'Chinese Pork Bun, Part II' by Chef Kyleigh Beach
Recently I wrote about my dim sum experience in Chicago’s Chinatown, the highlight of which was the steamed pork bun. Last night I sampled a one Michelin star version at Takashi in Bucktown. The dish consisted of pieces of braised pork belly glazed with a sweet and savory Chinese barbecue sauce, a deceptively simple-looking mizuna salad, and slices of pillowy soft, alabaster white, warm rice bread. The sight alone of this rice bread makes my heart beat a little faster. You take a little slice of the pork, tuck it into the rice bread, and devour. Oh yeah, and then there’s the salad, which looks like absolutely no big deal. Just some leaves of mizuna, a little grated daikon, and sesame seeds dressed with an unbelievably delicious vinaigrette of hard to pin down flavors. Soy? Sesame? Yuzu? For me the dish is the embodiment of umami – savory, delicious, and satisfying.