Made trendy by the inimitable culinary megastar, David Chang, steamed pork belly buns are so goddam good, I thought it was about time I found a way to put them back on the gluten-free menu.
I have always been particularly partial to a steamed bun and, whatever they’re filled with, I simply can’t resist their fluffy, tender crumb. I love to go out for dim sum, but can’t hide my disappointment when fellow diners aren’t quite as steam-bun focused as me. Don’t get me wrong, other dumplings can taste as sweet, but I’m just not satisfied if I don’t get my greedy fill of char sui bao, followed by those sweet custard filled buns for pud. If you’re the same, my only advice is to make sure you’re the one who grabs the pen first, so you can tick away with wild abandon. Your friends might judge you at first, but trust me when I say, they will be grateful for it in the end. And, if my experience is anything to go by, you’ll probably end up ordering even more.
Living, as I do, with a gluten dodger, I’m aware of the sad bao-shaped hole he is forced to endure during all dim sum dining experiences. A hole which is further exaggerated by witnessing my full on steamed bun greed.
I am confident that this gluten free dough recipe has finally filled in that hole. It took a bit of trial and error and I will admit to nearly chucking in the tea towel at one point, but I’m rather proud of the end results. I’ve done the recipe testing so you don’t have to, so get to the shops and get cooking. And, what’s more, as you’ll be making them at home, you won’t need to get up early to get a seat at your local dim sum restaurant. Dim sum might traditionally be eaten in the morning and early afternoon with tea, but I find they slip down very easily at any time of the day and make just as good a match with a bottle of gluten-free beer as paired with a pot of tea.