Friday, November 25, 2011

Recipe for Char Sui Bao

Yield: 20 buns
Time: 3+ hours including rising time for the buns; does not include overnight marinading time for the pork
Char Sui (pork)

  • 1 pork tenderloin (1-1.5 lbs)
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 TBSP peanut oil
  • 3 TBSP honey
  • 2 TBSP hoisin sauce
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2 TBSP oyster sauce
  • 1 TBSP sherry
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
Pork filling
  • 12 oz char sui, finely diced
  • 2 green onions, finely diced
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 3 TBSP oyster sauce
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
(The original recipe was for 1 TBSP soy sauce, 2 TBSP oyster sauce, 1/4 cup chicken stock and 1 tsp cornstarch but I felt the filling was too dry so I added additional quantities as per the list above)

Bun Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cup of milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 1/2 tsp dried yeast
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • Parchment paper
  • Steamer (original recipe called for bamboo but I used metal in my wok)
(The original recipe called for 1 cup of milk but my dough would not come together so I added another 1/2 cup as per the list above)

Char Sui (Pork)
  • Trim tenderloin of fat and silver skin.
  • Cut into 4-5 equal pieces.
  • Mix remaining ingredients together.  Reserve 1/3 of mixture-place in fridge.
  • Marinate pork in remaining mixture overnight or at least 4 hours.
  • When ready to cook, preheat grill to med-high and clean and oil grates.
  • While grill heats, remove pork from marinade and pat excess marinade off with paper towels. 
  • Remove reserved marinade from fridge.
  • Grill for 2 minutes each side to get a slight char and then reduce heat to medium, baste with reserved marinade.
  • Grill for an additional 10-12 minutes until center is just barely still pink.
  • Remove and rest/cool while preparing dough and filling.
Pork filling
  • Heat vegetable oil in skillet over med-high heat.
  • Saute the green onion for 2 minutes until soft.
  • Add diced char sui and stir to combine.
  • Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, and sesame oil; cooking stirring constantly for one minute.
  • Mix cornstarch and stock together and add to the meat mixture, stirring well until mixture thickens, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool.
  • Stir sugar, oil and salt in to scalded milk and allow to cool to lukewarm.
  • Once cooled, add yeast.  Set aside until frothy, about 10 minutes.
  • While yeast develops, sift flour into a large bowl then add milk/yeast mixture.
  • Mix together briefly with hands and turn out on to a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with damp cloth.
  • Let dough rise until doubled (1-2 hours).
  • Punch dough down and divide in to 20 equal pieces.
  • Roll or press with hands each piece in to 2-3 inch circles.
  • Drop 1 TBSP of cooled filling in center of a dough circle, gather the edges together and twist to seal. Repeat with all dough pieces.
  • Cover and let rise for 15 minutes.
  • Place each bun on a piece of parchment paper slightly larger than bun (buns will enlarge as steamed) and place a few at a time in steamer over boiling water in wok (don't crowd them).
  • Cover wok and steam for 12 minutes.
  • Serve warm.  They keep well in fridge and freezer.  To reheat thawed buns, steam for 5 minutes (or as Mr. ELEB did-nuke in microwave for 15 seconds).