Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Steam Buns)

I've been trying to make char siu bao, aslo known as bbq pork steam buns, but never found the time for it. I've been planning to make it for a month now, I just had to find the right time to squeeze it in. Today wasn't actually a good day either. I was in my kitchen all day today, making royal icing, chocolate cookie dough, marshmallow fondant, and other random sweet desserts.

I toughed it out, marinated the pork, and made the steam bun dough. I'm glad I did.

This is my first time making char siu bao. The filling needs improvement, I will be tweaking it slowly until perfection is acheived. I like a dough without yeast. I feel like yeast steam buns have a weird yeast taste that never leaves even after steaming, so I'm against it. I've made steam buns with ground pork and eggs before.

I thought the filling was a little salty. I might add honey next time? My husband liked it, but he also didn't grow up eating steam buns. I aim for perfection every time I set out to copy something I've eaten in my childhood. Last week, I achieved the egg tarts, another dim sum item.

The recipe to the egg tarts is here -> EGG TARTS.

The next few weeks, I will try to get the filling right for the steam buns.

Here is the recipe for this steam bun.

White Vinegar

3 cups Self-Rising Flour
3 tps baking powder
1/2 cup sugar, more if you desire sweetness
1/4 tps salt
1 cup milk

1/2 lb char siu, bbq pork (mine is homemade, directions below), cubed
1/2 Tbs oil
3 tps sugar
1 small onion, chopped
1 Tbs oyster sauce
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 tps sesame oil
2 drops of red food color, gel
fresh ground pepper
150 ml water
1 1/2 Tbs corn starch 

1. Make/get char siu. Either go buy some at an asian BBQ shop or make some. I made mines. I marinated 1 pound of pork shoulder with a packet of bbq pork powder, available at asian markets. This was a shortcut, due to lack of time. Marinate for 4 hours.
2. Make the dough: Throw all the ingredients in a stand mixer, and mix for 15 minutes on low speed with either the dough or paddle attachment.
3. Cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
4. Make the filling: Heat up the oil in a wok/pan. Saute the onions until tender.
5. Add all the ingredients to the pan, except the water/corn starch.
6. Mix all the ingredients in the pan. Combine the water and corn starch in a small cup. Add to pan. Simmer until thickened.
7. Let cool. Divide into 21 portions. I used a small cookie scoop for perfect measurement.
8. Roll the dough on a lightly flour surface. Divide dough into 21 parts.
9. Set-up steamer. After the water boils, add some white vinegar in the water for whiter buns.
10. Roll each dough piece into a circle. The center being slightly thicker.
11. Add 1 tablespoon of filling. Pleat and seal the bun. Repeat.
12. Steam 5-6 pieces for 12 minutes. Don't open the steamer in the middle of cooking.
13. Remove from buns from streamer to prevent soggy bottoms. Repeat steaming with rest of buns.
14. Enjoy.


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