Chinese steamed buns are an unexpected treat; they're squishy, slightly chewy, and all-around wonderful. Look for them in the freezer section at Asian markets; aim for the folded buns, sometimes labeled lotus buns or Chinese hamburger buns. And if you can't find them, you can stuff the meatballs into standard slider buns.
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, grated and divided
1 cup 1/8-in.-thick English cucumber slices
8 ounces 90% lean ground sirloin
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
1 large egg white, beaten
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
8 frozen folded Chinese steamed buns
8 small red leaf lettuce leaves
Calcium 2% DV
Potassium 4% DV
Est. added sugars 5g
How to Make It
Bring vinegar, 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, pepper, and 2 garlic cloves to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high. Remove from heat; add cucumber slices. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, stir together sirloin, panko, egg white, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar, and remaining grated garlic clove in a bowl until well blended. Shape mixture into 16 meatballs, a scant 1 tablespoon each.
Heat a large skillet over medium. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add meatballs to pan; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Move meatballs to side of skillet. Add oil, remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce to center of skillet; cook until sugar dissolves and sauce is glazy, about 1 minute. Stir to coat meatballs.
Layer 3 well-moistened paper towels on a microwave-safe plate. Place frozen buns on prepared plate; cover with 3 more well-moistened paper towels. Microwave at high until warmed, about 1 minute and 30 seconds, checking for doneness every 10 seconds after heating for 1 minute.
Divide cucumber slices, lettuce leaves, and meatballs evenly among buns.
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