Cha siu bao

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BT
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2005/07/24 04:10:02 (permalink)

Cha siu bao

Otherwise known as steamed pork buns.

Oh, yummy yummy! I like these for lunch, especially on Sunday when the dim sum places on Clement St. have them hot from the steamer.

They are sort of a Chinese BBQ sandwich; a couple of tablespoons of diced pork in a sweetish bbq sauce inside a cloudlike mound of dough, all steamed.

Anybody else know and love them?



Here's a place to get some:

#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    jeepguy
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 05:41:44 (permalink)
    In Chicago's Chinatown we got some of those buns.My wife prefers the bean curd. On Argyle St on the North side in the Viet shopping area we picked up some pork buns that were loaded with pork, from a bakery. Really great!
    #2
    GordonW
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 08:30:01 (permalink)
    My wife buys the Philippine version -- siopao -- frozen at a local Asian food store. Manufactured in New York, I think.
    #3
    plb
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 12:05:29 (permalink)
    Love them. Just order them last at Dim Sum because they are so filling.
    #4
    michaelgemmell
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:02:15 (permalink)
    I can never remember the name of the place on Clement (in SF) where I go for dim sum, I just remember what it looks like when I walk past it. That could well be it, BT!

    Personally, I prefer the baked ones, but yumyumyum nevertheless.
    #5
    dctourist
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:08:39 (permalink)
    Heck yeah. But the stamed pork buns I grew up on, in Boston, are really big - somewehre between a baseball and a small grapefruit - and have chunks of sweet Chinese sausage, hard boiled egg halves, and onions along with the pork. Less of a barbecue aesthetic than those found in dim sum. One of those makes a hearty small lunch. I got them at the Ho Yuen Bakery - haven't been there in many years, just hope it's still there, and they had lots of other good stuff as well.
    #6
    6star
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:20:32 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by michaelgemmell

    I can never remember the name of the place on Clement (in SF) where I go for dim sum, I just remember what it looks like when I walk past it. That could well be it, BT!

    Personally, I prefer the baked ones, but yumyumyum nevertheless.


    From the online yellow pages:

    Good Luck Dim Sum
    736 Clement Street
    San Francisco, CA 94118
    415-386-3388
    #7
    BT
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:30:14 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dctourist

    the stamed pork buns I grew up on, in Boston, are really big - somewehre between a baseball and a small grapefruit - and have chunks of sweet Chinese sausage, hard boiled egg halves, and onions along with the pork.


    Bao can have any of that stuff and more in them. "Cha siu" however, refers to pork I believe (I also like cha siu ramen--ramen with slices of roast pork in it) and those are my favorite.
    #8
    tacchino
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:36:55 (permalink)
    Gordon:
    I am glad you mentioned a Philipine version, because I'm sure that is the kind I used to enjoy from my Philipine friend's mother in college...they too, had hard-boiled egg in them, if I am not mistaken.
    #9
    meiguoren
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 15:55:22 (permalink)
    I lived in China for about a year and ate those for breakfast nearly every morning. They're also popular street food sold by old ladies pushing carts. They're usually just called 'baozi'. Bao in Chinese means 'bag'...the zi doesn't really translate into English. Basically 'baozi' means 'little bag'. I preferred the vegetable baozi but the pork ones were good, too.

    They originate from the city of Kaifeng in Henan province, the cradle of Chinese civilization. I had some there once...I had to say I was a little disappointed but maybe I just went to the wrong place.
    #10
    arianej
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/24 18:10:07 (permalink)
    I love them. :) I haven't really tried the frozen kind for fear of disappointment, but occasionally we make them at home. It's not difficult once you've made the filling, but it does take a while since forming the buns can be a little tricky. I've got the recipe below if anyone's interested.

    For the filling, I start with Chinese roast pork. If you can buy it, so much the better. If not, a big chunk of pork shoulder marinated in soy sauce, oyster sauce, minced garlic, a bit of honey and maybe a pinch of five spice powder if you have it, pepper, etc. and roasted until done will do just fine. Pick a well-marbled piece of pork, you don't want anything too lean. As you can see, I don't really have an exact recipe, it's more of a to-taste thing.

    When the pork's cooked and cool enough to handle, cube it. Saute some minced garlic and scallions in some oil, add the pork, then 1/4 cup or so oyster sauce, 1 Tbsp. sherry, 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1/2 tsp. sesame oil, season to taste. Let cool and it's done. You can let the filling sit in the fridge for a few days, it's easier to handle when chilled.




    Dough--Dai Bao
    From Charmaine Solomon's Complete Asian Cookbook

    Solomon wrote this can be used for sweet (like lotus paste or sweet
    red bean paste) filling as well as savory. Or you could simply steam
    balls of dough.

    Makes 8-10 buns (8, IMO, if you want them to be a decent size)

    1 1/2 cups plain flour
    3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    3 Tbsp. caster sugar (I increased it to 5 Tbsp.)
    2 Tbsp. softened lard (vegetable shortening will work, but I think lard gives it a better texture/flavor)
    about 1/2 cup lukewarm water (I needed a bit more, added it Tbsp. by
    Tbsp. until the dough was the right consistency)
    1/2 tsp. white vinegar

    Sift Flour and baking powder into a bowl, stir in sugar and rub in
    lard with fingertips until evenly distributed. Add water and vinegar
    mixed together and knead to a fairly soft dough. Shape into a smooth
    ball, cover and rest dough for 30 minutes.

    To make buns, divide dough into 8 or 10 portions and mould each into a
    smooth ball. Roll out on a lightly floured surface to a circle about
    4" across. Put a heaped teaspoonful of filling in center of circle
    and gather edges together, folding and pleating to make a neat join.
    Twist dough to seal. Put each bun, join downwards, on a square of
    greaseproof paper lightly brushed with sesame oil. Put in steamer,
    cover and steam 20 minutes. Serve warm. The cooked buns can be
    refrigerated overnight and reheated by steaming 3 minutes before
    serving.

    Notes: Now, I didn't do it quite the same way. I rolled the dough
    out a little larger, maybe 5-6" in diameter, so that it was maybe 1/4"
    thin. I placed a little more filling in the center (too much and you
    won't be able to close it), then gathered the edges up like a bag and
    pinched it shut while I twisted it. This might take a bit of
    practice, but you do want to make sure it seals or your filling will
    leak out. I also don't bother brushing any oil on the waxed paper I
    used, and I put it join side up, which is the way Char Siu Bao is done
    in dim sum restaurants when steamed. (When baked, I notice it's
    usually a smooth bun, so I assume join side is down.)


    #11
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/25 01:34:29 (permalink)
    Because Boston's Chinatown is mostly Cantonese in its culture, dim sum can be a difficult proposition if (like me) you're allergic to shrimp. As a result, when I go out with our circle of friends who are collectively known as "the dim sum crowd," we have to order about half a dozen orders of char siu bao just to start, because there's a good chance that those and the Chinese broccoli with hoisin are gonna be the only things on the table that won't kill me!

    Our dim sum place of choice, China Pearl, also does a char siu bao that -- rather than being steamed -- is glazed with honey, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked until golden. They're quite nice, but I prefer the traditional.

    I'm also a big fan of the yellow bean bao.
    #12
    dctourist
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/27 20:23:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Lucky Bishop

    Because Boston's Chinatown is mostly Cantonese in its culture, dim sum can be a difficult proposition if (like me) you're allergic to shrimp. As a result, when I go out with our circle of friends who are collectively known as "the dim sum crowd," we have to order about half a dozen orders of char siu bao just to start, because there's a good chance that those and the Chinese broccoli with hoisin are gonna be the only things on the table that won't kill me!

    What a drag, LB - it's also difficult for observant Jews and vegetarians. Can you get roast duck at China Pearl? Periwinkles with garlic? I think I got the latter there once, many years ago...
    #13
    Lucky Bishop
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/28 01:25:23 (permalink)
    The duck is there occasionally, but I've never gotten it. Never seen periwinkles at China Pearl, although I've had them at Jumbo Seafood a block or so away. I do occasionally get a bowl of mussels or clams, and if the woman manning the cart has enough English, I can always ask if any of the many fried stuffed things are vegetarian, which some of them in fact are. There's also beef chow foon, but I'm not a fan.

    The dim sum crowd have long thought that dim sum places should come with a series of hats. Like, whoever is the point man -- the person who knows the most dishes and does the majority of the order (this is almost always my wife) -- gets to wear a crown, so the carts know where to go. The vegetarian wears a vegetable on their head, I wear a shrimp with a big red slash through it, etc. It could be useful!
    #14
    mousec
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    RE: Cha siu bao 2005/07/28 07:27:36 (permalink)
    For a quick fix in Chicago check out Wao Bao in Watertower place. They may not be as authenic as what is found in Chinatown but they are pretty darn good.

    For those counting this is another Lettuce Entertain You concept.
    #15
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