RE: Cha siu bao
Sun, 07/24/05 6:10 PM
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.
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
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.)