Updated post on 12-11-2016
The last attempt was a hit and I have the cravings to have these again. Since I have 2 pieces of roast pork with me, I have decided to prepare it again and upload the recipe to share with readers. PLEASE SCROLL TOWARDS THE END TO GET THE RECIPE.
Unlike my other post, this post has no recipe. I hereby apologized and I don’t rule out to issue the recipe if the feedback of this post is good.
I prepared these delicious Chinese hamburger out of my curiosity. I used hand feel to prepare the dough and the fillings. I did not take down the complete work in progress pictures.. This is not intended to be an issued recipe but since I found that it is extremely delicious, I will like to share with the readers this adventure of mine.
My initial intention was to prepare Western pull pork burger but I did not have the time to research for a recipe, I have therefore decided to change the adventure to the famous Shanxi snack: Roujiamo (肉夹馍）。
This is a famous snack that even Wiki has a rather detail write up. It was written :
“Roujiamo (Chinese: 肉夹馍; pinyin: ròujīamó), also known as rougamo or rou jia mo, meaning “meat burger” or “meat sandwich,” is a street food originating from Shaanxi Province and now widely consumed all over China. The meat is most commonly pork, stewed for hours in a soup containing over 20 spices and seasonings. Although it is possible to use only a few spices (which many vendors do), the resulting meat is less flavourful. Many alternative fillings are available. For example, in Muslim areas in Xi’an, the meat is usually beef (prepared kabob-style and seasoned with cumin and pepper), and in Gansu it is often lamb. The meat is then minced or chopped, then mixed with coriander and mild peppers, and stuffed in “mo”, a type of flatbread. An authentic mo is made from a wheat flour batter and then baked in a clay or mud oven, but now in many parts of China, mo is made in a frying pan or a pressure cooker (some even substitute a steamed bun), and the resulting taste diverges significantly from the authentic clay oven-baked version. Depending on the types of spices used to cook the meat and the way the bread is made, the taste of roujiamo can vary greatly from vendor to vendor.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roujiamo)
I have a piece of roast pork and I do not how to finish off this big piece of roast pork weighed more than 1/2 a kg. My family members are not big fans of meaty dishes unless they are very soft and melt in the mouth. I therefore used pressure cooker to cook that piece of meat for one hour and pulled apart all the meat fibres. The meat broth I used it to cook some porridges the night before.
This morning, I put these pulled pork into a pan, added some water, dark soya sauce, dark sugar, Sichuan pepper corns, five spice powder, cloves, star anise, cinnamon and braised it for another 1/2 hours until it became a pan of well braised meat fibres.
While I let the meat rested in the pan for flavour to develop, I proceeded to make the flatbread or mo.. Since it was prepared based on hand feel, I did not measure the ingredients. I put some plain flour, 1 teaspoon of yeast and added water gradually.
I used the machine to knead it for about 5 minutes until it forms a smooth dough. Actually this can be done manually as this type of flatbread need no kneading until windows pane stage. As long as the dough do not stick to the hand and bowl, it is considered as acceptable.
I let the dough proof until double in size, thereafter, I divided into 6 equal portions. I shaped it into a long string form with both ends thinner than the middle part.
I used a rolling pin to roll flat and start to roll it with it up with one side protruding out.
It became some shell or snail like structure.
I used my palm to press it downwards and use a rolling pin to roll it flat. Traditionally, there is a special type of rolling pin that are thicker at the middle and thinner at both ends. That type of rolling pin will be able to produce a thin centre and thick edges. Since I do not have, I used the normal rolling pin.
I then heated up the pan and dry fried the spiral side of the dough until it turns golden brown. This type of pan frying is called 干烙 and dry pan frying since no oil is being used.
When the spiral side turns golden brown, I pan fried the other sides until it is cooked.
These are the “mo” or flatbreads that I have prepared. These type flatbreads are common in South Asia and Middle East countries though the shape may be slightly different. It is actually a slightly chewy bread that and become full after eating a piece or two.
I cut open the flat bread and smeared some sesame sauce on side. The authentic recipe will call for the red hot chilli flakes sauce and since kids were eating, this was not considered. In fact, even without these sesame sauce, it is delicious too.
Some chopped lettuce and coriander was put on top of the sesame sauce and lots of braised meat fibre were stuffed into the cut flatbread and this Chinese traditional roujiamo is ready.
If you asked me how is the taste? I will say it tastes great because I knew what I liked to eat by using appropriate seasonings. However, I am unsure the authentic version sold in China. Some recipes has used more than 10 spices (大料）including chao guo (草果）which is not common here. Of course if you really want to prepare, you can use your favourite braised meat recipe for this recipe. If you are lacking one favourite recipe, I can share with you this braised meat recipe that I commonly used: Chinese Style Braised Pork Knuckles (中式焖蹄膀）. Though it is for pork knuckles, you can used the ingredients as in the recipe and substitute the pork knuckles with other cuts of the meat such as loin, fillet and etc. Pork belly is definitely a better choice.
As for “mo” 馍 or flatbread, is it delicious? I can only tell you it depends on individual. If you like the flatbreads in the South Asia and Middle Eastern Countries, you should like it. It is soft but slightly chewy but such chewiness is not obvious when the meat juices soaked into the flatbread. I found that it blends very well with the juicy meat.
In fact, if you like more fluffy and moist bun, you can consider using steamed buns such as: Lotus Leaf Buns (荷叶包）and you can get the recipe by clicking on the picture above or the blue colour link. I think Singapore and Malaysian readers will be more accustomed to this type of steamed buns。
Alternatively , Chawan Ho Hup Bao as in this post : Ho Hup Bao (诏安 和合包） is definitely a good choice to hold this type of pulled pork since it has a special cavity .
If the readership of this post is encouraging, I may formally study the recipe, tried out and share the recipe with the readers. Let me know if this look delicious to you.
Once again, I apologize for not sharing the recipe. Not because of that piece of roast pork , I will not know there exist such a delicious snack.
UPDATED POST ON 12-11-2016
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 6 肉夹馍
- 500 grams of fresh pork belly or roast pork
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 small pieces of rock sugar
- 3 cloves
- 2 star anises
- 1 bay leaves
- 2 pieces of ginger
- 1 tablespoon of Sichuan peppercorn powder
- 1/2 cup of dark soya sauce
- 1/2 cup of Chinese cooking wine
- 250 grams of plain all purpose flour
- 4 grams of instant yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of alkaline water (optional)
- 135 grams of lukewarm water
- Pinches of salt
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- In a bowl, put the flour, yeast, salt and baking powder, stir until well combined. Make a well in the centre, add the alkaline water (optional) and water gradually. Use a chopstick to stir until it become a dough crumbs. Use hand to knead the dough until it becomes of smooth dough. As this quantity is very small, it look about 10 minutes to knead the dough until smooth. The final test shall be dough is smooth (面光）, hand is free of dough (手光） and bowl has no dough stick to it (盆光）. This is a standard test for all Chinese pastry making. Cover with a wet cloth and let it proof until double in size.
- Once it has done, divide the dough into 6 pieces and let it rest for 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
- Take one dough and roll it into a long strip. Roll it out in a shell shape and tuck the ends under the bottom of the dough. Continue to perform the same for the others. Let it rest for a few minutes.
- Take one rolled dough, pressed down and use a rolling pin to roll it a circle flat shape. Transfer to a pan. Pan fry (without any oil) under medium heat until both sides are set which took about 2-3 minutes per side. Set means it is dry to touch and the bread is springy to touch. If it caves in when you press the bread, the bread is not ready.
- Put all the filling ingredients in a pressure cooker, pressure cook for at least 30-40 minutes until the meats are very soft and can easily pull away the fibres. If you do not have any pressure cooker, you can use slow cooker and braised overnight. Alternatively, you can braise over the stove and it may take 1-2 hours . As long as the meat is very soft, it is considered as done.
- Pull the meat fibres or cut the meat into small pieces of your preferred size. Transfer these cut meat to a pot, sieve in all the braising meat broth, and heat up over the stove under high heat until it becomes a dry or thick filling.
- For serving, cut open the flat bread, and stuffed with your preferred vegetables and the prepared fillings. Best eaten when it is hot just like enjoying a Western Burger.
If you have never eaten this Chinese style burger, do give it a try. Trust me, it is delicious. If you do not want to prepare the bread, you can always use store bought bread of your choice. Lastly, this recipe is ideal if you have left over roast pork.
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