Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns (Cha Shao Bao)

K and I loooove Asian food. Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Thai... I can never OD on it. So why not try to recreate some of the delicious delicacies from the restaurants? One of our favorite dishes is the Chinese BBQ pork buns you can get at Cantonese dim sum. We also found them at a local Asian grocery store, but it can be quite an expensive addiction. Imagine if we could make them at home instead! (Note: this recipe requires a steamer or rice cooker with a steam rack.)

Chinese BBQ Pork Buns (Cha Shao Bao)

Source: Closet Cooking

(makes a dozen buns)
  • Dough
    • 1/3 cup water, lukewarm
    • 1/3 cup flour
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 2 tsp sugar
    • 1 cup flour
    • 3/4 cup cake flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp sugar
    • 1 Tbsp oil
    • ~1/2 cup water (lukewarm)
    • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Filling
    • 1 cup Chinese BBQ pork (cha shao) from an Asian grocery store, chopped finely
    • 1 green onion, sliced finely
    • 2 tsp soy sauce
    • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp sherry cooking wine
    • 1/4 tsp sesame oil
    • 1/8 tsp Chinese five spice


1) To make the dough, mix the 1/3 cup water, flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes.
2) Add the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, and oil.
3) Mix while slowly pouring in the 1/2 cup water until it just starts to form a dough.
4) Knead the dough until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.
5) Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 3-4 hours.

6) Mix the pork, green onions, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, wine, sesame oil, and Chinese five spice.

Dicing up the Chinese BBQ pork

Mixing up the filling

7) Sprinkle the baking powder over the dough and knead it well.
8) Roll the dough into a log and cut it into 12 equally sized pieces.
9) Roll each piece into a ball, flatten with a rolling pin, and place a tablespoon of filling into the center. Pinch the dough on both sides, and then pinch the dough on the top and bottom. Pull the four pinches up to the center and given them a little twist.

(click to enlarge)
10) Place the balls on squares of wax paper, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.

11) Place the balls into a steamer, without touching each other, and steam for 10 minutes. I don't have a steamer per se, but my rice cooker has a plastic steam rack. I dumped about 2 inches of water in the  rice cooker and placed the buns + wax paper in the steam rack accessory. I waited till I saw steam coming out of the rice cooker (maybe 30 minutes?) before I started the 10-minute timer.

K swears they taste just like the restaurant and store-baked ones and can't wait to make more. Personally, I count this recipe as more on the gourmet side of the scale, so it's going to be a little while before I can muster the courage to make them again. ^_~


Sammy said...

Oooh these look delicious. I too am a lover of the Asian cuisine.
I favour Japanese but Chinese, Cantonese etc still make it high up there.
YOu have now inspired me to go out and make something oriental. Watch this space lol

A Gamer's Wife said...

Japanese is one of my top favorite genres too! I can't believe I didn't discover sushi until college, and now that I'm pregnant, I'm limited to low-mercury, fully-cooked seafood. First thing I'm going to do post-pregnancy is go on a sushi/sashimi binge!

Sammy said...

Sushi is just YUM. My Lad loves the stuff. Shame its so darn expensive. I may have to give something out of my wagamama cookbook ago.