Char Siu Bao Barbecue Pork Buns

2 April 2012 § 1 Comment

I dragged King Marv for a night of cooking school. He loves dumplings and I was scared of making them. Terrified in fact. I’m an adventurous cook but I was petrified of them ending up as a gloopy, stodgy mess.

You can read more about it in my write-up on What’s for Dinner? on Barista Kids. But the evening went well, King Marv coped admirably with being the only man on the course. I think he quite enjoyed it. And I overcame my dumplingaphobia thanks to Pamela Wright’s clear instruction.

We made delicious Shanghai soup dumplings, Tibetan beef dumplings and pot stickers. As well as barbecue Pork Buns Recipe, I share the Pamela’s recipe below for these delicious, fluffy savory buns.

The Tibetan beef dumplings being assembled

Then crimped using an egg wash to bind them

Char Siu Bao Chinese Pork Buns


Bun dough:

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Scant 3 cups (12 1/2 oz) flour

1. Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the water and set aside for 1 minute. Whisk in the oil to blend and dissolve the yeast. Set aside.

2. Make the dough by hand: Combine the sugar, baking powder and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, moving from the center toward the rim, to work in all the flour. (Add lukewarm water by the teaspoon if this does not happen with relative ease.) Keep stirring and a ragged, soft mass forms.

3. Use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball. Transfer to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth, soft and slightly elastic. You should not need any additional flour if the dough was made properly. Keep kneading and after the first few minutes, the dough should not stick to your fingers. If it does, work in a sprinkling of flour. Press your finger into the dough and it should spring back with a faint indentation remaining.

4. Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise until nearly doubled. This should take 30 to 45 minutes. The dough is now ready for use.

Making the bao (buns):

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped char siu (Chinese barbecued pork)
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lightly beaten egg

1. Mix the sauce ingredients until well blended.

2. Drizzle the sauce over the char siu. You want to give it a light coating, and not drown it.

3. Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces.

4. Take a piece of dough and flatten it a bit with your hands, leaving the edges thinner than the middle.

5. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the filling into the middle of the dough being careful not to get sauce on the edges of the dough.

6. Bring the edges of the dough up and pleat to seal it. Place the bun, seam side down, on a square of parchment paper. Place each square with a bun on a baking sheet.

7. Repeat until all buns are made. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

8. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Brush beaten egg over the top of the buns and egg in the center of the oven for 25-3o minutes or until golden brown.

Or you can steam the buns, steam side up on parchment squares, in a hot steamer for 15 minutes.


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