loud. This trailer, called East Side King, is operated by Paul Qui, who at the time had yet to compete and win Top Chef 9. My buddy Chris and I got there a little before they opened and waited in the loud, dusty lot for what seemed like ages. The wait was worthwhile as I was introduced to the Asian bun: a taco-ish contraption made from puffy, cloud-like flour stuffed with all manner of tastiness.
Fast forward a few years and we are reminded again and again of the tasty Asian bun most recently by our friend Andrew over at Acre in East Memphis; he has put pork steamed buns on the bar menu there. I hear they are incredible; Amy certainly thought so. So, we set out to make a vegetarian version at home that we could share with you.
The first hurdle is to find the buns. They are a staple at any well-stocked Asian grocery. You'll find them in the freezer section under names like "Lotus Bun" or "Bun for Peking Duck" or "Steamed Cakes." Just look for the ones that are plain, as in not filled with anything like sweet bean paste or pork. (We used the Chef Hon brand with great results.)
You can also find Korean BBQ sauce at the Asian market, but we prefer to make our own to avoid fish sauce and corn syrup. If you can find a good vegetarian version of Korean BBQ sauce, by all means use it!
Roasted Red Pepper Korean BBQ Sauce to the pan and toss to coat. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
To assemble, stuff each bun with about 1/4 cup of the mushroom mixture, a few slices of the Quick Asian Pickle, a sprinkling of the chopped roasted peanuts, a few sliced green onions, and some cilantro. (Makes about 12 steamed buns)
(like Whole Foods 365 brand)
Roasted Red Pepper Korean BBQ Sauce