Heading into springtime here in Ellicottville, we are excited to unveil a new dish at Ellicottville Brewing Company that is prepared using a unique little gem, a Pao (or Bao) roll – or in other words, a delicious Asian-style steamed bun. There are many different variations (as well as names) for this bun throughout the countries of Asia. And for those of you that think a steamed roll isn’t really all that appetizing and are ready to turn the page … STOP! I have to tell you these little guys are fantastic!
They are generally folded similar to a taco shell, which makes this type of bun very different than what we are accustomed to here in the U.S. The challenge, is finding these things; they are generally available in the freezer section of Asian markets or high-end grocery stores. And although it seems like a lot of effort just to have this bun in our dish, trust me, this thing will take the championship spot when it’s served during your next visit with us!
LET’S PUT IT TOGETHER
The Pao roll is a very versatile bun. You can fill it with anything you like! (Think “sandwiches” … what do you like to fill your sandwiches with?) It has a unique flavor and texture; it is light, fluffy, and has a touch of sweetness, so it works perfectly with spring style foods – perfect for this time of year as we start changing over to fresher green vegetables and grilled / smoked meats.
For the EBC menu, we’ve put together a couple different kinds of sliders using these buns - one with smoked pork shoulder and the other one with roasted chicken. For the pork Pao, we lightly fry the pork in a sauté pan to add a crispy texture. In addition, we add julienned cucumber, chopped cilantro, and a garlic / lime aioli. As for the roasted chicken Pao, we combine a little baby kale and thin sliced Brussels sprouts with a light sesame/orange vinaigrette. For those of you who opt to search out these buns for pleasure in your own kitchen, prepare the buns to manufacturer’s specifications, and once they are hot, just fill ‘em up and enjoy!
LET’S PAIR IT WITH BEER
A new dish, a new brew! Introducing EBC’s Just Peachy (I know the brewery guys are very proud of this one.) I’m also convinced that this new release was perfected upon inception. This light and refreshing summer delight is made with Canadian barley, American wheat, Oregon sweet peaches, and black tea which dries the beer a little and keeps it from becoming too sweet. It is simply a perfectly crafted beer with the right amount of crispness to accentuate the Pao roll sliders. And it’s a much welcomed flavor to help reintroduce all of the lovely things that we enjoy so much about spring and summer.
So there you have it … a couple of fresh new products from our family here at EBC. Until next time folks, be safe and enjoy the spring weather, Gwa Pao concoctions, and Just Peachy brew by our staff here at Ellicottville Brewing Company.