Baked barbecued pork buns (cha sui bao)

Yield: 20 servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
1 tablespoon Grated ginger
1 tablespoon Oyster sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon Dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons Sugar
¾ cup Water
1 tablespoon Peanut or corn oil
1 cup Finely chopped onion
3 cups Cantonese barbecue pork, in 1/2-inch dice (about 1-lb.)
1 tablespoon Cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon Sesame oil
2 \N Egg yolks
2 tablespoons Water
1 teaspoon Sugar
\N \N Chinese Baked Sweet Bread Dough (recipe follows)
1 pack Active dry yeast (1 tablespoon)
3 tablespoons Sugar
1 cup Warm milk (100 to 110)
1 \N Egg
¾ cup Vegetable oil
3½ cup All-purpose flour, + more for dusting and kneading

Reheat in a 350 degree F. oven for 5 minutes, or microwave at high about 1 minute.

Prepare bread dough. Cut out twenty 3-inch squares of parchment paper. Mix together ginger, oyster sauce, hoisin, dark soy, sugar and water in a bowl.

Heat a wok over medium-high heat. Add oil. When hot, add onion; stir-fry until soft. Don't brown. Add pork and stir-fry 30 seconds.

Pour in sauce mixture, bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch/water into a smooth mixture. Add to pork; cook, stirring until thick, about 15 seconds. Add sesame oil. Remove to bowl; refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Cut dough in half. Form each half into a 12-inch long log; cut into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a 4-inch circle. Roll outer inch of each circle ⅛-inch thin; leave middle slightly thicker.

If right-handed, place a dough circle in palm of your left hand. Put a big tablespoon of pork mixture in the ; middle; put left thumb over the pork. With your right hand, bring up edge and make a pleat in it.

Rotate circle a little and make a second pleat. As you make each pleat, gently pull it up and around as if to enclose your thumb.

Continue rotating, pleating and pinching, then gently twist into a spiral. Pinch to seal. Place bun pleated side down on a parchment square. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Put buns 1½ inches apart on a baking sheet. Let rise until doubled in size, 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Beat egg yolks with water and sugar; brush over buns. Bake 20 minutes.

Makes 20 buns.

CHINESE BAKED SWEET BREAD DOUGH Chinese bread dough is quite sweet compared with Western breads (the further south you go in China, the sweeter the dough becomes). Most Chinese breads are steamed, which is why they look pale and uncooked to the Western eye.

Put the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a small bowl. Add ¼ cup of the warm milk. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir to dissolve. If should foam and bubble. If it does not, discard and use a fresh package of yeast. Stir in the egg, oil and remaining milk.

Put the flour and remaining sugar in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Process 2 seconds. With the machine running, pour the warm milk mixture down the feed tube in a steady stream. Process until it forms a rough ball. If ball is sticky and wet, add a little more flour. Process a few seconds longer, or until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Remove dough to a lightly floured board.

Knead dough, dusting with flour to keep it from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 2 minutes. Place in a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough and place on a lightly floured surface. It is now ready to form into rolls, buns or loaves.

Makes enough for 20 barbecued pork buns. Joyce Jue, San Francisco Chronicle, ⅛/92 Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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