Char Siu Bao

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Char Siu Bao

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Ingredients

Adjust Servings:
Filling
500 g Pork Belly
500 ml Chicken Stock fresh
100 g Hoisin Sauce
4 Spring Onions finely sliced
Steamed Buns
25 g Lard chilled and cubed
75 g Plain Flour
50 g Strong White Bread Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Golden Caster Sugar
5 g Yeast easy bake
75 ml Whole Milk
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
Vegetable Oil for greasing
Pickled Cucumber
1/2 Cucumber very finely sliced
3 tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Light Brown Muscavdo Sugar

Little steamed buns stuffed full of pork belly and pickled cucumber

Cuisine:

Ingredients

Directions

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Char Siu Bao is the meal that my eldest (he’s 5!) looks forward to the most.

We found the recipe about two years ago on the Waitrose website where they call it ‘Pork Belly steamed buns’. My two like making the dough and the pickled cucumber. It holds their attention as there are lots of little steps, then time to go off and play. Having said that it is probably one for a wet stay-at-home day, not so good if you are running here and there manically.

The recipe is simple and there are only 35 minutes of work, but you will need some non-standard ingredients (yeast and lard) which you may have if you make your own bread like we do. You will also need a bamboo steamer for the last stage – again we have a couple of these for cooking dumplings.

Steps

1
Done

Preheat the oven to 140˚C, gas mark 1. Season the pork and place in a baking dish with the stock. Cover the dish tightly with foil and braise in the oven for 3 hours. Rest in the stock until cool.

2
Done

Meanwhile, make the buns. Rub the lard into the flours until incorporated, then stir in the salt, sugar and yeast. Heat the milk to just before boiling, then pour into the flour mixture, quickly combining to a smooth dough. Knead vigorously for a few minutes on a floured surface. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and prove until doubled in size – about 1-2 hours.

3
Done

Knead the baking powder into the dough, then divide and roll into 8 smooth buns (about 30g each). Cover with cling film and leave to rise for another 30 minutes, until doubled in size.

4
Done

Gently roll each bun on a floured surface to an oval about 10cm long, 7cm wide and 0.5cm thick. Place each on parchment paper and brush the tops generously with oil. Carefully fold in half widthways, then cover with cling film again and rest for another 20 minutes.

5
Done

Transfer the pork from the baking dish to a foil-lined tray. Put the stock in a pan and boil until reduced by ¾; stir in the hoisin sauce.

6
Done

Turn the grill to high (about 250˚C) and glaze the pork with a little sauce. Grill for 2-3 minutes, then glaze and grill again, repeating until all the sauce is used up – about 15 minutes in total.

7
Done

Steam the buns in a steamer for 6-8 minutes, until puffed up and cooked through (you may need to do this in batches). Meanwhile, shred or slice the pork and mix all the pickled cucumber ingredients together with a pinch of salt. Fill the buns with the pork, pickled cucumber and salad onions.

Zoe Negus

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