Beef Short Rib in Steamed Buns with Snow Pea Slaw and Hoisin Lime Mayo
(recipe and images by Fire & Thyme)
Low and slow smoked beef short ribs are packed in soft sweet steamed buns, piled with a crunchy fresh slaw and drizzled with a salty-sweet mayo in this BBQ Asian fusion dish.
The slow smoking of the beef short ribs results in a rich tender meat with a smoky bark, while the crunchy fresh slaw bringing a summer freshness to the plate. Pile these ingredients in to soft, pillowy steamed buns and drizzle generously with the mayo to create this punchy Asian burger.
Beef Short Ribs
- 1kg cut of beef short rib
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp coarsely ground pepper
- ½ tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- Spray bottle filled with water
- ¾ cup warm water
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp yeast
- 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp sesame oil
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- Sesame oil for brushing
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds for sprinkling
Snow Pea Slaw
- 1 cup snow pea shoot/sprouts, torn in half
- 16 snow or sugar snap peas, sliced diagonally
- 1 large spring onion, sliced diagonally
- ½ cup coriander leaves
Hoisin Lime Mayo
- ½ cup whole egg mayonnaise
- ¼ cup hoisin sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
Prepare the beef short ribs by trimming them of excess fat – for this dish it is recommended to remove the fat cap from the top of the rib, exposing the rib meat. Remove the membrane from across the back of the bones, then pat the surface of the meat dry with paper towels. Mix together the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and onion powders, then rub evenly all over the beef.
Set up a charcoal BBQ kettle for a low and slow cook via your chosen method (see notes) aiming for a consistent temperature of 120°c.
Place the short ribs on the grill, away from the heat source. If you have one available, insert a digital BBQ thermometer into your meat and another to measure the ambient temperature of the BBQ.
Once the short ribs are in position, add your wood chunks to the coal and close the lid.
After the short ribs have been smoking for an hour, adjust your spray bottle to a fine mist, open the BBQ and give them a very light spray of water, being careful not to disturb the rub by spraying too directly or heavily. Repeat this process every hour, topping up or adjusting your coal and wood as needed to maintain the consistent temperature of 120°c.
Around the 6-hour mark, depending on your cut, the short ribs may be ready. When the internal temperature reaches the target zone (88°c through to 102°c) start testing for doneness by probing the short ribs with a meat skewer – they are ready when it ‘probes like warm butter’ – i.e. the probe can be slid in to the meat with no resistance or force required.
Once the desired tenderness has been reached, remove the short ribs from the grill and set aside to rest for at least an hour. To maintain the heat, you can wrap them tightly in tinfoil, then a towel, and place them in a chilly bin.
Steamed Bun, Slaw and Mayo Method
While the beef is cooking, make the steamed buns by mixing the water, sugar, yeast and oil together in a jug or bowl.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt in to a bowl (or food processor), add the wet ingredients and mix (or pulse) thoroughly to form a firm dough.
Tip the dough on to a board, knead briefly, then form the dough in to a smooth ball. Place it in a clean bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (30-40 minutes).
Once risen, tip the dough out and shape it in to 12 small, smooth, high buns. Set aside to rise again for 20-30 minutes until each bun has puffed and risen.
Place the buns in to lined bamboo steamer baskets (3 per basket depending on the size of your steamer) leaving room around each for them to rise, brush them lightly with sesame oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Steam the buns in batches, over boiling water for 10-15 minutes until puffy and dry to the touch. Remove from the steamer and set aside.
To make the snow pea slaw, mix the slaw ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
For the hoisin mayo, mix the hoisin sauce, mayonnaise and lime juice together in a bowl or jar, adjusting the amount of lime juice to suit your tastes.
To serve, pull the bones from the beef short rib, then slice the meat in to thick chunks.
Slice the steamed buns in half like a burger bun, add a generous portion of beef, drizzle liberally with hoisin mayo, top with zesty slaw, then add the bun lid.
To select a low and slow cook method, we recommend researching the snake method for a kettle, and the minion method for a vertical smoker.
While you can cook this on a gas barbecue, to get truly authentic brisket that will have people coming back for more, a charcoal kettle BBQ, or vertical or offset smoker is best.
The lid thermometers on most barbecues are of poor quality, and/or are in the wrong position to accurately measure the actual grate temperature from where the meat is sitting, so we recommend using reliable ambient thermometer like a Weber igrill or similar.
The perfect slice of brisket can be the base for any amazing burger. Try combing slices with grilled Portobello mushrooms and blue cheese; or grilled streaky bacon and onion rings – the options are endless!
With a cook-time of up to 12 hours, this isn’t something you can throw together on a busy week night. However, if you cook the brisket on a relaxed summer weekend, you can store slices in an airtight bag in the freezer, then reheat them either in a pan or in boiling water if sealed using a food saver.