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Neighborhood Eats: Gwacos in Windsor Terrace

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Lauren Glassberg has the details.

In this edition of Neighborhood Eats, we've got a taste of Old Chinatown in Brooklyn, where you'll find only a few seats, a counter and some dumplings and other snacks.

The owner of this restaurant consulted a fortune teller to come up with the name, and East Wind was chosen for his snack shop located at 471 16th Street in Windsor Terrace.

Just don't wait for the wind to propel there to try the food.

Chris Cheung hoped for a certain vibe when he opened East Wind Snack Shop in his neighborhood, which is why he modeled it after the Toisan coffee houses that used to serve Chinatown's working class.

"It's a neighborhood you can fall in love with," he said. "It's quiet. It's small. It's got an upcoming food scene

He uses Berkshire pork or dry aged beef for his dumplings, which are made on site every day, as are the baos -- or buns. He makes one with pork belly that is first seared, then simmered before soy, wine, sugar and seasonings are added.

It all goes on top of that bao along with hoisin sauce, pickles, crunchy garlic, sesame seeds and scallions. He calls it a gwaco, a riff on a Taiwanese pork dish call guapao and a taco, because of that bao it's served on.

Recipe for Pork Belly Gwaco Bao

Makes 9 portions

--1 pound pork belly, skin off, portioned to 4 oz squares
--1/4 cup vegetable oil
--2 cups shao shing Chinese wine
--1/2 cup soy
--1 tsp peeled ginger
--2 cilantro roots
--1 whole dried chili
--2 pc star anise
--1/4 cup sugar
--9 bao buns(can be purchased in Asian market)
--5 tbsp hoisin sauce
--1 whole dill pickle
--1/4 cup black sesame seeds
--1/4 cup white sesame seeds
--1 tbsp kosher salt
--1/4 cup crispy garlic (slice thin garlic, fried in oil till crisp, then air dried)
--1 scallion, sliced


--Sear pork belly in oil till browned, fat side down in a thick bottomed pot

--Drain out excess oil

--Add wine, soy, ginger, cilantro root, chili, star anise, sugar

--Add water to almost cover the belly, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook till tender (approximately 3 hours)

--Let sit in liquid

--Steam bao buns till soft and hot

--In a coffee or spice grinder, crush the sesame seeds, salt and garlic.

--Slice the pickle thin.

--Slice cooked pork belly to a 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick block

--Place on bao

--Drizzle hoisin sauce on top

--Place 3 pickle slices on top

--Sprinkle sesame mix over pickles

--Garnish with scallion


Related Topics:
foodfoodneighborhood eatsWindsor TerraceNew York City
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