Char Siu Bao is the Chinese Steamed BBQ Pork Buns which you can easily find at any Chinese Restaurant especially the one selling Dim Sum or Yum Cha. The size of the Char Siu Bao can be varies, some restaurants make the Char Siu Bao in dedicate bite size, however, some prefer it to be half our palm size. To me, I love Char Siu Baos because of its filling, the sweet, sticky with a faint fragrance of oyster sauce, the taste just make you want to continue eat more of it.
I can't find Hong Kong flour over here and I'm using Lighthouse self-raising flour for steamed buns. The baos came out a bit yellowish and not totally white in colour like the one selling. To cut short the cooking time, I bought the real deal tender and juicy Char Siu instead of homemade.
This recipe yield 21 buns. (I have extra filling for another bread making)
BBQ pork filling (The filling is able to make 40 buns):
500 g diced Char Siu (BBQ Pork)
1 small brown onion, diced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
4 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
3 tablespoon tapioca flour
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
500 ml water
400 g self-raising flour for steamed bun
8 g instant yeast
160 ml warm water
30 g vegetable oil
60 g sugar
10 ml cold water
2 teaspoons baking powder
Prepare the BBQ filling:
1. Heat up a cooking pan with cooking oil, add diced onion. Stir fried the onion until it is soft. Add the diced char siu, pour in the water. Add sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce, light soy sauce and dark soy sauce. When the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium, add the Chinese cooking wine, let it continue simmer for a while. Taste the char siu, if you prefer it to be sweeter, add more sugar. (The Char Siu filling should be strong in flavour so it can fusion well with the plain bao texture)
2. In a small bowl, add tapioca flour and mix well with 2~3 tablespoons of water, mix well. Pour the tapioca mixture into the cooking pan. Let the Char Siu gravy thicken. Remove the pan from the heat. Set aside to cool before store in the fridge for at least 2 hours (I let the filling sit overnight in fridge)
Prepare the bao dough:
1. In the mixing bowl, add self raising flour, instant yeast, warm water, and sugar. Using KitchenAid, speed 1 mix the flour mixture together to form rough dough. Add in vegetable oil, continue to knead in speed 2 until the dough is smooth.
2. Cover the dough and let it proof until double its size.
3. In a small bowl, add baking powder and the cold water. Mix well. Set aside.
4. When the bao dough is ready, punch down the air. Mix the dough with baking powder mixture, knead well. Let it rest for 15 mins.
5. Divide the dough into the desire portion, for my case 21 portions. Shape the dough into round balls, rest for 10 mins.
6. Flatten the dough, wrap in a heap teaspoon of filling, wrap up and seal the dough. Place a piece of baking paper below each bao dough.
7. Arrange the bao dough in a pre-heat off heat bamboo steamer (or any type of steamer you have). Let it proof for 15 mins.
8. Switch on the heat, steam the bao for 10 mins. Off the heat, let the bao sit inside the off heat steamer for 5 mins before taking them out. Serve warm.