Inspired by Hugdog sandwiches we enjoyed in Taipei, we made these Taiwanese pork sausage buns with store bought manthao and Taiwanese sausages, homemade pickled cabbage and crushed peanut cakes.
Peanut cakes? A Chinese delicacy. If you can’t get your hands on them, just toast peanuts, cool, crush and toss with light brown sugar.
Can store bought sauerkraut be substituted for homemade pickled cabbage?
I think not. Sauerkraut is much too acidic. The kind of pickled cabbage that is ideal for these mini sandwiches has more subtle flavors. A blend of sweet and sour, but leaning more toward the sour.
And the manthou? It’s a light and sweet bun that you steam to soften before stuffing with fillings. We get them at the frozen section of the local grocery.
Before the recipe, a video of what inspired it.
For the pickled cabbage
- 1 small head white cabbage
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
To complete the mini sandwiches
- 9 small manthou or 6 medium-sized ones
- 3 Taiwanese sausages depending on their size, you may need more than three sausages
- 2 peanuts cakes crushed, or 3 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts tossed with 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
- thinly sliced scallions
Make the pickled cabbage
- Thinly slice the cabbage. Rinse and drain.
- Place the cabbage in a pot. Add the rice vinegar, sugar and salt.
- Uncovered over medium-low heat, cook the cabbage, stirring occasionally, until softened and most of the liquid has evaporated. Cool.
Prepare the manthou and sausages
- While the cabbage cooks, place the manthou in a steamer basket and steam until hot and fluffy. Turn the heat off but keep the steamer covered to keep the manthou hot.
- Cut the sausages into pieces the same size as the manthou. Grill until heated through and shiny with their own fat.
Assemble the sausage buns
- Split each manthou without cutting all the way through.
- Stuff each split manthou with drained pickled cabbage, top with a piece of sausage then sprinkle the crushed peanut cake (or sweetened peanut, if you're substituting) and scallions on top.
- Serve the Taiwanese pork sausage buns immediately.