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Steamed Cuban Beef Buns (with Chicken Stock)

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At one time, Havana’s Chinatown was the largest Chinatown in Latin America. The large influx of Chinese workers also brought food traditions such as dumplings, chow mein, egg rolls and fried rice which still linger in the Cuban culinary lexicon today. These Steamed Cuban Beef Buns from Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen are a prime example of a Chinese/Cuban food hybrid…and a delicious one, too.

From the Author: “Chicken stock is a workhorse in the Cuban culinary repertoire. During our home cooking sessions it seemed to be on hand in every kitchen, especially with the one-pot meals that are so prevalent in Cuba. This recipe calls for aromatics such as bay leaves, garlic, tomatoes, and bell peppers, fundamental ingredients in the Cuban pantry. Be sure to roast the chicken bones to a deep golden brown before adding them to the stock to impart a refined flavor that wouldn’t otherwise be achieved. Skim the surface of the pot frequently during the simmering process to remove unwanted residue and to reduce cloudiness once the stock is done. If you have a steamer and parchment paper and are comfortable working with yeast, please do dive into this recipe with abandon. It’s a tempting marriage of a Chinese tradition and Cuban flavors that will prove virtually irresistible for anyone who catches a whiff of the cumin- and cinnamon-scented air it conjures. Dried currants add a chewy sweetness to the robust blend of beef and spices, and cilantro and vinegar give it the kick in the pants that any Cuban grandmother would appreciate. ”

 

Reprinted with permission from Cuba!, by Dan Goldberg, Andrea Kuhn, and Jody Eddy, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Photography copyright 2016 by Dan Goldberg

Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen is the July 2017 selection for the World Spice Cookbook Club. Cuba! Recipes and Stories from the Cuban Kitchen is currently available for purchase at amazon.com.


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