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April 24, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST
The open-faced steamed bun of the Pork Belly Gua Bao Mini Slider resembles an oyster shell, but you won’t discover a pearl inside. Instead, you’ll find the much tastier mixture of crushed peanuts, pickled mustard greens and braised pork belly under a cilantro garnish.
These sliders might be miniature, but the dish’s preparation is anything but pint-sized. The pork belly is slightly fried before the two-to-three-hour braising process. The meat soaks in a brine of cinnamon, peppercorns, honey, soy sauce and sesame oil until it’s tender enough to fall apart.
Pork Belly Gua Bao Mini Sliders, $8
House of Chow,
2101 W. Broadway. 445-5763, houseofchow-como.com
Hours:Mon.—Fri., 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4:30—9:30 p.m.;
Sat., 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Sun., noon to 9 p.m.
“The sliders have got a unique taste, and the meat’s just awesome,” says Douglas Rittenhouse, host at House of Chow.
The one-of-a-kind taste Rittenhouse mentions is exactly what James Lowe aimed for when he became owner of House of Chow in March. With the addition of new menu items, he’s putting a spin on traditional Chinese cuisine. Lowe realizes some customers are more adventurous than others, so he strives to maintain the perfect balance of old and new.
Perhaps this sweetly salty, heartily juicy appetizer will make your taste buds so happy that you’ll find yourself ordering another round.