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steamed pork bun (char siu bao)



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Prep Time: 240 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total: 280 minutes

Servings: 24


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Step 1

For the filling base heat the oil over medium heat and sauté the shallots 2 minutes or until light brown. Add the flour, stir to combine, and cook 1 minute.

Step 2

Add the chicken stock, stir well, and cook 2 minutes. Add soy sauce and cook one minute.

Step 3

Remove from heat and stir in cut pork and seasoning ingredients (oyster sauce, sugar, peanut oil, and sesame oil). Chill until very firm.

Step 4

Dissolve sugar in warm water, sprinkle yeast over; let stand 2 to 3 minutes and then stir to mix well. Let set until it starts to foam, 10 minutes.

Step 5

Sift flour and make well in the center. Whisk together the lard, sugar, yeast mixture, and milk. The fat will not completely dissolve into the liquid.

Step 6

Combine liquid mixture with the flour; gradually incorporate the flour with the liquid to make the dough. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, sprinkling with flour as necessary.

Step 7

Use the oil to grease the outside of the dough; cover and let rest in warm area 1 ½ hours or until double in size.

Step 8

Punch dough down and flatten out to about ¾-inch thick. Spread the baking powder mixture evenly on the dough (this acts as a stabilizer). Roll the dough up and knead about 10 minutes, or until smooth and satiny. The dough should be firmer than regular white bread dough. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Step 9

Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll one piece by hand to form a rope approximately 9-inches long and 1 ¼-inch in diameter. Mark into 6 equal parts, 1 ½-inch long.

Step 10

Holding the dough with one hand, grip at the first mark with the thumb and index finger of the other hand and tear away to break off a small piece. Continue breaking until you have 24 pieces.

Step 11

Flatten each piece of dough with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll each into a round disk, making a quarter turn with each roll.

Step 12

Roll to leave the center thick; thinner edges are easier to pleat.

Step 13

Place about 1 tablespoon of filling at the center of each dough round, flat-side up.

Step 14

Gather the edges by first pleating counterclockwise, and then twisting to seal securely. Place the bun round-side up on a square piece of parchment paper (2.5 X 2.5 inches). Let buns rest, covered for at least 30 minutes.

Step 15

Steam on high heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Do not uncover the steamer any time during the steaming. If a flat lid steamer is used, wrap the lid in a kitchen towel to prevent condensed steam from dripping on the buns.

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