World Cuisine - Created Date : 12.6.2019
Chinese BBQ Pork Buns (Baked Cha Siu Bao Recipe)
Ah, childhood. When choices were easy (Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network?) and one’s biggest concerns were in the vein of running home fast enough from the elementary school to catch the ice cream truck and the 3:30 PM escapades of Arthur the aardvark on PBS. When your parents seemed to know everything there was to know about everything, and you saw the entire world from a foot or two lower to the ground. Eating Chinese BBQ Pork Buns or baked Cha Siu Bao was also part of that childhood!
My particular version of childhood involved a lot of sinking Titanic reenactments in my friend Reema’s above ground pool (we were very melodramatic children), reading at recess, strong lobbying for a family puppy acquisition, the collected cinematic works of John Hughes, my see-through purple Gameboy Color, and a gradual familiarization with anything having to do with horses. It also involved a lot of Saturday morning car rides into Queens and Chinatown, when we would visit my grandparents or cousins, grab dim sum, and inevitably stop by a Chinese bakery for some warm bread.
There were always the usual suspects…the pillowy soft butter buns, the sweet, crumbly pineapple buns, the vastly-appealing-to-Chinese-American-kids “hot dog” buns (my enchantment with this particular pastry has…ebbed over the years. [update] – THAT IS, UNTIL I MADE THEM MYSELF! Here’s the Chinese hot dog bun recipe.), and of course, the “cha siu baos,” or baked BBQ pork buns, which are filled with a savory, slightly sweet filling of Cantonese roast pork. Chinese BBQ Pork buns, dim sum and Chinese bakery favorites are of course, the subject of today’s post.
(If you would rather have a steamed bun, then peruse our recipe for Steamed Char Siu Bao pork buns. It’s most definitely the real deal and you won’t be disappointed!)
Out of all the bakeries in and around Beijing–the Paris Baguette‘s, Bread Talk‘s, Holliland’s, and Wei Duo Mei‘s packing the city, no one seems to have this “quintessentially Chinatown” pastry. Until now!
You know, because we do.
These take some time, but are pretty easy to put together, especially if you can get the roast pork ready made from your local Chinese grocery store’s hot bar. If not, you can also easily make your own roast pork, with this fantasmagorical Chinese BBQ Pork (cha siu) recipe we posted a few days ago. In any case, the bread dough is fairly straightforward as well. It involves one crucial, dead simple step at the beginning, which involves making a quick five-minute roux/paste with flour, water, and milk. The paste, called a “tangzhong,” is then mixed with the rest of the dough ingredients, and you knead the heck out of it until it’s smooth. Easy.
Let’s get started.
For the Chinese baked pork buns:
UPDATE: You can still use this recipe for the bread dough, but you also have the option to use our new Milk Bread recipe, which is considerably easier (and, truth be told, softer). Find the recipe here. As is the case with both dough recipes, you can fill the dough with cha siu pork filling after it’s proofed once, and then let them rise a second time after they’ve been filled.
In a medium saucepan, mix 1/3 cup flour with 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup milk until the flour is dissolved. Put the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture resembles a thick paste, about 3-5 minutes. If it looks like vanilla pudding, it’s too thin. If it looks kind of like really thick toothpaste, it’s just right. You can also measure the temperature with a thermometer, if you’re the Alton Brown type. It’s about right when it’s reached 149 degrees F/65 degrees C. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 5 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix it all together with your hands.
Add the flour paste (aka the tangzhong), 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, and the melted butter. Stir together to form a soft dough, and knead (by hand or with the dough hook attachment of your mixer) for 15-20 minutes. Because our KitchenAid Stand Mixer didn’t make the journey from NJ to China, I did this all by hand–in front of the TV, so I wouldn’t get bored. It wasn’t really that bad.
Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 1 hour.
While that’s happening, make the filling. Chop up some onion, dice the pork into small cubes, and take out some chicken broth (or in our case, some Organic Better than Bullion mixed with some water).
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
Add the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy.
Stir and cook until it starts to bubble up.
Add the chicken stock and flour. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring, for a couple minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the roast pork. Set aside to cool.
After it’s risen, separate the dough into 16 equal pieces.
Shape each piece into a small circle, where the center is slightly thicker than the edges. This prevents the top of the bun from being too thin and bursting open mid-bake. That would be bad.
Put a couple tablespoons of filling into each!
Crimp them closed, making sure they’re tightly sealed. It’s a similar technique to making Shanghai soup dumplings. But no need to unnecessarily complicate things. Just make sure it’s closed, and closed tightly.
Lay them out seam side down on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Put them in the oven and immediately turn the oven down from 400 degrees (about 200 degrees C) to 350 degrees (about 175 degrees). Bake these BBQ pork buns for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
And then don’t immediately grab one, bite into it, burn your tongue, and then almost drop it on the floor whilst nursing a second degree mouth burn. I, uh…let them cool off for a few minutes before not doing that.
These Baked Chinese BBQ pork buns (cha siu baos) are a joy to make and to eat. Whether they bring you back to your childhood, or are an entirely new experience, we hope you enjoy them. Post any questions or comments down below, where you’re guaranteed a pleasant and/or witty answer from one of us.
In a medium saucepan, mix ? cup flour with ? cup water and ? cup milk until the flour is dissolved. Put the pan over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture resembles a thick paste, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 5 cups of flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add the flour paste (tangzhong), 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, and melted butter. Stir together to form a soft dough, and knead (by hand or with the dough hook attachment of your mixer) for 15-20 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and place into a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise for 1 hour.
While that’s happening, make the meat filling. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and dark soy. Stir and cook until it starts to bubble up. Add the chicken stock and flour. Reduce the heat to medium low and cook, stirring, for a couple minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the roast pork. Set aside to cool.
After it has risen, separate the dough into 16 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a small circle, where the center is slightly thicker than the edges. Fill each with meat filling, and crimp them closed, making sure they’re tightly sealed. Lay them out seam side down on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and let rise for another hour. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (200 degrees C)
Brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds (if using). Put them in the oven and immediately turn the oven down from 400 degrees (about 200 degrees C) to 350 degrees (about 175 degrees). Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Could I use a bread maker to make the dough…or even use a packet of white bread mix and use the dough cycle as my hands won’t take kneading now but I’d love to make these….thank you for a great site I’ve just found it through recommendation from “recipetineats” in Australia
Is it possible to make these up and freeze them to cook later? I love these but live alone. It would be easier to make a batch and just cook as needed. I just wasn’t sure how they’d do doing that route
I make these and I freeze some (already baked) but I don’t use the microwave as they’ll be soft and I love the crisp exterior. I defrost them in the counter for a couple hours then reheat and recrisp the crust in the oven at 375. Just as good reheated this way! Not as good in the microwave.
HOOO-EEE!! We made these yesterday with a few mods (I always do). Delicious, but a lengthy process. I used a shortcut, Bridgford frozen bread dough. My husband asked what it would be without the shortcut, and I told him making our own dough! Thank you for the recipe.
I made your milk bread recipe so many times and my fav stuffing is still char siew pork or chicken added with some shitake mushrooms or white mushrooms. Sometimes I will even put curry chicken or beef. Thanks again for the recipes!
The Best Healthy Fast Food Options
Fast-food stores are plentiful and fast food has the reputation of being unhealthy, while an increasing number of large chains are adding more nutritious options to their menus.
Sockets that allow more customization of orders tend to have lower calorie or more feeder selections. However, there are currently healthy options on the menu of the largest fast-food chains.
In this article, we'll look at the overall calorie, fat and saturated fat content to find some of the healthiest options that seven big fast-food chains have to offer.
Note, however, that calories and fat are only two aspects of how healthy a meal is fed. If a person eats only fast food, it is not possible to get the necessary nutrients such as vitamins and fiber.
Sandwich with cheese and vegetables
One person can customize Subway sandwiches to choose healthy fillings.
Metro specialize in deli style sandwiches or "sub". As a person can customize every "sub", Subway can be one of the healthiest healthy fast-food chains.
Some of the best sandwich options are on the Subway's Fresh Fit menu. The 6-inch Turkey Breast sandwich with nine wheat bread contains 250 calories and 3 grams of fat, including 0.5 g of saturated fat.
A healthy vegetarian option, Veggie Delite in nine wheat bread. This "bottom" contains only 2 g calories, does not contain 2 g total fat and saturated fat. It also has one of the lowest sodium levels (salt) compared to other sandwiches.
Subway also offers salads that can be a low-calorie alternative to a sandwich. All salads include lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, onions, cucumbers, green peppers and olives.
Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options
Fast food and diabetes: Tips and options
Are you having trouble finding a fast-food option for living with diabetes and occasional treatment? We can help you.
2. Taco Bell
Taco Bell is another great fast-food chain with a variety of healthy options. The ability to personalize each order allows people to choose more vegetable-like nutrients.
According to Taco Bell's website, three-quarters of its menus are under 500 calories. Some of the lowest calorie options are the Fresco menu, which uses regular sauce and cheese instead of vegetable based salsa.
One of the healthiest options is Chicken Soft Taco. Each taco contains about 170 calories, 8 g fat, containing only 3 g of saturated fat.
Bean Burrito is a vegetarian option containing 11 g fat, 380 calories, including 4 g of saturated fat.
Vegetarian options are lower in fat than meat options.
Chipotle is a Mexican-style chain that specializes in tacos and burritos. Similar to Subway and Taco Bell, Chipotle allows people to customize their meals to include healthy choices.
Healthy options are burritos or white rice instead of white rice. In a chicken bowl bowl containing fresh tomato salsa and brown rice, there are 415 calories, 13 g fat and 4 g saturated fat.
For a lower calorie, vegetarian option, people can choose a plate of bean curd, brown rice and a sofritas patty with lettuce. It contains 365 calories, 10 g fat and 1.5 g saturated fat. Adding sauce will increase the number of calories.
McDonald's had the reputation of being unhealthy, but they recently reaffirmed themselves to offer a variety of fresh and nutritious ingredients. Some of these changes may be cosmetics, while McDonald's has better options.
Fillet-O-Fish contains 390 calories and 4 g of saturated fat from 19 g of total fat. Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad contains only 320 calories and 6 g of saturated fat from a total of 14 g.
5. Burger King
Burger King is one of the largest burger chains in the United States, but has a limited number of healthy options. But some choices are a little healthier than others.
It contains a normal, simple hamburger, 10 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, and 240 calories. Grilled Chicken Sandwich contains 470 calories, 3.5 g saturated fat and 19 g fat.
BK Veggie Burger can be a healthier option among these examples. Contains 2,5 g of saturated fat, 390 calories and 17 g of fat.
Baked potato with knife, sour cream and cheese filling on plate
Baked potatoes can be a healthy fast-food option.
Wendy is another common fast-food chain that allows people to personalize their orders to make their choices healthier.
The menu of the chain is not abundant in healthy options, but some meals are able to customize to lower the calorie content.
Salads are also available, and if a person chooses some of the half-size salad choices, they can stay below 500 calories.
With a few vegetarian options at Wendy's, Sour Cream and Chive Baked Potatoes