These soft and pillowy steamed buns are stuffed with pressed maitake, using a technique created by Derek Sarno over at Wicked Healthy. Genius in its simplicity, this method of preparation starts with a whole food ingredient (maitake clusters) that’s soaked in a brine, then weighted down in a hot cast iron pan until well-seared, then optionally baked to develop a dense, faux-meaty texture. It’s perfect for serving on its own, breading and frying, shredding up for stuffing into tacos or really anything you want.
What I like best about this technique (besides the fact that the end result is delicious!) is that it’s super-versatile and easy, and something that anyone can do with just a few ingredients and equipment.
I decided to make steamed buns using Derek’s technique, and seasoned these pressed maitakes with a little Chinese Five-Spice powder and white pepper after soaking them in a brine, then pressed+seared and baked, finishing them off by dragging them through a clingy and fiery gochujang-hoisin glaze. The meatiness of the maitake works perfectly with the crisp and clean pickled vegetables, while the softness of the lotus seed bun is the perfect vehicle to hold everything together.
PRESSED MAITAKE BUNS WITH GOCHUJANG-HOISIN GLAZE
Yield 14-16 buns
FOR THE PICKLED VEGETABLES
- 2 persian cucumbers, sliced on a mandoline
- 1 carrot, sliced into thin ribbons with a vegetable peeler
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
FOR THE GOCHUJANG-HOISIN GLAZE
- 4 tablespoons gochujang
- 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
FOR THE MAITAKE
- 2 large maitake mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice powder
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 14 -16 lotus seed buns
- 1 -2 scallions, sliced thinly
- handful of fresh cilantro
TO MAKE THE PICKLED VEGETABLES
- Add the cucumber and carrots to a bowl. Combine the water, rice vinegar, salt and sugar together, then pour over the vegetables. Allow to sit for about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside.
TO MAKE THE GOCHUJANG-HOISIN GLAZE
- Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat. Allow to heat and slightly thicken for about 10 minutes, stirring often to avoid burning.
TO MAKE THE MAITAKE
- Check out the recipe and method over at Wicked Healthy (see links above in the first paragraph of this post). I seasoned with the Chinese 5-spice powder+white pepper prior to pressing and finished with the gochujang-hoisin sauce.
- Steam the lotus seed buns according to the package instructions. Assemble the buns by dragging the pressed maitake through the sauce, and adding some of the pickled vegetables on top, and finishing with a sprig of cilantro and scallions, as desired. Serve immediately.