Char Siu Bao

The pork filling may be diced or shredded, according to personal preference.

Serves: 10Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hoursDifficulty: Medium


Serves: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • ¾ cup lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1½ cups diced or shredded Char Siu (Chinese barbecue pork)
  • 10 squares (3") parchment paper

Directions

  • Proof the yeast in water with 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • In a large bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of sugar, the baking powder, and the flour. Make a well in the center, and pour in the yeast mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine the wet and dry ingredients. Once the dough begins to form into a ball, add the oil. Using your fingers, gather up the dough and knead in the oil. Transfer the dough to a work surface and continue kneading about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and slightly elastic.
  • Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat completely. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch down the dough. Knead again gently until it is in one smooth ball again.
  • Divide the dough into 10 equal pieces. Flatten a piece of dough between your hands to form a circle about 5"–6" in diameter. Place 2 tablespoons of char siu in the center of the circle. Bring up the edges of the dough and twist together to form a pouch around the filling. Place the bun on a square of parchment paper.
  • Once you have finished forming all the buns, cover them with a clean towel and place in a warm, draft-free place to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Heat several inches of water to simmer in a wok and set a rack on top. Place the buns inside a bamboo steamer or on a plate, about 1" apart, and steam with the lid on for 15 minutes. Do not lift the lid to check. Serve hot.