Mmm Mmm Mmmomofuku Pork Buns

After months of letting silly things like my hectic work schedule and my limited budget get in the way of entertaining as much as I’d like, I’m happy to report that I got to tie on my hostess apron three nights in a row this past weekend. The most elaborate to-do of the three was a small party co-hosted by my friend Ron, who had the genius idea of making David Chang’s iconic pork buns from his new Momofuku cookbook. He would handle the food, which would leave me free to geek out about the cocktails (about which I’ll post later).

Now, I’m happy to say that Ron is nothing like me. If I had been throwing together an elegant party for 15 or 20 guests, I would probably think twice about serving a dish that I had never made before as the centerpiece of the party. Ron, however, has chutzpah. He went to the butcher and purchased 15 pounds of pork belly.

All photos by Ron Carmel

Now, the mathematically inclined among you might realize that this is about one pound of pork belly per guest, but luckily this didn’t seem to occur to Ron at the time (thank goodness!). After brining the pork overnight and roasting it, he ended up with four of these gorgeous slabs …

as well as, ahem, this …

And no, that’s not a beer next to the loaf pan of solidified pork fat. It’s a pint glass of liquid pork fat. No word yet on what Ron plans to do with all of that, but I’m planning on loaning him a copy of the cookbook Fat, which I copyedited a handful of years ago.

Anyway, back to the pork buns. Ron prepped the quick-pickled cucumbers and scallions, so as soon as the guests started arriving, he could start steaming the buns …

and then slather on the hoisin sauce and assemble everything à la minute.

The results were these perfect little pillowy works of art, simultaneously soft and crunchy, sweet and salty, and delightfully porky, with hot layers of fat that dissolved on the tongue. (Sorry, vegetarians … no other way to say it.)

The bad news? I was so busy shaking cocktails that I only had time to nab a couple of these. The really awesome news? I have a two-pound slab of Ron’s leftover pork belly in my fridge waiting to be seared.

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One thought on “Mmm Mmm Mmmomofuku Pork Buns

  1. […] might have read about the Momofuku pork bun extravaganza that I co-hosted last weekend. Since Ron made these crazily decadent Momofuku pork buns […]

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