These exceptional steamed buns are a gem of Chinese culinary art and worth the effort of at least one good try. Once perfected, they are absolutely delicious.

Cha Siu Bao (Barbecued Pork Bun)
Recipe type: Breads and Rolls
Serves: 16
  • 1/3 Cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 Cups flour
  • 2 1/2 Cups cake flour
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons shortening
  • 1 1/4 Cups low fat milk
  • 16 pieces white paper 2 inches square
  • 6 ounces Chinese BBQ pork, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon thin soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 4 teaspoons cold water (for thickening)
  1. Mix together the warm water, 1/2 teaspoons sugar and yeast in an 8 ounce measuring cup. Let stand until it rises to the 8 ounce level (about 20 minutes).
  2. Sift flour, cake flour, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add shortening, yeast mixture and milk. Knead mixture 5 minutes to form a dough.
  3. Cover with a damp cloth and set dough in a warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 3 hours.
  4. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan and stir-fry pork for 2 minutes. Add 2 Tablespoons water, salt, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and Hoisin sauce. Bring it to a boil.
  5. Mix the cornstarch and 4 Tablespoons cold water. Stir into the mixture and cook for 1 minute until thickened. Let cool before making the buns.
  6. After 3 hours, when the dough has risen, shape into rolls about 2 inches in diameter. Cut each roll into 1-1/2 inch pieces. Shape each piece into a shallow bowl shape. Put 1 tablespoon filling in the center, close and twist dough to form a bun.
  7. Put the bun on a 2 inch square of white paper. (This prevents the bun from becoming soggy while steaming.) Place 8 buns at a time in a pie pan and allow them to set and rise for 15 minutes in a warm place.
  8. Steam for 25 minutes.
SOURCE: Chopstick, Cleaver and Wok.

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