Sunday, March 24, 2013

Pan de Sal - from Asia Finest, Sunbury

It's not often you get a tip that actually delivers, so I tend to take any 'Wow, you HAVE to try this' suggestions with a grain of salt.  I did however receive a tip a few weeks back, that actually came through with the goods.  Sadly I can't remember who mentioned this to me, but whoever it was - thank you!

The tip revolves around some delicious little buns called Pan de sal.  I was told to go to our local Asian grocer, and 'buy the buns that are on display at the counter'.  Well a few weeks later I did, and they did not disappoint.  

A quick Google search tells me that they are otherwise known as Filipino bread rolls, or sweet bread.  I could tell from the aroma that hit me once I opened the bag that they were going to be sweet - they sure were.  Normally sweet bread is anathema to me, however these delicious little buns are the exception to the rule.  Flour, sugar, salt, yeast and eggs are all that are listed in the ingredients  - nothing out of the ordinary - however the alchemy involved in creating them works to spectacular effect: they are delicous!  

The second tip I received was from the always friendly lady behind the counter who always has to put up with my no doubt annoying questions regarding black vinegar, rice wine vinegar, the subtleties of different chilli pastes, pork buns, you name it - the list goes on.  She told me that I would love them, and to heat them up in the oven for a few minutes.  Duly noted, we gave them a quick blast in a hot oven for around five minutes, and when they came out they were sporting a new, perfectly crusty exterior, with a soft pillowy (that's totally a word) interior.  Second time around the same effect was achieved by using the Weber   This time they were the perfect medium for enveloping the chicken sliders above.

Now I should point out that I'm not into giving tips, and telling people that they MUST try this - so I'm not going to do that.  However if you're in Sunbury and anywhere near Asia Finest (Gap Road), ignore this post at your peril.....

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the world of pan de sal, Sam. I dubiously tried these puffy little buns years ago thinking they were just like any other dinner roll. How wrong I was. These little beauties are in a niche of their own. There's nothing else in the bakeries quite like them.
    You're also right about the young lady at the store. She's always very smiley and very helpful.