SEATTLE — Seattleite Frankie Gaw is the author of the new cookbook "First Generation," and it's got more than just recipes.
It weaves together Frankie's experiences of being first generation Taiwanese American, as well as being gay. He joined the show to talk about the book and share a recipe!
Roasted Carrot and Pork Bao
These steamy, juicy pork and roasted carrot bao take me back to a specific place: my grandma's small Memphis kitchen, somewhere I barely visited growing up and the reason why I have such a strong yearning to embrace my Taiwanese identity. Passed down from my grandma, these steamed bao fed me on every Thanksgiving visit to Memphis until I was plump with joy. This dish takes time technique, and a little upper-body strength, but its so worth the effort. The carrots are caramelized in the oven before being mixed into the filling, a trick that adds complexity. Ground pork is the classic meat filling of choice, but feel free to swap it with other meats with some fat, like ground chicken thigh, or to replace half the pork with shrimp.
Makes 24 bao
- Bao Wrappers
- 12 medium carrots, ends trimmed
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 8 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
PREP THE CARROTS: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the carrots on the prepared sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Toss with your hands to coat, and season with salt to taste. Roast for 25 minutes, until the carrots are soft and can be pierced easily with a fork. Transfer the carrots to a large mixing bowl, and use a fork to mash them into small even chunks. Add the pork, scallions, garlic, ginger, 2 teaspoons salt, sugar, and sesame oil. With your hands, using a circular motion, mix together until the filling looks homogeneous and feels sticky, about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge until ready to form the dumplings, up to a day in advance.
FOLD THE BAO: When ready to fold, place a spoonful of filling about a third the size of the wrapper into the center of the wrapper. Seal the bao using the fold of your choice. Repeat until you've run out of filling or wrappers. Tip: If you have extra bao dough, form the remainder into balls (or go crazy and make wild shapes) and steam for a simple version of mantou, a basic steamed bun.
STEAM THE BAO: Line a bamboo or metal steamer with a steamer liner or parchment paper liner with precut holes. Place the bao in the steamer. Fill a pot that will fit your steamer with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the steamer in the pot and cover. Steam for 15 minutes, until cooked through. To test for doneness, cut into a bao to make sure the meat is fully cooked.