have you tried Peonies in Oakland or many of the other in the East Bay (Mayflower, Koi Garden, etc)? AWESOME!!

Yes -- I should delve into more pork recipes esp the asian ones. In fact last wk I found a wonderful gal who does Taiwanese pork well. ck her out.

There are some gluten-free recipes and she has a pork belly recipe too.

Thank you,

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

I've actually made cha shiu bows a few times- the dough always comes out yeastier and darker than the ones in restaurants, so I usually get them now and then from the Hong Kong Bakery in Mtn View instead. Mine are good but not quite the same. The Momofuku ones have a better ratio of meat and fat to carbs! Maybe I'll try again.

My oldest and more authentic Chinese cookbook has recipes for liver, kidney and intestine, served with broth and noodles. It says you're supposed to wash out the intestines with vinegar and salt, but I don't know if the version found in my market still needs that treatment.

The post on Nephropal was good, and something I'm trying to learn more about.



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