Currently living in the New England region, I am an ex-restauranteur. I love reading, cooking, and travelling.
Tender, Sweet, and Savory
If you are familiar with dim sum, you may know how delicious Chinese pork buns are. Pork buns can be steamed or baked. Char siu bao is a steamed bun with bbq pork filling that is very tender and slightly sweet. The filling is made of Chinese bbq pork and onion that have been seasoned with oyster sauce. It's sweet and savory, with intense pork flavors.
Traditionally, baked barbecued pork buns are served in dim sum restaurants and Chinese bakeries. These golden-baked buns are a must-order food whenever you visit dim sum restaurant. But if you would like to learn how to make this luscious bun at home, I am happy to share the recipe. These buns are a great snack—or they can make a satisfying meal when served with a light soup.
Yield: 4-8 buns
Necessary items: 16 pieces parchment paper, cut into 4-inch squares
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For the filling:
- 2 cups Chinese bbq pork (char siu), diced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ketchup
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the dough:
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- In a small bowl, combine oyster sauce, sugar, soy, sauce, ketchup, sesame oil, and cornstarch. Stir to mix. Set aside.
- Heat a wok over high heat. Add oil and onion. Stir-fry for about 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add bbq pork and stir for few seconds. Add oyster sauce seasoning. Stir to combine for 15 seconds or until the sauce is thickened. Transfer to a dish. Let it cool.
- Dissolve sugar and dry yeast in warm water. Mix gently and let stand for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture foams.
- Put the flour in a mixing bowl. Add oil, half of the beaten egg, milk, and yeast water. Mix to form a rough dough.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work area. Knead until smooth and elastic.
- Put the dough in the greased large bowl. Cover with a damp cloth. Let it rest about 3 hours or until tripled in volume.
- Return the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll into a long roll about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Divide the dough into 16 equal pieces. Cover the unused dough with a damp cloth while working with one piece of dough at a time. Use your fingers and hand to flatten the dough into a 3-inch disc.
- Put 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the dough. Gather up the edges to enclose the filling. Pinch to seal and twist it together. Put the bun upside down on the parchment paper square. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Place the buns about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Let it rest for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of water and half of the remaining beaten egg. Brush each bun with the egg mixture.
- Bake the buns for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.