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Steamed Pork Patty {Yummy Huai Yang Classic}

by Shirley
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Steamed Pork Patty {Huai Yang Style Classic Yummy}

Steamed Pork Patty with egg is such a traditional Huai Yang Style home cooking. Known as “Zai Rou Dun Dan” in Suzhou dialect, translates as chopped/minced meat steamed with egg. It features super juicy and naturally delicious pork patty filled with minced salted tender bamboo shoots called Bian Jian {扁尖} in Chinese. Perfect to pair with a blanched vegetable and rice for a quick, easy, yummy and healthy meal.

Steamed Pork Patty {Huai Yang Style Classic Yummy}
Steamed Pork Patty {Huai Yang Style Classic Yummy}

What kind of ground pork makes perfectly tasty steamed pork patty?

Ground Pork is the first and important ingredient. The original Suzhou or Shanghai dialect “Zai” speaks the essence of it. “Zai” means chop or mince, meaning the pork should be cut into small pieces but not overly processed. This way, the pork maintains its meaty deliciousness.

When I was a child growing up in Suzhou in the early 70’s, most households made ground pork using old-fashioned chopping method involving a cleaver and a rather thick chopping board made of hardwood. I remember walking back home from school in the afternoon while listening to the familiar rhythmic chopping sound filled in the alley.

Home Ground Pork for juicy delicious dumpling fillings, meatballs and more
Home Ground Pork

Nowadays I use a meat grinder aiming to achieve the similar yumminess of the ground pork. The grinder attachment of my KitchenAid Stand Mixer has two sizes. I use the larger size to grind pork, and the smaller size to grind cooked red bean for homemade red bean paste.

Besides the chopping/mincing method, the pork itself needs to have a good balance of lean vs. fat. I usually use 60% pork shoulder or butt and 40% pork belly to get the super juicy ground pork. Read here to learn all about making a perfectly juicy and tasty ground pork at home.

Bian Jian, the essential iconic ingredient behind Huai Yang Steamed Pork Patty’s yumminess

What is Bian Jian?

Each year in the early spring when bamboo just have kick started the shooting process, those slender, extremely tender and delicious bamboo shoots were harvested right away.

People then quickly blanch them and then use loads of salt to preserve them. We call this preserved version of slender and tender bamboo shoots “Bian Jian”. “Bian” literally means flat, and “Jian” tips.

Bian Jian {Salted Tender Bamboo Shoots} before and after soaking
Bian Jian {Salted Tender Bamboo Shoots} before and after soaking

Where are the best Bian Jian coming from?

Most of the premium Bian Jian in China are from TianMu Mountain in Zhenjiang province. Some are from HuangShan Mountain in Anhui Province. Both are in the Yangtze River Delta area, home to Huai Yang Cuisine, which is one of the Four Great Cuisines Tradition in China. It is safe to say Bian Jian, or bamboo in general, is an essential part of Huai Yang

How to prepare Bian Jian {Salted Tender Bamboo Shoots} for cooking?

Soak Bian Jian in plenty of cold water 3 hours prior to cooking, and then rinse a few times. This is to not only get rid of the excessive salt used to preserve Bian Jian, but also rehydrate them so that Bian Jian tastes more tender.

Steamed Pork Patty {Huai Yang Style Classic Yummy}

Steamed Pork Patty {Yummy Huai Yang Classic} Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Steamed Pork Patty with egg is such a traditional Huai Yang Style home cooking. It features super juicy and naturally delicious pork patty filled with minced salted tender bamboo shoots called Bian Jian {扁尖} in Chinese. Perfect to pair with a blanched vegetable and rice for a quick, easy, yummy and healthy meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground pork, preferably home ground

For Marinating:

  • 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp. regular soy sauce, or dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. Shaoxing wine
  • 1 tsp Zhenjiang vinegar
  • 1 large egg, cage free or organic
  • 1/2 tbsp. arrowroot flour, or starch of your choice
  • 1/4 tsp cane sugar, organic unrefined
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 large stalk of green onions
  • 2 Bian Jian, salted tender bamboo shoots}, see notes, or organic caned tender bamboo shoots

Other:

  • 2 eggs, steamed together with the pork
  • 8 cups of water for steaming

Instructions

  1. Soak Bian Jian in plenty of cold water 3 hours prior to cooking. Rinse a few times. If you are using caned organic bamboo slices, skip this step.
    Ingredients to make Steamed Pork Patty Huai Yang Style
  2. Cut green onion into small pieces.
  3. Cut Bian Jian into bite size and then add to a compact food processor to coarsely chop into small pieces.
    Bian Jian, finely chopped for Huai Yang style steamed pork patty
  4. Place ground pork into a mixing bowl, crack one egg into it, and then add everything under "For Marinating" along with the chopped green onion and Bian Jian.
    Ground Pork with seasoning for Steamed Pork Patty Huai Yang Style
  5. Use a bamboo spatula to loosen the pork and fold into the seasonings.
    fold ground pork into seasoning for Steamed Pork Patty Huai Yang Style
  6. After that, turn the spatula in the same direction continuously until everything is bonded together, about 3 minutes.
    Stir the seasoned ground pork in one direction for tasty pork
  7. Add the seasoned ground pork into a pie baking dish. Use the bamboo spatula to organize and make a hole in the middle.
    Place seasoned ground pork in the pie baking dish for steaming, leaving a whole in the middle
  8. Crack two eggs in the middle of the hole.
    Crack two eggs in the middle of the seasoned ground pork
  9. Add 8 cups of water into steamer, turn the heat to medium-high, and bring it to a boil. Add the ground pork into the steamer. Steam for 30 minutes.
  10. Turn off the heat. Wait 2 minutes before opening the steamer.
    freshly steamed pork patty Huai Yang Style
  11. Use a knife or chopstick to cut across the pork patty to serve. Enjoy a super delicious pork patty.
    Steamed Pork Patty {Huai Yang Style}

Notes

  • Arrowroot flour is my go-to gluten-free nutritious starch option.
  • If you use a wok as your steamer like I do most of the time, make sure your wok holds 8 cups of water, or you can add additional water along the steaming process.
  • Use a silicon mini spatula to scrape the compact grinder and mixing bowl. Very handy tool.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 521Total Fat: 33gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 273mgSodium: 1192mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 45g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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