Sunday, August 15, 2010

Char Shiu Bao - BBQ Pork Buns

Well.... for some reason, Char Shiu Baos are quite popular in Australia.  Not sure why, I was never a fan of it myself.  Hubby always thought they were great, but since I'd never eat it during yumcha, he seems to miss out a bit.

By the way, back in Canton, or Guangzhou - the proper name, the Char Shius were never this red.  Guess that's the reason why I don't use red powder in my Char Shius, not sure why the food colouring is necessary here.

Anyway, back to the buns. Apparently I made too much the other night (Wednesday?) The children were only able to eat that much, I gave some to mum and dad, Graeme had it for dinner and lunch the next day, and still some left over - I used to be able to eat some, I must admit I don't like pork at all, but since I had this big stomach problem after eating out, 1 week ago, I haven't been able to eat any meat.  Of course, I still have some marinating Char Shiu Sauce.

Found out that I still have some super white flour left in cupboard.  Usually the Baos are made of the super white flour I buy from the Asian grocery shops.  There are 2 types, one imported from Hong Kong, sold in 1kg plastic packs, the other made in Australia, sold either in 10kg big paper packets or some smart shop owners separate them into roughly packed plastic bags.

I usually choose the later.  Support local industry, and probably, better quality.  Maybe the flavour wise, the imported version is better, but I do tend to buy everything Australian made if I can.  Higher food safety standards.

Rant over.  This is the recipe, well, this is how I did it this time.

Char Chiu Bao – BBQ Pork Buns
Make 12 Baos, they are not big.
150g Char Chiu
75ml Char Chiu Sauce
2tsp raw sugar

250 Super White Bao Flour
1 tsp yeast
150ml Water and Milk Mixture (half each)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar

Put flour on working bench make a well, put yeast at one side and salt and sugar on the other side, gently pour in lukewarm liquid mixture, knead dough. Knead till elastic and not sticky and set the dough aside covered by damp cloth to proof till double the size.
Roll the dough into a long log shape and cut small pieces, knead, shape and roll out to a thin round shape like dumpling skin, put a bit of fillings in and fold up on top with little swirling folds, forming a parcel shape, leaving a bit of air hole on top.
Line a piece of muslin cloth at the bottom of steam rack, heat up pot of water till water boils vigorously.
Place baos onto the steam rack, make sure they have space in between them, steam in high heat for 15 minutes.

By the way, any plain flour will do the job, but Cantonese do prefer white baos... not sure it changes the flavour to use normal plain flour?  I don't get a lot of feedback from the people who eats them in regards to the different texture of flours...  I must say that this bao recipe's wrapping is not 100% cantonese.  The actual yumcha style Baos contain a bit more sugar, and the wrapping is a lot sweeter.  The initial dough is wetter, and was kneaded after the first proofing with a bit more dry flour and corn flour and white sugar.  I've made that version before, and found it's too sweet so I cut it back to the current version.


  1. BBQ pork bun is also my husband's favourite dim sum. I prefer har gao or chee cheong fun, so he always orders BBQ pork buns for himself...;). I should make some as well at home, I am sure he'd be very happy!

  2. Yes, the home made version can be healthier, less sugar, and leaner meat... I do like chong fun and har gao... but the tang flour for har gao is pretty harsh :p only made it once.