Thursday, May 15, 2008

Char Siu Hum Bao (Chinese BBQ pork buns)

Ever since my husband returned from San Francisco, he's been craving steamed Chinese pork buns. I hate making yeasted doughs, but as serendipity would have it, I came across a "cheater" recipe which utilizes frozen dinner roll dough. The first step was to make some char siu pork so that I'd have meat leftover. This is one of my favorite dishes to use the slow cooker for. I used a tried-and-true recipe from Cooking Light with a lean pork roast. The ketchup sounds unorthodox, but according to David Rosengarten:

The name "ketchup" actually is derived from an old South Chinese name for a
popular condiment, and in this century Chinese chefs have avidly taken to the
Western-style tomato preparation that borrowed its name.

Well, if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me! I intentionally made extra pork so I'd have plenty left over.

Here's the sad looking leftover pork after sitting in the fridge for a day. It was so tender that I just shredded it with a fork.
Next, I made a sauce with shaoxing, hoisin sauce, and soy sauce, and then drenched the shredded pork with it.



Finally, I stuffed the mixture into dinner roll dough (which had already thawed and proofed). I used something called Parkerhouse rolls which made small, dumpling-like buns. I put them in the bamboo steamer on squares of parchment paper.


I didn't take a pic of the final product because I didn't seal up the tops well enough and so the end result, while tasty, wasn't terribly photogenic. Anyhow, my husband ate nine of these in one sitting so I assume it didn't matter.
These aren't as candy-sweet as the pork buns I've bought in restaurants and Chinese bakeries. However, that was a plus for me. If you like them very sweet, just add some honey to the hoisin sauce mixture. The dinner rolls were a bit fluffier than normal but they still retained that chewy texture that is the hallmark of char siu hum bao.
You could probably do this with any leftover pork roast, or even leftover brisket, because the sauce is so flavorful and overpowering. Vegetarians could even use shredded seitan or fake ground meat.
Oh, and I swear I cook plenty of other stuff besides Chinese food!

1 comments:

Celestial Freak said...

I've been looking for an easy version of a pork bun recipe. I've been playing with it in my head. And I'm so glad I found your blog post!

I love the title of this blog too, I might just have to subscribe! ;0)

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