Prep time: 3 hours
Total time: 48 hours
for the roast pork:
2.2 pounds pork neck
30 grams kosher salt
for the buns:
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons warm milk
1/2 cup melted butter
1/3 cup fresh yeast
3 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 3/4 tablespoon granulated sugar
for the pickle brine:
2.2 pounds granulated sugar
4 1/4 cups white vinegar
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
10 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 star anise
for the cabbage:
1 whole red cabbage, thinly sliced
1 2/3 cups pickle brine
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
for the pickled cucumber:
2 cucumbers, diced
kosher salt, to taste
2 cups pickle brine
for the crackling:
one piece pork skin
1 liter water
30 grams kosher salt
1. Prepare the pork: Salt the pork, rub with the thyme, and refrigerate overnight.
2. The next day, heat the oven to 300°F|150°C. Heat a roasting pan over high heat and brown the pork, turning as needed, until golden all over, about 15 minutes. Place in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into small pieces.
3. Make the buns: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups|500 ml milk, the butter, yeast, sesame oil, salt, sugar, and 4 eggs with 1 cup|250 ml warm water. Knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth. Shape the dough into 4 ounce|120 gram balls, place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, cover with cling film, and leave in a warm place to rise for 2 hours.
4. Heat the oven to 400°F|200°C. Combine the remaining milk and egg and brush on the top of each bun. Bake until lightly golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool completely before using.
5. Make the pickle brine: In a large pot, combine all of the ingredients and place over high heat. Boil, then cool.
6. Make the pickled cucumbers: Sprinkle the cucumbers with salt and let sit for 15 minutes, then drain. Cover with the pickle brine and refrigerate for 2 days before using.
7. Make the cabbage: In a medium saucepan, bring the cabbage and the pickle brine to a boil. Cook until the cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes. Add the butter and cool, then add the mustard.
8. Make the pork crackling: Bring the pork skin, salt, and 4 1/4cups|1 liter water to a boil. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until the skin is tender, about 1 hour.
9. Dry the skin either in the oven or in a dehydrator until dry. Heat oil in a large saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 385°F|195°C. Cook the pork skin until crispy and golden, 3 to 5 minutes, then, using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
10. To assemble the sandwich, spread some mayonnaise on a bun. Top with roast pork, pickled cucumbers, cabbage, and crispy pork skin.