Baked Chinese Pork Buns with leftover roast pork, a true Asian delicacy. These baked dim sums are a much simplified version of the popular char siu bao, and are perfect for your Chinese New Year celebrations, and best served with a hot cup of green tea. The buns are baked to perfection, and have the right ratio dough/filling. Great for any party all year round.
If you are familiar with the Chinese cuisine, you will know how popular dim sum dishes are. These perfect bite-sized goodies vary from buns, to dumplings, rolls or wraps. Although the steamed dim sum are more common, baking or frying are also popular methods of cooking them.
The filling can be anything from pork, seafood, chicken or various vegetarian options. I can't tell how much l love dim sum, give me any shape or filling, and l'd eat until l pop. So, it does not come as a surprise that l wanted to make some myself.
I thought l better start with the easy ones, and these lovely baked buns are absolutely gorgeous. You really have to try these Chinese buns. They are so flavourful, soft, and easier to make than you think. They might not be like the Chinese Buns from China Town, but still.
Dim Sums are nothing but Chinese appetizers that are hugely popular all over the world, particularly during the Chinese Lunar New Year. Another dim sum that I absolutely love are the Chinese Potstickers or pan-fried dumplings.
So these pork buns are my own variation of the famous char siu bao, well easier to make, and perfect if you have any leftover roast pork.
Ingredients needed to make the dough
- white bread flour - you can also use plain flour if you wish, but the bread one works really well
- yeast - I used fast-action dried yeast, as it's dead easy to use
- warm water - it helps activate the yeast - make sure it's not too hot as the yeast won't work its magic
- salt - make sure the yeast mixture doesn't go on the salt, and it could prevent the dough from rising well
- sugar - helps activate the yeast
- oil - I used vegetable oil, olive oil also ok
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make the dough
- start by activating the yeast - in a small bowl, add the water, yeast, a tablespoon of flour and sugar
- give it a good stir, and set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy
- add the flour to a large bowl, together with the yeast mixture, oil and salt
- knead into a dough, cover with clingfilm, and set aside for 1-2 hours for the dough to double its volume
Ingredients needed to make the pork filling
- leftover roast pork - you can either use leftover pork from a roast pork with crackling or from roasted pork belly
- light soy sauce - adds saltiness to the dish
- dark soy sauce - gives a deeper colour
- sesame oil - it has a delicate flavour that compliments the sauce
- white rice vinegar - adds acidity to the sauce
- caster sugar - balances the acidity of the vinegar
- garlic, green onions and ginger - the famous trio that makes the Chinese food so good
- vegetable oil to fry
Step-by-step photos and instructions to make the filling
- in a wok or frying pan, add the vegetable oil and heat it up
- add the chopped spring onion, garlic and ginger, and stir for 30 seconds
- add the chopped roast pork and give another good stir
- in go all the ingredients for the sauce, and stir fry for 1-2 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave it to cool completely
How to assemble the Chinese pork buns
- when the dough is ready, flour the work surface, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough
- use a 6 cm- cookie cutter to cut out rounds
- add a teaspoon of the pork filling to the centre of the round, then use your finger tips to bring the dough together into a ball, making sure the filling cannot escape
- brush the buns with the beaten egg, and sprinkle over sesame seeds
- bake in the preheated oven at 200 degrees Celsius (390 Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes or until golden
The dough won't double its volume unless it's kept in a warm place - the warmer, the better. You can double prove the dough - that is prove a second time when the balls are formed, for 30 minutes or so, but you can skip that step if you wish.
Make sure the filling is completely cool before adding it to the pastry, otherwise you get the much dreaded soggy bottom.
What to serve with dim sum
You can either enjoy them just like that, or make a simple dipping sauce from soy sauce, sesame oil, a pinch of sugar and rice vinegar I have this Chinese stir fry sauce too. This is the simplest, yet the tastiest dipping sauce that goes well with any Chinese dim sum.
Chinese food is so tasty, I absolutely love it! And since we talked about Chinese appetizers, although it's not a dim sum, another great choice for a party are the chicken satay skewers.
There is something about that delicate flavour that make Chinese food perfect, and these vegetarian dim sum buns are no exception. Worth a try!
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Baked Chinese Pork Buns
For the dough:
- 2 ¼ cups white bread flour
- 2 teaspoon dried fast-action yeast
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- ⅔ cup warm water
- 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the filling:
- 2 cups leftover roast pork
- 2 spring onions
- 2 garlic clove
- 2 cm fresh ginger root
- 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon light soy sauce
- ½ tablespoon white rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon caster sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- To make the dough, combine the water, yeast, a tablespoon of flour and sugar and set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast mixture to become frothy.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, add the yeast mixture, oil and salt and knead well for about 5 minutes, until the dough becomes elastic and does not stick to the hands - use a bit more flour if necessary.
- Shape the dough into a ball.
- Lightly oil the bowl and the dough, cover with clingfilm and a clean tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for 1-2 hours, until the dough doubles its volume.
- Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok.
- Chop the spring onions, garlic clove and ginger, and stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add the finely chopped pork, and give it a good stir
- Mix in the soy sauces, sesame oil, sugar and white rice vinegar, and leave it to cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and allow the filling to cool.
- Transfer the dough to the work surface, roll it so it can have about ½ cm thickness, then cut it in rounds of 6 cm in diameter.
- Place a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of each circle, then seal well with your fingers, and shape into small balls.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. (390 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Arrange the balls on a baking tray, brush the buns with the beaten egg and sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
- Bake for 15 minutes until golden.
- Serve warm!
- The dough won't double its volume unless it's kept in a warm place - the warmer, the better. You can double prove the dough - that is prove a second time when the balls are formed, for 30 minutes or so, but you can skip that step if you wish.
- Make sure the filling is completely cool before adding it to the pastry, otherwise you get the much dreaded soggy bottom.