Made at Home: BBQ Pork Nikuman

During a recent trip to the farmers’ market, Mike and I decided to split a steamed pork bun from a Japanese vendor. I had eaten these types of buns, known as nikuman, many times before while I was living in Japan, but it was Mike’s first time. He was instantly hooked, and we resolved to try and make them at home. Instead of going the traditional route, we decided to get a little creative, using BBQ pulled pork. The result? A delicious, saucy, soft bun perfect for a chilly Fall day.

Here’s what we did:

We used this recipe for the dough and the steaming instructions. After dividing the dough into four balls we rolled each ball out, pinched the sides, put a little BBQ sauce in the middle, and added a generous amount of pulled-pork filling (see below). Then we pulled the sides together, pinched off the top, and steamed them for 15 minutes (in our trusty pasta pot).

For the filling:
We took about 1lb of pork tenderloin and rubbed it with: 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tbsp of sea salt, and 1 tbsp of fresh coriander. Then we placed the tenderloin in a slow cooker filled with 1 cup beef broth, 2 small garlic cloves (sliced), and 1 tbsp of dehydrated onion. After cooking on high for 6-8 hours, we removed the pork and shredded it with a fork. Then we coated the shredded pork with BBQ sauce and a bit of the leftover liquid from the slow cooker.

We ended up with four large buns. That may seem like a lot of instructions, but trust me, it’s very easy to make! Want to know the best part? No knife and fork necessary, just pick it up and enjoy!


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