100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 73: The Boudin Bao at Junction Craft Kitchen

Junction Craft Kitchen's boudin bao is about as fun as a snack can get.
Junction Craft Kitchen's boudin bao is about as fun as a snack can get. Beth Rankin
Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2017 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Fusion is rampant these days — Latin-Asian, Cajun-Italian, Japanese-Peruvian — but we recently stumbled upon a dish that perfectly encompasses a fusion of two culinary heavy hitters: a boudin bao that melded staple dishes from both Cajun and Asian cuisines.

Junction Craft Kitchen, formerly Kitchen LTO, is a quiet culinary juggernaut in Deep Ellum. Under the creative direction of chef Josh Harmon, Junction fuses Asian fare with Southern cuisine so deftly, the menu is filled with piquant surprises. The boudin bao proved to be our favorite surprise on a recent visit.

Harmon makes his own boudin in house with pork liver and belly, duck liver and no casing, creating these beautifully juicy, funky, cheffy takes on one of the most integral dishes in Cajun cuisine. He stuffs the magic boudin ball into an impossibly fluffy bao, a steamed Asian bun that wraps around the boudin like a cloud. A tangy slaw on top — made with Steen's cane syrup, another Louisiana staple — gets a dose of rich heat from barrel-aged hot sauce.

There are a lot of amazing flavors to explore on Junction's menu, but you'd be remiss if you explored Harmon's work without a boudin bao to start. Even for the staunchest Cajun or Asian food purists, this is an exceedingly fun bite.
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Beth Rankin is an Ohio native and Cicerone-certified beer server who specializes in social media, food and drink, travel and news reporting. Her belief system revolves around the significance of Topo Chico, the refusal to eat crawfish out of season and the importance of local and regional foodways.
Contact: Beth Rankin