Char Siu Bao

Chinese barbeque pork buns steamed, light and fluffy

See also Char Siu Pork for the pork recipe

For the filling

Mix hoisin, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce and salt in a small bowl

Mix cornflour and water in a cup

In a small frying pan add the oil and the onions. Cook until spring onions are browned and the oil is aromatic

Add⅓ cup water and heat for a few mins

Remove the onions and add the sauce ingredients

Mix until sugar dissolves and then bring to a boil

Mix⅓ cup water and the cornflour to make a slurry

Slowly stir cornflour mixture into sauce, stirring continuously, until sauce is thick and jelly-like

Transfer to a bowl and cool in the fridge

Mix the cooled sauce with the chopped pork until well combined

For the dough

Mix the ingredients for the dough, except the lard, in the bowl of a stand mixer

Mix on medium for 10 minutes. The dough should come together and be soft, smooth and a little sticky

Add the lard and mix for another 5 mins

Cover the dough in the mixing bowl and rest for 15 mins

Turn the dough out into a flour dusted board and roll out to a large rectangle. Fold in half lengthwise and roll again. Repeat one more time and then roll up the dough into a long sausage from the long edge

Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces about 45g each and, one at a time, roll into a circle using the dumpling method of rolling to the centre then quarter-turn. The dough should be thinner at the edges and plump in the centre. Do not use extra flour if possible when rolling the circles as the edges will not stick

To make bao

Spoon one tbsp of the prepared pork filling into the centre of the dough. Gather up the edges and press to seal in three.

Place the bun seam side up on a square of oiled baking parchment or wax paper

Allow buns to proof on the counter, covered, for 1 hour

Prepare a steamer, I use a bamboo steamer set on a wok, with gently boiling water

Once the buns have proofed gently place them, at least 1 inch apart, in the basket of your steamer. Cover and allow to steam for ten minutes. Do not let the water boil too vigorously

After ten minutes carefully remove the lid, making sure not to drip water on the buns, and remove to a plate. Cover with a towel until ready to eat. Steam the remaining buns

Peel the paper off the buns and serve warm