The char siu bao is a dimsum staple. Sweet, juicy bits of Chinese bbq pork oozing out of the soft, sweet bun.
The secret to creating that char siu bao taste is to use dried onions (McCormicks). Please look up the Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns that accompanies this recipe.
If you don't have steamer baskets, use a wok or a big pot with a vegetable steamer (or an inverted bowl), but place the buns on a heat proof plate to steam, so to avoid being splashed by the water beneath. If you live near a Chinatown, you can easily get a steamer rack for less than a dollar (you can find them in the "aisle" outside the shop, by the sidewalk -- what marketers would call term "the impulse buy placement". Go figure.)
For the Basic Yeast Dough Recipe, see Useful Link below.
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1 portion of Basic Yeast Dough
2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1/3 cup Chinese rice wine / sherry
6 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 lb barbeque pork (char siu), diced small ¼ inch cubes
½ cup dried onion flakes soaked in ¼ cup of water
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds, roasted
20 pieces of 2 x 2 wax paper
Prepare the dough: Make 1 recipe of Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns. Make sure you cover the finished dough with a damp tea cloth.
Preparing the filling: Mix all the sauce ingredients (oyster sauce, hoisin, soy, sesame oil, wine, sugar, cornstarch and water) together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add all the sauce mixture into the pan. Stir. Add the diced pork to the saucepan. Cook on low until the sauce glazes the pork. Add the reconstituted dried onion and sesame seeds and toss together to mix. Let the filling cool before proceeding.
Folding the bao: Take a dough portion, work into a round ball about 1 inch in diameter. Flatten it into a 4-inch round with a rolling pin about Â¼ inch thick. Make sure the edges are half as thin as the center. Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of filling into dough. Pull the sides to meet at the center, making a ruffled fold as you work. Pinch the top together and give it a twist to seal. Pinch off any extra dough at the top. Place onto a piece of waxed paper.
Place buns in steamer about 2 inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Allow buns to rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
Place steamer over the simmering water for 15 minutes, or until bun is well risen. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.