Accidental recipe: Char Siu BLT

10 Jan

Given too much time and access to the Internet, my charity dinner themes can tend to get a little inflated.

So back at the beginning of football season, food52.com ran a chicken wing contest: http://www.food52.com/contests/175

That contest led to a finger-food themed menu, initially intended to include chicken wings and a vegetable item or two. But then we just happened to end up with pork belly. And then we just happened to end up making pulled pork egg rolls, pork dumplings, pork belly confit and pumpkin cheesecake-filled wontons. We were on a vaguely pan-Asian-themed, cholesterol-slicked roll.

And that led to one of our best charity dinner discoveries to date: the Char Siu BLT.

Char Siu is a Chinese barbecue sauce, with a sticky-sweet texture and a deep, five-spicy flavor. One time we gave it to the dog, and she tore hurdles around the living room before skidding to a stop at our feet, waiting for more of her new addiction.

It, we thought, would be exceptionally good if slathered on thick-cut bacon, and baked

Here’s the sandwich:

Char Siu BLT

– 1/2 pound thick-cut bacon

– Char Siu sauce (you can find this in any Asian market and many supermarkets — if it’s not available, NYT food writer Mark Bittman recommends a combination of honey, hoisin, soy, oyster sauce, dry sherry (basically equal parts of those) and five-spice powder)

1) Slather the bacon with Char Siu on both sides. Place it on a wire rack over a cookie sheet, and bake at 400 until the edges start to char. Add more Char Siu when it’s done cooking.

– 3 parts sugar

– 1 part salt

– splash apple cider vinegar

1) Combine the three ingredients above. Thinly slice a peeled cucumber or two. Marinate in the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the cucumber from the marinade; rinse if the slices taste too salty.

– Mayonnaise

– Honey

– Lime juice

– Srirachi

– Soy sauce

1) Starting with the mayo as a base, cut in soy and lime juice. Add srirachi, taste, then sweeten to taste with honey. This srirachi mayo should be slightly runny in consistency — that way it melts in with the Char Siu bacon.

Assemble the sandwich on slices of toasted, thin bread of your choice (nothing too chewy or crunchy). Do a layer of srirachi mayo, a layer of bacon, marinated cucumber, a slice of Roma tomato, and more srirachi mayo. Serve as finger food or as a lunch sandwich that will knock the rest of your afternoon just out of your reach (there will be a nap blocking the way).

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One Response to “Accidental recipe: Char Siu BLT”

  1. Zach January 13, 2011 at 2:32 am #

    Fun fact: I did the same thing as the dog.

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