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The mortadella bao at the Trenchermen | Brunch breakdown

Pat and Mike Sheerin put a chefy twist on the ham-and-cheese.

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Jason Little

The chefery never stops at Trenchermen�not even on casual Sunday mornings. Among the progressive dishes found on the brunch menu are noodles fashioned from translucent pigskin and tossed with lobster in a porky broth; housemade bagels coated in sauerkraut and paired with a mustardy cream cheese; cinnamon rolls made with soft potato dough that are almost as salty as pretzels. Obviously, chefs Mike and Patrick Sheerin aren�t the type of guys to just throw a ham and cheese sandwich on their menu. But their mortadella-kimchi bao comes close. The brothers explain how it�s different:

The �bao�
�We�re Chinatown fanatics,� Patrick says. That�s why when the guys were brainstorming ways to use extra mortadella (left over from a dinner menu dish), bao came to mind. This isn�t a strict bao: The dough is a basic roll dough, stuffed with that mortadella, some kimchi and two types of Gouda cheese�one aged two years, the other aged five. But, like proper bao, it�s steamed before being baked.

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Jason Little

The �bao�
�We�re Chinatown fanatics,� Patrick says. That�s why when the guys were brainstorming ways to use extra mortadella (left over from a dinner menu dish), bao came to mind. This isn�t a strict bao: The dough is a basic roll dough, stuffed with that mortadella, some kimchi and two types of Gouda cheese�one aged two years, the other aged five. But, like proper bao, it�s steamed before being baked.

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Jason Little

The aioli
For the sandwich�s sauce, the brothers reached for sake lees, a thick and highly flavorful rice mash that�s a by-product of the sake-making process, �It�s really thick and kind of creamy on its own,� Mike says of the lees. Yet the boys make it even creamier by pureeing it with yuzu juice, egg and grapeseed and sesame oils.

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Jason Little

The chips
The Sheerins aren�t down with the idea of a sandwich without chips, so they take kimchi, puree it, stir rice into it and fry it. The rice puffs, and what materializes is a kimchi rice cracker (with some togarashi sprinkled on it).

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Jason Little
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Jason Little

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