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Cuapao with Pork Bola-bola and Salted Egg

Cuapao with Pork Bola-bola and Salted Eggs is an easy snack or meal to make. The cuapao (say 'kwah-paw') is the Asian slider. It is an open faced steamed bun and you can fill it up with any meat filling. In a previous post, I made a beef version. For this  recipe here, I put together boiled pork meatballs, which were a flavorful contrast to the slices of salted eggs encased in the soft white buns. Serve these with a side of hoisin sauce for dipping, and crushed peanuts for garnish. These  boiled meatballs were adapted from a recipe of fellow Filipina food blogger Tina from Pinay Cooking Corner. This is an Asian in America recipe and serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound peeled, deveined, tails removed, chopped (optional) fresh shrimps
  • 1/4 cup chopped fine yellow onions
  • 1/4 cup whites only, chopped fine scallions
  • 4 cloves minced fresh garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon from Asian markets oyster sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon from Asian markets Xiao Xing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon from Asian markets sesame oil
  • 2 to 3 pieces boiled, peeled, sliced salted eggs
  • 18 to 24 pieces frozen, from Asian markets steamed buns
  • 1/4 cup for dipping (from Asian markets) hoisin sauce
  • 1 or 2 stems sliced for garnish scallions or green onions

Instructions

  • Use ready-made plain steamed buns which can be bought at Asian markets. If frozen, thaw at room temperature and set aside.
  • To prepare the pork meatballs: Mix together in a bowl the ground pork, chopped shrimps, garlic, onions, scallions, oyster sauce, rice wine, egg, flour, salt, pepper, sesame oil. Blend well.
  • Shape the pork mixture into 1-inch sized meatballs. Refrigerate for about 10 to 15 minutes so meatballs stay firm.
  • In a pot of boiling water seasoned with salt and pepper and briskly bubbling over medium high heat, toss in the pork meatballs. Cook by boiling for about  25 minutes. When cooked, drain and set aside (Note: Pork should be cooked thoroughly).
  • Prepare the salted eggs: Boil the store-bought salted eggs for 30 minutes in water. Drain and cool. Then peel off shells and slice the salted eggs. Set aside.
  • To assemble: Place the cuapao buns on a plate lined with damp paper towels under and over them. Microwave these cuapao buns for 1 minute till soft and warm. Take a warm cuapao bun and open it in half. Place one large meatball in the center together with a large slice of salted egg nestled next to it. Serve together with crushed peanuts, scallions for garnish and a side of hoisin sauce for dipping.
  • Ingredient substitute : if hoisin sauce is not available, substitute with 1/8 cup soy sauce mixed with a tablespoon of sugar, spritzed with the juice of a lemon. Also, if you don't have time to make the steamed cuapao buns from scratch, find the ready-made plain white buns in Asian markets, by the freezer section.
  • Cook's Comments: In the Philippines, the salted eggs sold in markets are tinted with a red colored shell and already cooked and boiled. Here in America, these red-shell salted eggs can be found in some Asian or Filipino groceries. Also, salted eggs sold these days are more often from chickens. If convenient, ask your seller which one you're getting -- duck or chicken eggs. These ones I used in the recipe and photographed were salted chicken eggs.

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