CM: That’s a great dish. So there are dates in there for sweetness. Was there soy sauce in there?
ZI: Yeah. There’s a pretty hefty amount of soy sauce in there, and a good amount of dates, and you get a really great sweet-salty balance. It’s very comforting, and not flat or boring either.
CM: The dates kind of melt down.
ZI: Completely. You get a stickier, thick richness from the dates.
ZI: It’s really nice, inspired by Filipino adobo, which is insanely comforting. There’s some vinegar in there, so you get really nice balance across the board. I think it’s a crowd-pleaser.
CM: And I have to say, Claire, you know, this is a rare instance where I think, in terms of a side dish to serve with either one of these things, mashed potatoes would just work. Creamy mashed potatoes.
CM: I think this is the thing for you to remember with braising in general. With this style of cooking, time is doing the work for you. This is not flash in the pan, everything hinges on one pivotal moment. This is the most forgiving kind of food to cook, as long as you trust in the process and really think about the endpoints of the recipe. Like, there is a moment where something you’re braising isn’t tender, but it is like fully cooked. And that’s part of trusting the process. Pushing through that point. You would encounter that whether it’s the short rib or the duck, you know, where the protein has kind of seized up, firmed up, lost some moisture. And you just kind of have to keep going, and that’s where it’s important. Like, don’t boil it hard. Keep the heat low.
ZI: Cook it slow.
CM: You know? Like lazy bubbles. Not super active. And just keep going, and when you bring things through to that stage of tenderness and doneness, it’s a powerful moment.
ZI: That’s why it’s so impressive at the end. Because the meat has completely transformed. It’s a texture everyone loves, but it takes time to achieve. And so when people eat it, they’re always like, “Ah, this is amazing.”
CM: Yep. And doing it a day in advance is totally fair game. In either case, you can do the entire thing the day before.
Chris and Hana sent Sam the recipes for the Cocoa Brioche Morning Buns and the Giant Cardamom Bun, and she got to baking. Listen now to hear which sweet bun she chose.