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  • Writer's pictureKevin Dam

"Unpacking the Gua Bao Slider: Exploring the Trendy Taiwanese Street Food"

Gua Bao Sliders are essentially Taiwanese pork belly buns, made with steamed buns filled with braised pork belly and typically garnished with pickles, herbs, and sauces. They're a popular street food item and can be made at home for an impressive snack or meal. Here's a simple recipe and some tips and tricks to make your Gua Bao Sliders a success.


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  • Dish name: Gua Bao Sliders

  • Cuisine: Taiwanese

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes (plus marinating & braising time)

  • Cooking time: 3 hours

  • Yield: 10 sliders


Ingredients:


  • 10 Gua Bao buns (steamed buns, available at Asian markets)

  • 1 pound pork belly

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon rice wine

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced

  • Pickled mustard greens, for garnish

  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

  • Crushed peanuts, for garnish

  • Sriracha or hoisin sauce, for drizzling


Instructions:


  1. Combine soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, hoisin sauce, garlic, and ginger in a bowl to create a marinade.

  2. Marinate the pork belly in this mixture for at least 2 hours, better overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

  4. Place the pork belly in a baking dish, cover with foil, and cook for about 2.5 to 3 hours until tender.

  5. Remove the pork belly from the oven and let it rest before cutting into thin slices.

  6. Steam the Gua Bao buns according to package instructions until they are soft and warm.

  7. Open each bun and add a few slices of pork belly, pickled mustard greens, cilantro leaves, and crushed peanuts.

  8. Drizzle with sriracha or extra hoisin sauce if desired.

  9. Serve immediately.


Tips and Tricks:


  • Pork Belly: Look for a pork belly cut that has an even fat-to-meat ratio for the best flavor and tenderness.

  • Marinating: To infuse more flavor, marinate the pork for a longer period, up to 24 hours.

  • Braising Liquid: Save the braising liquid and reduce it down to make a sauce for the sliders.

  • Steaming Buns: Ensure that your steamer is lined with parchment paper to prevent the buns from sticking.

  • Slicing Pork Belly: For clean cuts of braised pork belly, let it cool slightly and use a sharp knife.

  • Custom Garnishes: Feel free to add your favorite garnishes like fresh cucumber slices or carrot slaw for added crunch.

  • Serving Temperature: Serve everything warm so that the flavors meld together nicely.

  • Bun Preparation: If you can't find Gua Bao buns, steamed sandwich buns or folded steamed buns can be a good substitute.




Enjoy your homemade Gua Bao Sliders! They're sure to be a hit with their savory, sweet flavors and soft, tender textures.

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