Created by sisters Chani and Chami, the unique Sri Lankan flavours of chancham sauces include the spice tamarind, mildly smokey, hot jerk and zingy chilli marinades, as well as their infamous pepper sauce. Made in britain to a classic bajan recipe, the sought after pepper sauce began it's roots in the family run café, before it's popularity saw it to the production line. A fruity and fiery combination that can be added to everyday dishes as well as used as a dip or condiment, this is not for the faint hearted.
As a self confessed spice wimp, I began my chancham taste testing with the spiced tamarind as it only had 2 and a half chillies on the 5 chilli scale...
For the pulled pork belly
♥ 300g pork belly
♥ 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
♥ 1 stick of lemongrass
♥ 1 inch of fresh ginger
♥ chancham spiced tamarind marinade
For the steamed buns (makes six)
♥ 200g strong flour, such as “00”
♥ 7g dried yeast powder
♥ 1/2 tsp baking powder
♥ 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
♥ 5g caster sugar
♥ 20g butter
♥ 100ml water, room temperature
♥ a splash of milk
♥ sliced cucumber
♥ sliced spring onions
♥ soy sauce
♥ chancham pepper sauce
Equipment: mixer with dough hook, rolling pin, bamboo steamer, pressure cooker.
Step one. Make the buns as in this chinese steamed buns recipe where i filled them with a pumpkin and coriander mix. They will need at least 2 hours to prove and prepare, so you can do this as the same time as you slow cook the pork.
Step two. Marinate the pork in the chancham sauce for a least 15 minutes.
Step three. Cook the chopped garlic, ginger and lemongrass in the pressure cooker pan. Add in the pork to sear, as well as a little more spiced tamarind marinade if you like it hot.
Step four. Pour over water until the pork is covered.
Step five. Cover and seal the pressure cooker lid. keep on a medium to high heat. When your pressure cooker indicator shows, set your timer for an hour.
Step six. In this time you should have proved your buns, although they are fine to save for a day before steaming. Likewise, the longer you leave your pork the more tender it will be, although it is surprising how much a pressure cooker speeds up the process.
Step seven. When you're ready to serve pull apart your pork with two forks. Simultaneously, steam your buns over boiling water for 10 minutes.
Step eight. Serve the elements immediately, allowing diners to pick and choose their fillings and sauces.
What are your favourite fillings for chinese steamed buns? Do you have a sauce or condiment you just can't live without?
note: i was sent some chancham sauces for purposes of review. all opinions and recipe ideas are my own.