Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Cha Siu Bao

Cha Sui Bao is ukrainian savory pastry dish .... ok, ok - just kidding. Although this barbecue-pork-filled bun belongs to Cantonese cuisine it is so similar to my ukrainian 'pirozki'. Anyway, cha siu bao is what was suggested for Daring Cooks this month. Below is the recipe I followed and all the cooking process in picture.

Chinese (Cantonese)
1 pork fillet/tenderloin (roughly 1-1.5 pounds)
3 large portabella mushrooms
4 cups of cooked and chopped snow pea pods
4 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon (3 gm) ginger, grated
1 tablespoon peanut oil
3 tablespoons honey
2 + 1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 + 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
½ teaspoon (2 gm) ground black pepper
½ teaspoon (2 gm) five spice powder
½ + 1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 bunches green onions/spring onions (sliced)
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
1 teaspoon (2 gm) cornflour

5 teaspoons (16 gm/2 satchel) of dried yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup warm water
4 cups plain flour
2 eggs (medium size - slightly beaten)
6 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon salt
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water


1. I've made 4 kinds of buns - with pork filling and mushroom filling, both were baked and steamed. First, I prepared  marinade mixing together crushed garlic, ginger, peanut oil, honey, 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, black pepper, five spice powder and 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

 2. After marinating pork for 2 hours, I seared pork pieces in a skillet with a little peanut oil.

3. Now pork goes to 375F preheated oven for about 30 min. But first, I basted it with remaining marinade and baked it on a rack. Cha siu come out with a beautiful crust, nice and juicy.

 4. After pork cools down, to prepare pork filling, cut pork into rather small pieces at least 1/2"x1/2". In a skillet, brifly cook pork, half of your scallion, cornflour, chicken stock, remaining hoisin sauce and dark soy sauce. In a picture below, besides scallion you see another greenery I picked up in chinese store. I didn't even try to memorize its name, I just was tempted by its fresh slightly garlicy aroma that I couldn't resist buying and throwing it to a pot.

5. While pork filling cools down, time to work on vegetarian option for myself. It is express method consisting of cooking diced portabella mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, then adding another half of scallions and chopped snow pea pods. To create sause throw same condiments/sauces as for pork filling above.

6. To prepare dough I take time here and there in between filling preparations. I just have to say that I never had this magically fast and nice growing yeast dough before. It may be the recipe "to blame" but also may be the fact that I never bother myself buying bread flour for yeast dough and always was using all-purpose one. This time I've got bread flour and was amaised with results.
Also I'm sure final product (buns) tasted fantasticaly due to considarable amount of sugar and salt in it.

It's alive!

7. I do baked and steamed. To distinguish between meat and vegetarian bao, I use black esame seeds on top for vegetarian and white sesame seeds for pork bao (bun).

And here is a grand finale. 

My family members reviews? Rave, they couldn't get enough!

Blog-checking lines: Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!