Chinese Barbeque Pork Buns

November 20, 2015
chinese barbecue pork buns, pork buns, pork, Asian cooking, Chinese cooking, homemade

Chinese barbecue pork buns are a thing of true love, well at least for me they are. I first discovered pork buns when I lived in New York. It had the resemblance of that of an empanada but Asian. It has been difficult to find anything close here in South Florida but the pork buns at Black Pearl in the Wellington mall will do when I am in a rush, as I have been lately with my pregnancy cravings. When I am not in a rush I have discovered this easy recipe to appease my craving. Do note that you’ll need some spare time to allow the dough to rise and you’ll also need a bamboo steamer. They’re relatively inexpensive and you can find them at Asian specialty stores or even online via amazon or eBay. Once your dough is ready the rest is easy peasy, especially the part where you get to devour these out of site in seconds.

If you’d like to watch a video like I did to make sure I was making them correctly then I highly recommend this one. The lady is super cute and definitely knows her Asian cooking.

chinese barbecue pork buns, pork buns, pork, Asian cooking, Chinese cooking, homemade

Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns

Filling

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tbsps oyster sauce
2 tbsps ketchup
5 tsps granulated sugar
4 tsps cornstarch
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (this is not the same as regular soy sauce)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
pinch white pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsps peanut oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (1/4-inch)
1 1/2 cups char siu pork, fine dice (I did 1/4-inch)
1 tbsps Shaoxing Chinese sherry
1 1/2 tsps sesame oil

Prepare

1. Whisk the chicken broth, oyster sauce, ketchup, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl.
2. Heat the peanut oil over high flame in a wok or heavy-bottomed saucepan.
3. When the oil is hot, add the onion, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook (stirring often) until golden brown – about 6 minutes.
4. Turn the heat to high and add the pork, stir-frying for about 2-3 minutes.
5. Pour the sherry in from the edges of the wok (or drizzle in a circle over the saucepan as I did) and stir together.
6. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the broth mixture into the center of the wok or pan.
7. Stir together until the filling is thickened. This takes only a few minutes.
8. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil. Let cool and refrigerate the filling. Filling can be refrigerated for a few days before using. Do not freeze dough.

Dough

1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water (105°F – 115°F)
1 tbsp yeast
6 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp shortening

Prepare

1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and add the yeast. Let the yeast stand for about ten minutes or until it becomes foamy, floating to the top.
2. Sift the flour (I never sift anything) into a large bowl.
3. Add the baking powder, shortening, and the yeast liquid. Mix well. If the dough is dry, add a little water. If the dough is too wet, add more flour.
4. Knead the dough until smooth (took me ten minutes by hand).
5. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for a couple of hours until it has tripled in size.
6. Cut 24 squares of parchment or wax paper, 2 1/2-inches a side.
7. Knead the risen dough until it is smooth and elastic. Again, if it is too dry, wet your hand(s) and knead it – if it is too wet, add some flour and knead it in. Because I work on a finite area cutting board (i.e. not a long counter), I found it easiest to cut the dough into quarters and make a log from each quarter. Keep the unused dough under plastic or a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying out.
8. Cut each log into 6 equal pieces and flatten each piece with your hand to make a disc.
9. Use your fingers to pinch the outer inch of the disc thinner than the center. Then shape a sort of well in the thicker center of the dough. Spoon a tablespoon (or more, if you can handle it) of the pork filling into the center of the dough.
10. Pleat the edges together, with the intent of gathering the edges to form a sort of bowl from the dough (use your thumb or spoon to push the filling down). If you care about the presentation (hey, some people don’t) then wipe your fingers clean of any filling on a wet cloth before twisting and pinching the pleats together at the top. If there is excess dough, pinch it off. Set the bao on a square of parchment. Repeat for the rest and let them stand for about 10 minutes.
11. Place the buns in a steamer with at least 2 inches between them as they will expand during steaming. You will not be able to fit them all in your steamer unless you have 1) a giant steamer or 2) a million layers – so be patient and don’t cram them together, just steam in two or three batches. If you have a wok, bring 2 inches of water to a boil and set your steamer over the wok (make sure the steamer doesn’t actually sit in the water – that would be called boiling and we don’t want that!). If you don’t have a wok (I don’t) then this is what I did: I found a stockpot that fits my generic bamboo steamer perfectly. The fit doesn’t have to be perfect, just don’t use such a large pot that the steam escapes. I filled the stockpot with 2 inches of water and then placed a small metal rack (you can find these in random Asian grocery stores) in the center.
12. Bring the water to a boil, place the steamer on the pot and steam for 10 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 24.

Storage:Once cooled, you can seal these in an airtight container or ziploc bag and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, either steam them again for a few minutes.

*filling from Fine Cooking issue #109
dough from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei

Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns
Serves 24
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Prep Time
3 hr 20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr 40 min
Prep Time
3 hr 20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
3 hr 40 min
Ingredients
  1. Filling
  2. 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  3. 2 tbsps oyster sauce
  4. 2 tbsps ketchup
  5. 5 tsps granulated sugar
  6. 4 tsps cornstarch
  7. 1 tbsp dark soy sauce (this is not the same as regular soy sauce)
  8. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  9. pinch white pepper, freshly ground
  10. 2 tbsps peanut oil
  11. 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (1/4-inch)
  12. 1 1/2 cups char siu pork, fine dice (I did 1/4-inch)
  13. 1 tbsps Shaoxing Chinese sherry
  14. 1 1/2 tsps sesame oil
  15. Dough
  16. 1/4 cup sugar
  17. 1 3/4 cup warm water (105°F – 115°F)
  18. 1 tbsp yeast
  19. 6 cups flour
  20. 1 tbsp baking powder
  21. 2 tbsp shortening
Instructions
  1. Filling
  2. Whisk the chicken broth, oyster sauce, ketchup, sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, salt, and pepper together in a medium bowl.
  3. Heat the peanut oil over high flame in a wok or heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  4. 3. When the oil is hot, add the onion, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook (stirring often) until golden brown – about 6 minutes.
  5. Turn the heat to high and add the pork, stir-frying for about 2-3 minutes.
  6. Pour the sherry in from the edges of the wok (or drizzle in a circle over the saucepan as I did) and stir together.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and pour the broth mixture into the center of the wok or pan.
  8. Stir together until the filling is thickened. This takes only a few minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and stir in the sesame oil. Let cool and refrigerate the filling. Filling can be refrigerated for a few days before using. Do not freeze dough.
  10. Dough
  11. In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water and add the yeast. Let the yeast stand for about ten minutes or until it becomes foamy, floating to the top.
  12. Sift the flour (I never sift anything) into a large bowl.
  13. Add the baking powder, shortening, and the yeast liquid. Mix well. If the dough is dry, add a little water. If the dough is too wet, add more flour.
  14. Knead the dough until smooth (took me ten minutes by hand).
  15. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for a couple of hours until it has tripled in size.
  16. Cut 24 squares of parchment or wax paper, 2 1/2-inches a side.
  17. Knead the risen dough until it is smooth and elastic. Again, if it is too dry, wet your hand(s) and knead it – if it is too wet, add some flour and knead it in. Because I work on a finite area cutting board (i.e. not a long counter), I found it easiest to cut the dough into quarters and make a log from each quarter. Keep the unused dough under plastic or a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying out.
  18. Cut each log into 6 equal pieces and flatten each piece with your hand to make a disc.
  19. Use your fingers to pinch the outer inch of the disc thinner than the center. Then shape a sort of well in the thicker center of the dough. Spoon a tablespoon (or more, if you can handle it) of the pork filling into the center of the dough.
  20. Pleat the edges together, with the intent of gathering the edges to form a sort of bowl from the dough (use your thumb or spoon to push the filling down). If you care about the presentation (hey, some people don’t) then wipe your fingers clean of any filling on a wet cloth before twisting and pinching the pleats together at the top. If there is excess dough, pinch it off. Set the bao on a square of parchment. Repeat for the rest and let them stand for about 10 minutes.
  21. Place the buns in a steamer with at least 2 inches between them as they will expand during steaming. You will not be able to fit them all in your steamer unless you have 1) a giant steamer or 2) a million layers – so be patient and don’t cram them together, just steam in two or three batches. If you have a wok, bring 2 inches of water to a boil and set your steamer over the wok (make sure the steamer doesn’t actually sit in the water – that would be called boiling and we don’t want that!). If you don’t have a wok (I don’t) then this is what I did: I found a stockpot that fits my generic bamboo steamer perfectly. The fit doesn’t have to be perfect, just don’t use such a large pot that the steam escapes. I filled the stockpot with 2 inches of water and then placed a small metal rack (you can find these in random Asian grocery stores) in the center.
  22. Bring the water to a boil, place the steamer on the pot and steam for 10 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 24.
  23. Storage:Once cooled, you can seal these in an airtight container or ziploc bag and keep in the refrigerator for up to a week. To reheat, either steam them again for a few minutes.
  24. Filling from Fine Cooking issue #109
  25. Dough from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei
Adapted from Filling from Fine Cooking issue #109, Dough from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei
Adapted from Filling from Fine Cooking issue #109, Dough from Chinese Snacks by Huang Su-Huei
Florida Girl Cooks http://floridagirlcooks.com/

chinese barbecue pork buns, pork buns, pork, Asian cooking, Chinese cooking, homemade

author: Teresa Gonzalez

<p>Teresa is a South Florida native who is a photographer that also has a passion for food. She’s a seeker of sunshine, lazy days at the beach, and exquisite food.</p>

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  • Reply

    lisa @ garlicandzest.comAugust 16, 2015

    What a cool idea! I must say, I’m glad you didn’t make the cones – I was feeling singularly unaccomplished!

  • Reply

    lisa @ garlicandzest.comOctober 14, 2015

    congratulations! so happy for you and your family!

  • Reply

    MargaretNovember 18, 2015

    Hello Teresa, I am so very excited to try your cider bourbon glazed turkey, however the recipe states you have included your own cider bourbon glaze recipe “below”…but it is not there. Would you please send it to me? My William sonoma is out. Thank you have a wonderful thanksgiving! Margaret

  • Reply

    anna kraft heinOctober 8, 2017

    Hi Teresa! I’m in the same boat as Margaret! Where is the cider bourbon recipe? I don’t see it, either. Can’t wait to try!

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