Steamed Chinese Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) with Chris Toy
Chris Toy has been teaching cooking for many years and is also a veteran of the Maine public school system where he was both a teacher and a middle school principal. Even after retiring, Chris continues to fill his time educating people in many different ways. Recently, he published his 6th cookbook – Complete Wok Cookbook. Now You’re Cooking has Chris’s entire cookbook collection, and they are all signed by the author! 

Char Siu Bao is an iconic Chinese steamed bun, filled with an aromatic pork filling. Steaming in a bamboo steamer keeps the buns moist and tender. Eat them as part of a dim sum menu, or have them as an appetizer before your stir fry (see one of Chris’s 3 cookbooks dedicated to stir-frying!)

2 lb Pork Butt (the fattier the better!)
¼ cup Oyster Sauce
¼ cup Hoisin Sauce
1 Tbsp Chinese Five Spice
2 Tbsps Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Corn Starch

Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place meat and ingredients into a cast iron wok (or a roasting pan) and roast for 20 minutes. Turn pork over and roast for 20 more minutes.
Remove pork from oven and let sit for five minutes.
Mix cornstarch with a small amount of cold water, and whisk into hot meat juices until dissolved.
Cube pork into ¼” pieces and return to wok.

1 Tbs Instant Yeast (sometimes called bread machine yeast)
2 cups Self-rising Flour
¼ cup Corn Starch
¼ cup Sugar
4 Tbsps Butter
1 cup Hot Tap Water

Combine dry ingredients and butter in a food processor.
Slowly add hot tap water until a soft ball of shaggy dough is formed.
Place dough in a ziplock bag for 10 minutes. (Or tightly cover a bowl with plastic wrap.)

Filling the Buns and Cooking
Form dough into 8-10 balls and flatten with the palm of your hands to form a disc about 3-4 inches across.
Place 2 Tbsp of filling in the center and bring sides up to the around it to enclose.
Pinch and twist to seal.
Place buns on flattened paper cupcake liners* in a covered bamboo steamer over a wok with an inch or 2 of water in the bottom.
Steam for 10 minutes.
Serve warm. 

*You can use parchment paper or lettuce leaves, but don’t place the buns directly on the bamboo or they will stick.