Chinese Steamed Pork Buns Recipe: How to Make Them at Home – Seaco Online
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Chinese Steamed Pork Buns Recipe: How to Make Them at Home

If you're a fan of Chinese cuisine, you've probably heard of steamed pork buns, also known as char siu bao. These fluffy, steamed buns are filled with succulent pork and a variety of other ingredients, making them a delicious and satisfying snack or meal. While they may seem intimidating to make at first, with a little practice and patience, you can easily create your own delicious steamed pork buns at home.

A bamboo steamer filled with freshly steamed pork buns, emitting a tantalizing aroma

Essential ingredients for making steamed pork buns include flour, yeast, sugar, pork, and a variety of seasonings and sauces. You can also experiment with adding other ingredients, such as seafood or vegetables, to create your own unique twist on this classic recipe. Preparing the dough and creating the filling are two key steps in the process, and it's important to follow the instructions carefully to ensure that your buns turn out soft, fluffy, and full of flavour.

Key Takeaways

  • Steamed pork buns are a delicious and satisfying Chinese snack or meal.
  • Essential ingredients for making steamed pork buns include flour, yeast, sugar, pork, and a variety of seasonings and sauces.
  • Preparing the dough and creating the filling are two key steps in the process of making steamed pork buns.

Essential Ingredients

A bamboo steamer filled with freshly steamed Chinese pork buns, surrounded by traditional ingredients like ginger, soy sauce, and green onions

When it comes to making Chinese steamed pork buns, it is essential to use the right ingredients to achieve the perfect texture and flavour. Here are the key ingredients you'll need:

Choosing the Right Flour

The type of flour you use is crucial to the success of your steamed pork buns. It is recommended to use all-purpose flour or Bao flour, which can be found at your local Asian market. Bao flour is specifically designed for making steamed buns and will give you the best results.

Selecting Quality Pork

The pork filling is the star of the show, so it's important to use high-quality pork. You can use pork belly or ground pork, but make sure it's fresh and preferably organic. If you want to add a seafood twist to your pork buns, you can add chopped shrimp or crab meat to the filling.

Yeast and Its Role

Yeast is an essential ingredient in the dough that gives the buns their light and fluffy texture. You can use dry yeast or active dry yeast, but make sure it's fresh and not expired. Yeast needs sugar to activate, so don't forget to add a pinch of sugar to the mixture.

Other ingredients you'll need for the dough include water, sugar, salt, and vegetable oil. For the filling, you'll need soy sauce, oyster sauce, cornstarch, ginger, onion, sesame oil, and scallions. You can also add garlic, hoisin sauce, vinegar, and shaoxing wine for extra flavour. To thicken the filling, use cornstarch mixed with water.

By using the right ingredients and following the recipe carefully, you can make delicious Chinese steamed pork buns that are sure to impress. Don't be afraid to experiment and add your own twist to the recipe, such as adding seafood to the filling.

Preparing the Dough

A pair of hands kneading dough for Chinese steamed pork buns. Ingredients and utensils scattered on a wooden countertop

Making the dough for Chinese steamed pork buns is a crucial step in the recipe. It is essential to get the dough right to achieve the perfect texture of the buns. Here are the steps to prepare the dough:

Mixing and Kneading

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in lukewarm water. Wait for 10-15 minutes to let the yeast become active and foam up. Add in the flour half a cup at a time and knead for about 15 minutes. Adjust the last half cup of flour accordingly. You can use all-purpose flour or cake flour for the dough.

The Importance of Resting

After kneading, let the dough rest for at least an hour. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave it in a warm place. This resting time allows the dough to rise and become more elastic, making it easier to work with.

Rolling Out the Dough

Once the dough has risen, punch it down and knead it again for a few minutes. Divide the dough into small portions and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball with your palm and then use a rolling pin to roll out the dough into a circle. Use flour to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface.

You can use parchment or a steamer liner to line the bamboo steamer. Brush the steamer with vegetable oil to prevent the buns from sticking.

If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use shrimp or crab meat as a filling. Make sure to cook the seafood before adding it to the filling.

In conclusion, preparing the dough for Chinese steamed pork buns is a crucial step in the recipe. You need to knead the dough well, let it rest, and then roll it out into circles. By following these steps, you can make perfect buns every time.

Creating the Filling

Pork, ginger, garlic, and soy sauce mix in a bowl. Dough is rolled out and filled with the pork mixture. Buns steam in a bamboo steamer

When it comes to making Chinese steamed pork buns, the filling is the star of the show. The filling is typically made with ground pork, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and cornstarch. However, you can also add chives or other vegetables to the filling to give it an extra crunch.

Seasoning the Pork

To make the perfect filling, you need to season the pork correctly. You can use either store-bought or homemade Char Siu, which is Chinese barbecue pork. If you are making the Char Siu at home, it requires at least 24 hours of marinating time. Once you have the Char Siu, chop it into small pieces and coat it in a simple sweet and savoury sauce made with soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.

If you are using ground pork, season it with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, and cornstarch. Make sure to mix everything together well so that the seasoning is evenly distributed throughout the meat.

Combining Ingredients

Once you have seasoned the pork, it's time to add the other ingredients. You can add chopped chives or other vegetables to the filling, depending on your preference. Then, mix everything together until well-combined.

When it comes to steamed pork buns, the filling should be moist but not too wet. If the filling is too wet, it will make the dough soggy and difficult to work with. To prevent this, you can add a little bit of cornstarch to the filling to help absorb any excess moisture.

If you want to add seafood to the filling, you can use shrimp or crab meat. Make sure to chop it into small pieces and mix it with the other ingredients. Seafood can add a delicious flavour to the filling and make it even more delicious.

Overall, creating the perfect filling for your Chinese steamed pork buns is all about finding the right balance of flavours and textures. With a little bit of experimentation, you can create a filling that is sure to impress.

Assembling and Cooking

A pair of hands kneading dough, filling it with seasoned pork, and carefully wrapping and steaming the buns in bamboo baskets

Folding and Pleating Techniques

After the dough has risen, it's time to assemble the pork buns. First, roll out the dough into a log and cut it into 12 equal pieces. Then, roll each piece into a ball and use a rolling pin to flatten it into a circle. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of the circle and gather the edges of the dough around the filling.

To pleat the dough, hold the bun in one hand and use your other hand to pinch and fold the edge of the dough towards the center, rotating the bun as you go. This will create a series of pleats that gather at the top of the bun.

Steaming the Buns

To steam the pork buns, you will need a steamer basket or bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper or a steamer liner. Place the buns in the steamer, making sure to leave enough space between them to allow for expansion.

Fill a wok or large pot with a few inches of water and bring it to a boil. Place the steamer basket or bamboo steamer on top of the wok or pot, making sure the water does not touch the bottom of the basket. Cover the steamer and cook the buns for 12-15 minutes, until they are puffy and cooked through.

Once the pork buns are cooked, remove them from the steamer and serve them hot. You can also make a dipping sauce by mixing together soy sauce, rice vinegar, and sesame oil.

If you're feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with using seafood in your pork bun filling. Shrimp or crab meat can be a delicious addition to the traditional pork filling. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix it with the char siu sauce before filling the buns.

Storing and Reheating

A steamer basket filled with freshly made Chinese steamed pork buns, with steam rising from the fluffy buns as they are being reheated

How to Store Steamed Buns

Storing steamed buns is crucial to ensure their freshness and taste. The best way to store steamed pork buns is by freezing them after they have been cooked. This way, you can keep them fresh for up to six weeks. You can place them in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them in the next few days, but not more than four days. If you have leftovers, it's best to store them in the fridge as soon as possible to avoid bacterial growth.

If you plan to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them. Freezing steamed buns is an excellent way to keep them fresh for an extended period. You can store them in the freezer for up to three months. Before freezing the steamed buns, make sure they have cooled down to room temperature. You can use freezer bags or airtight containers to store them in the freezer.

Best Reheating Practices

Reheating steamed pork buns is easy and can be done in various ways. The best way to reheat steamed buns is by using a steamer. You can use a bamboo steamer or a regular steamer to reheat the buns. Simply place the buns in the steamer and steam them for 5-8 minutes until they are heated through.

If you don't have a steamer, you can use a microwave to reheat the buns. Place the buns on a microwave-safe plate and microwave them for 1-2 minutes until they are heated through. If you are reheating frozen buns, there is no need to thaw them beforehand. Simply steam them for 8 minutes.

It's important to note that reheating steamed pork buns can make them dry or tough. To prevent this, you can wrap the buns in a damp paper towel before reheating them. This will help to keep them moist and tender.

If you want to add some variety to your steamed pork buns, you can also try adding seafood to the filling. Shrimp or crab are excellent options that can add a unique flavour to the buns. Simply chop the seafood into small pieces and mix them with the other filling ingredients.

Frequently Asked Questions

A bamboo steamer filled with freshly steamed pork buns, surrounded by traditional Chinese cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the secret to fluffy and soft bao dough?

The secret to fluffy and soft bao dough is to use the right type of flour and knead the dough properly. You should use a low-protein flour, such as cake flour or Hong Kong flour, and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. It's also important to let the dough rise properly before shaping and steaming the buns.

How can I ensure the pork filling is juicy and flavourful?

To ensure the pork filling is juicy and flavourful, use a good quality cut of pork, such as pork shoulder or pork belly. You should also marinate the pork in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings for at least a few hours, or overnight if possible. Finally, make sure to chop the pork into small pieces and mix it well with the seasoning before stuffing it into the buns.

If you're feeling adventurous and want to try a seafood filling, you can use prawns or crab meat for a delicious alternative.

Can I make steamed pork buns with alternative meats like chicken?

Yes, you can make steamed pork buns with alternative meats like chicken. Chicken thighs or breast meat can be used as a substitute for pork, and you can use the same seasoning and cooking method to make the filling. However, keep in mind that the texture and flavour of the buns may be slightly different.

What's the best way to reheat leftover bao buns without drying them out?

The best way to reheat leftover bao buns without drying them out is to steam them again. Simply place the buns in a steamer basket and steam for 5-10 minutes until they are heated through. Alternatively, you can microwave the buns for a few seconds, or wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20-30 seconds.

How long should I steam frozen pork buns to get the perfect texture?

To steam frozen pork buns and get the perfect texture, you should steam them for 12-15 minutes. Make sure to let the buns sit in the steamer for a few minutes after steaming to prevent them from collapsing.

Are there any vegetarian fillings that work well in a steamed bun recipe?

Yes, there are many vegetarian fillings that work well in a steamed bun recipe. Some popular options include mushroom and cabbage, tofu and vegetable, and sweet potato and black bean. If you're feeling adventurous, you can also try using jackfruit or seitan as a meat substitute.

If you want to add some seafood to your vegetarian buns, you can try using chopped prawns or scallops for a delicious twist.