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Fast Food Restaurants

Panda Express Is Testing Out Pastrami Bao Buns At Their Innovation Kitchen

It seems Panda Express has been tinkering more and more with fusing flavors of Eastern dishes with Western comfort foods as of late. A few months back, the chain introduced a new protein that combined the traditional flavors of Sichuan peppercorns with the Southern heat of Nashville Hot Chicken.

In what appears to be a delicious trend, Panda Express has announced another new flavor combination that’s hitting their Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. Feast your eyes on the Pastrami Bao Buns.

The new item combines the popular Taiwanese street food of Pork Belly Bao Buns with the classic American deli staple the Pastrami Sandwich. Pork Belly is slow cooked, Hickory liquid smoked, blended with pastrami spices, and topped with pickled cucumbers before going inside an airy bao bun. Finally, the dish is slathered with a sweet and savory sauce to bring it all together.

Be still my pastrami-loving belly.

You can find this item only at the Panda Express Innovation Kitchen in Pasadena, CA. If popular enough, we can expect to see the Pastrami Bao Buns arrive at restaurants on a national scale. Until then, I’ll need to find some time on my calendar to drive out and try the new dish.

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Restaurants Video What's New

Korean BBQ Restaurant Serves Up Massive Pork Belly Burgers That Can Be Cooked On Your Grill

When you hit up a Korean BBQ spot with the squad, the typical power move is to get a few select cuts of meat and let them sizzle to perfection on the table’s grill. If you’re at this particular restaurant, however, you can up the ante with a massive “K-Town Burger” that you can request to be cooked tableside.

This K-Town Burger experience can be found at Porkfolio, a Korean BBQ joint in Santa Anita, California that’s known for their plethora of various kinds of marinated pork belly. Porkfolio actually mixes some of that into the burger patties, which are half-and-half blends of pork belly and brisket. That all gets topped off with mozzarella cheese, Gochujang mayo, and a kimchi-based “Seoul Slaw,” all of which are encased in a sweet bolo (aka pineapple) bun.

It’s one thing to get a plenteous platter of meats placed down in front of you, but to get a double-patty burger grilled live adds a whole new dimension to this social food experience.

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Restaurants Video What's New

Poutinerie Loads Up Their Gravy Soaked Fries With Crispy Lechon Kawali

Poutineries are no strangers to adding innovative toppings to their loaded fries, but the recently opened Sauced Up in Cerritos, California, is putting a unique Filipino twist on their poutine by piling on heaps of scratch-made lechon kawali.

Photo: Evan Lancaster//Foodbeast

Co-owners Mike Nocos and Romeo Manzano Jr. have a laser focus on attention to detail when it comes to quality and quantity. Such is the case with this Lechon Kawali Poutine, which features a crispy pork belly that’s marinated for 24 hours before going through a slow overnight roast.

A generous portion of that lechon kawali is then crammed onto seasoned fries, and from there, a bounty of toppings mix in an unforgettable combination of tastes. There’s slightly sweet caramelized onions, a rich country gravy, squeaky cheese curds, acidic yet savory mang tomas, an oozy poached egg, and fresh green onions to create a poutine that is decadent yet balanced in flavor.

While Nocos and Manzano Jr. have a true culinary masterpiece in the Lechon Kawali Poutine, they also have other unique toppings they stack onto their fries, such as chicken karaage, lobster, and clam chowder. There are also custom choices for the base, with tots and nachos amongst the options available.

It’s a unique fusion of a Canadian classic and protein options from all around the world, but Sauced Up’s shining star, in our opinion, is the Lechon Kawali Poutine.

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FOODBEAST Restaurants

Behold The Baogel, Your New Favorite Hand-Held Food To Go

Food fusions have been capturing social media and our bellies for some time now. The rise of this trend arguably started with the cronut, a mix between a donut and a croissant, and eventually led us to a Mac-and-cheese pizza topped with Cheetos.

Black Seeds Bagels, one of New York’s finest bagel joints that serves Montreal-style bagels, and Nom Wah Kuai, the always popular dim sum spot, has joined forces to introduce us to a new trendy taste bomb: the Baogel.

The baogel, which is a combination of a bagel and a bao bun, will be filled with Nom Wah’s popular signature sweet pork belly, wrapped in Black Seed’s sesame bagel dough, and served with a house made chili cream cheese.

The decadent indulgence will be available throughout November at all three Black Seed locations in Nolita, East Village, and Brookfield Place, and also at Nom Wah Kuai in Canal Street Market.

For those who are always on the go, this hand-held fusion dish is perfect for those who want to be efficient and trendy, two things New Yorkers know best.

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Cravings Recipes Video

This Bro’s Pork Belly Tacos Will Cradle You Lovingly To Sleep

Pork belly is one of our favorite proteins to work with. The fatty, juicy cuts of meat are so versatile, the possibilities of what you can create with them are endless. Usually, though, we just fry them up and eat them between two slices of Wonder Bread. Luckily, Josh Scherer is a little more creative than we are and whipped up these amazing tacos.

The man known as Culinary Bro-Down came up with a pork belly tacos with fish sauce caramel recipe that’s near and dear to our hearts. Especially since we’ve been chasing the fish sauce caramel dragon for a while now.

Check out the pork belly tacos recipe video:

No doubt, this dish touches upon all the basic tastes the human tongue is capable of. Scherer is good at titillating us like that.

If you’re trying to get your hands on that pork belly taco recipe, don’t sweat. Scherer’s cookbook: The Culinary Bro-Down Cookbook: Recipes for a Dope-Ass Life is now available to order on Amazon. Also, be sure to check out Scherer’s Cheeseburger Pudding recipe.

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Cravings Fast Food What's New

Arby’s To Debut PORK BELLY Sandwiches And We’re Foaming At The Mouth

arbys-pork-belly

Arby’s just announced a new sandwich and we couldn’t be more excited. The roast beef slingin’ chain will start serving a new Smokehouse Pork Belly Sandwich during the month of October.

Since pork belly is juicy, there’s no complaints here, as there aren’t many fast food places that serve that option in the United States. In fact, this might be a first for QSRs in the states.

The new sandwich features three pieces of thick-cut pork belly, melted smoked cheddar cheese, crispy onions, BBQ sauce, and mayo served on a toasted roll. The pork belly is hickory-smoked for five hours before going into the sandwich.

Arby’s has begun a soft sell of the product at select stores and will have a nationwide launch next week. You can get one for $5.49, the exact amount that we can’t wait to throw at Arby’s once this pork belly sandwich debuts.

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Adventures Cravings Hit-Or-Miss News What's New

5 Awesome New Foods To Try At The LA County Fair

It’s time for the LA County Fair once again. Our entire Foodbeast crew got a sneak peek at some of the newest offerings from this year’s veritable fried food expo, held at the Pomona Fairgrounds.

We’ve got returning favorites like bacon-wrapped fried chicken, deep-fried pizza, deep fried avocado bombs, funnels cakes, and many other dishes that took the shallow plunge into a pool of searing oil.

Check out our Facebook live stream to get an up-close look at fair foods the little devil on your shoulder would shy away from.

Deep-fried Hot Sauce

Deep-Fried-Hot-Sauce

This is Frank’s RedHot Sauce mixed with some batter, balled, and deep-fried. The hot sphere of solidified sauce is served with a spicy ranch and a jalapeño pepper. With its incredible kick, we see it as a fiery hush puppy. If you’re not a fan of buffalo-style heat, however, this is definitely not for you.

Found at Chicken Charlie’s.

Bacon S’mores on a stick

Smores-Bacon-Fried

Imagine the best s’mores you’ve ever made during a childhood campout. Got it? OK, now let’s deep fry it and throw some bacon crumbs on that bad boy. Now, to actually see that dream come to life, hit up Chicken Charlie’s and feast on his newest dessert that takes marshmallows and fries them up in a corn dog batter. The sweet entry is then topped with chocolate drizzle and chopped bacon to stake its claim as the most intense item at this year’s fair.

Found at Chicken Charlie’s.

Chicken-in-Waffle

Chicken-In-Waffle

We LOVE anything that has to do with fried chicken and waffles, though it can be tough getting both components onto your fork. The best part of this year’s Chicken-in-Waffles is that the iconic dish is everything’s fused together in one majestic, hand-held treat.

Found at Chicken Charlie’s.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Belly Corn Dogs

Bacon-Pork-Belly-Corn-Dog

Pork belly fans’ already-clogged hearts will skip a dangerous beat with this one. The culprit here is a piece of pork belly that’s wrapped in bacon, coated in batter, and deep-fried like a corn dog. This fatty tour de force inspired many heated bacon discussions.

Found at Biggy’s.

Jackfruit Vegan Tacos

Jackfruit-Carnitas

We were shocked to find that our favorite dish at the fair this year was actually something vegan! These shredded, seasoned jackfruit tacos are topped with a vegan chipotle mayonnaise and coleslaw. Completely plant-based and indistinguishable from its porky counterpart, these tacos just might win over some carnivorous fans.

Found at Plant Food For People.

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How To Make A Red Curry Pork Belly Corn Dog

The corn dog can be a tricky dish to master. Sometimes, you get lucky and find yourself holding the crispiest, most delicious piece of deep fried heaven on Earth. And other times, you’ll wind up with soggy, 99-cent mystery-meat on a stick from a lackluster carnival. There’s no in-between.

Case in point: Keith Prante’s mouth-watering recipe for Red Curry Pork Belly Corn Dog. Dipped and deep fried in a bomb all-natural Red Curry Sauce from World Foods (you can find their sauces near you here), it is superb to say the least and is definitely going to be setting a new standard for breaded meats everywhere.

With that cured-and-curried pork belly on the inside and sweet, golden-brown breading on the outside, this bad boy will take your tastebuds on a carnival ride of their own. Trust us—the proof is in the pork.

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Photo by Pete Pham

INGREDIENTS

6 oz Pork Belly

1 jar of World Foods Red Curry Sauce (available at Sprouts and Whole Foods)

8 oz Coconut milk

2 oz chopped cilantro

1 cup pancake mix

½ cup cornmeal

1 egg

1 cup milk

2 qts frying oil

1 corn dog stick

Pinch of salt

Pinch of baking soda

Curing Recipe

2 1⁄2 tbsp kosher salt

1 1⁄2 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 tsp fennel seed

1 tsp caraway seed

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

2 bay leaves

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1) Cut pork belly into a 1”x4”x1” wiener and cure overnight (see above recipe).

2) Fry cured pork belly in hot oil (375F) until very crispy. Place “Corn Dog” stick into pork belly length-wise, and dip into Red Curry sauce. Let pork fully cool.

3) Once cooled, dip the curried pork belly into thick batter and fry. When frying, hold the corn dog in oil briefly to avoid batter sticking to bottom of fryer. Cook until golden brown.

4) Remove from oil and let cool. CAUTION: food will be very hot.