Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) – Food Wishes


hello this is chef john from food wishes
comm with steamed BBQ pork buns that’s right believe it or not this is
what they come out looking like if you don’t know what you’re doing which is
surprisingly similar to what they look like if you did so yes my love for
steamed pork buns far exceeds my skills in making them but that’s basically the
point I’m making is in experienced as I am and as questionable as my techniques
are I still achieve some fairly beautiful buns or bow as our Chinese
friends would call them so with that let’s go ahead and get started with what
is a very very simple dough and as usual that’ll begin with some warm but not too
hot water into which I’m going to sprinkle some dry active east and then
what we usually like to do is let our yeast get about a ten-minute head start
before we add the rest of the ingredients plus it also gives us a
chance to check to make sure our yeast is not dead which I’m happy to report
mine wasn’t and what we’ll do after about 10 minutes is go ahead and add the
rest of the ingredients including a little bit of vegetable oil a little
touch of white sugar and a whole bunch of self-rising flour which as you may
know is nothing more than regular flour that has salt and baking powder milled
into it and as usual if you do want to use all-purpose flour I will tell you
how to make it into self-rising flour in the block-post
and then what we’ll do is grab a wooden spoon and give this a mix until it comes
together to form a shaggy dough oh yeah you heard me a shaggy dough which is
just like a regular dough except much much heavier and basically looks
something like this which does not look good yet but that’s fine because what
we’ll do once it gets to this stage just go ahead and transfer it onto our work
surface and we’ll sort of push and press and squeeze it together until it finally
comes together into a ball at which point we’re gonna knead it until it’s
nice and smooth and as you know if it seems a little bit wet just sprinkle
over a little more flour and if it seems a little dry you could add a little bit
of water but it’s much much harder adding water than adding flour which is
why we always try to err on the side of having a little too wet of a dough then
to drive a dough speaking of which unlike most of our pizza dough and bread
dough recipes this one is not gonna be very sticky okay we still wanted a soft
and smooth but we don’t want this too wet and sticky so I basically needed
mine for about 10 minutes or so until I ended up with something that looked and
felt like this which felt really good and
what would do one sourdoughs needed has transferred into a lightly oiled bowl
and we’ll flip that around to lightly coat it in which part we’re gonna cover
this and let it rise in a warm spot for about two hours or until doubled and
while we’re waiting for that we can do a couple things for example make our
barbecued pork filling and while I didn’t happen to have any Chinese
barbecue pork on hand I did have a few leftover ribs it’s a pulled pork which
I’m simply gonna remove from the bone and go ahead and chop up before these
buns I wanted to keep my streak going of never having used the same filling twice
and I’ll also go into this in the blog post and give you some links to some
real filling recipes but this is what I went with this time and it really is a
great technique to use up some leftover meat so I went ahead and chop that up
and added it to a bowl along with some fairly finely sliced green onions also
known as scallions and then the only other things I’m putting in this very
simple filling would be some cayenne pepper some sesame oil and enough hoisin
to make this as saucy as you want and you’ll sometimes hear people refer to
hoisin as Chinese barbecue sauce which I’m not sure is that accurate but it
does have some similar elements including some sweetness but I should
mention that too traditional filling for these things is quite a bit sweeter at
least the ones I’ve had in San Francisco so at least this time I’m doing more of
a savory approach but anyway we’ll go ahead and mix that up and once it’s
looking and tasting just like we want we’ll go ahead and transfer that into
the fridge and move on to set up our bamboo steamer or other steamer of your
choice now first up we’re gonna have to add a couple inches of water to whatever
pot we’re gonna set our steamer over which in my case is a Dutch oven but you
can also use a skillet or a frying pan and if you don’t have a steamer there
are tons of hacks online to show you how to steam without one but these things
are relatively inexpensive and easy to find and I do recommend picking one up
especially if you get addicted to these but anyway once that set up we’ll go
back and check our dough which hopefully by now has doubled in size which means
we’ll give it the old poka poka to deflate it and we’ll proceed to transfer
that onto a lightly floured surface or I’m going to press it down before
dividing it into two pieces and I’m actually going to save half for a wild
and crazy experiment well actually not that crazy I just
wanted to see how the dough would steam the next day and then with the half I’m
using I’m gonna kind of roll that up into a tube like shape so that
eventually and hopefully I can cut six relatively even pieces and of course as
I finished I realize just cutting that flat piece of dough would probably been
easier but on the other hand this dough does feel really good but anyway somehow
someway we’ll divide that dough into six equal pieces and then we’ll take each
piece and sort of rub it against the surface to form a back into a ball and
then eventually press it out into a disc and then once that set we will roll each
disc out to about an eighth of an inch thick and maybe about four to five
inches in diameter and then one of the few tips I know about making these is
once that’s rolled out you want to go around the outside pressing that edge a
little bit thinner than the center which you can do very awkwardly with the
rolling pin like I am and by the way traditionally they use a much thinner
rolling pin it’s more like a wooden dowel or if you I can just go around
with your fingers press it in stretching and then what we’ll do once at set is
transfer in a spoonful of our filling and try to be careful not to touch it
with your fingers otherwise you’re gonna stain your dough and then the closes
there’s a great technique for forming little pleats all the way around which
I’ve never mastered oh I’ll try at the beginning but then I quickly give up and
just our randomly pinching and pleating it anywhere and by the way I think one
little issue I had here was the dough was a little bit dry so if you need to
don’t be afraid to moisten the edge of that dough with a little bit of water
and then once I was done pinching in a pleating I went around trying to get
those all folded over in the same direction which was only moderately
successful and right about here is when I generally forget about technique and
just sort of squeeze in pinch and twist everything so it seals at the top and
yet is horribly unprofessional as that pleating is as you’ll see once these are
steamed it actually looks pretty good so please try to relax because you really
only need to do it as bad as I did and then once form will go ahead and
transfer these onto a little square or parchment paper we’ve cut out and that’s
just so they don’t stick to the steamer and theoretically as you do these each
one will get a little better although not for me my second one looked pretty
much exactly the same but hey at least I got sauce on the dough
and then what we’ll do once these are prepped is go ahead and transfer them
into our cold steamer all right don’t turn it on yet because
what we’re gonna do is cover these and proof them for about a half hour to 45
minutes before we do the actual steaming step in roughly 35 minutes later mine
looked a little something like this and while these probably won’t double in
size they should puff up noticeably oh and I should mention I can fit six in
here but I’m just doing three since it’s always way easier to film fewer things
and then what we’ll do to finish these off is go ahead and cover them back up
and we’ll turn our heat on high and we’re gonna steam these for exactly ten
minutes but we do not start the timer until we can hear our water boiling and
we can see steam coming out through the top and then once that happens we’ll go
ahead and set our timer for 10 minutes and do not under any circumstances peak
and not only don’t we get to peak while it’s steaming we don’t even get to peak
after they’re steamed because what we’re gonna do as soon as our timer rings is
turn off the heat and then do absolutely nothing for 15 minutes all right do not
under any circumstances take off the lid and the reason is that rapid change in
temperature will cause our dough to collapse and instead of getting a
beautiful smooth glossy surface they will actually form all kinds of dimples
and dents and not look as good so somehow someway we will wait 15 minutes
at which point we can uncover them so that we may gaze upon the aforementioned
beautiful perfectly smooth surface and come on I don’t want to brag but by
looking at these you would have no idea I had no idea what I was doing so again
please don’t stress out too much when you’re forming these as long as that
dough at the top gets pinched together somehow these are gonna look great and I
should mention if you’re wondering why these aren’t snowy white like the ones
from the takeout place that’s because to achieve that you have to use a very
special Chinese dumpling flower which I never bother buying but if you did want
these to be snowy white you could go out and find some all right that’s up to you
and you guys are for all the chairman mao’s of your barbecued pork boughs but
personally I don’t mind the off-white I’m kind of off-white but anyway the
point is they look fine so let me go ahead and grab one and pull out the
paper so I can bite into make sure they taste fine and fine they did taste okay
my filling was good not great but good I felt like I needed
more sauce and possibly a little more sweetness but anyway the fillings gonna
be up to you the real video here is for the technique and the dough which was
absolutely perfect well not too technique but the dough okay was nice
and soft and tender so I really was thrilled with the texture of that and I
tend to use a pretty thin layer of the dough
all right the quote-unquote authentic ones I get here in San Francisco
probably have about twice as thick a layer of dough so it is a little more
bready with a little less filling but anyway that’s it my take on steam BBQ
pork buns like I said I’ll share a few links in the post in case you want to
make the real filling but if you do happen to have some leftover grilled or
barbecued meat this really was a delicious and pretty fun way to use it
up which is why I really do hope you give this a try soon so head over to
food wishes dot-com for all the ingredient amounts of more info as usual
and as always enjoy you

100 thoughts on “Steamed BBQ Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) – Food Wishes

  1. every time I see a recipe that calls for active yeast they say to check and make sure it's alive. How often does yeast arrive DOA?

  2. I feel like I'm listening to "chills" dad with the way both of your tones seem to raise and low down per sentence.
    Awesome video and recipe! I remember seeing fresh buns hit the table when I was really young. I thought they were visually the most simple yet delicious looking food. Being a kid I thought they were the American bread type of "bun". Biting into it was the first time I can remember seeing food as much more than "breakfast, lunch, and dinner".

  3. 很好唷!
    其實不但可以做成用蒸的包子,其實還可以用平底鍋做成用油煎,或是油+水做成水煎包………

  4. i like to use ground raw pork, napa cabbage, scallions, ginger and oyster sauce. makes the best tasting bao ever

  5. Question to Asians: When you were young did your mom tell you to peel off the smooth surface of the bao before you eat because that is where the chef's hands had touched?

  6. Great video and baos. But don't use dumpling flour. Dumpling flour has the gluten washed out, so you cannot make good dough with it. It is used mainly for Chinese dumplings.

    And this is the northern style bao. Bao in dim sum restaurants is Southern style known as Cantonese style bao. Just want to mention this in case anyone is interested in trying different styles of baos.

  7. I like your approach, all done by hand and going by heart, not by measurements. And encouraging use of leftovers! 🙂

  8. Being married to a Vietnamese I have eaten my share of Bun-Bao. Either your lump of pulled meat is too large or your dough needs to be rolled out larger but not thinner. Cut your dough log into quarters instead of sixths. You'll get a thicker shell on your Bun which is how most do turn out. Those are some of my favorite foods, but considering the Calories each has, it is not something I'd pop in my mouth and eat like I would with doughnuts. The larger ones you can purchase in the Asian stores are almost a meal in themselves.

  9. Fun to watch the Chinese ladies whip these together. A bun every 6-8 seconds or faster. Years of doing I guess. In Hawaii they are called Manapua, and as a teen we would take the bus to the beach for 10 cents, then after surfing got two buns for 25 cents each and a snow cone for the other 50 cents of our dollar. Best value on the island!

  10. I have seen Asian women put a towel then the steamer lid. So the water vapor doesn’t drop on the dough and make the dimples.

  11. I can't beleive there are people disliking Chef John's videos. He's so wholesome and corny how could you not love him

  12. I’m conflicted with this channel. I love your videos but you talk in a really annoying way that I have a hard time articulating. I think it’s the way you end every sentence with an upward infliction.

  13. I actually made these! the first time i followed a youtube recipe…I never had buns before but my GOD! Alot of work, but it was all worth it! Thanks!

  14. Whoa I'm surprised he didn't add the sugar earlier for the yeast to eat!
    I do not question chef John's skills😅

  15. “and theoretically as you do these each one will get a little better although not for me this one looks exactly the same! but hey at least I got sauce on the dough”😂😂😂😂😂😂😂 got me in tears 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  16. I make these breakfast style with scrambled eggs, veggie sausage and cheddar cheese for the filling. They turn out so amazing and delicious.

  17. I admire your honesty and coolness with the lack of technique with the pinching. 🙂 Also, I believe the traditional bao uses a 50-50% mix of cooked/uncooked pork. I am sure yours turned delicious as well.

  18. Hey there chef , i am a dim sum demi chef , we have few methods to make these barbecue buns . The best variant is the hk barbecue bun , which the dough is fermented for days. And we will use our thumb to press the content , and we fold it in a completely different method. Hope to contact you to exchange more info .

  19. actually char siu sauce is chinese bbq sauce. (char siu = prong/fork + burn/char/roast = bbq.) and hoisin (means seafood) is oyster sauce which is a component of char siu sauce.

  20. Genuinely curious to know if your voice goes up and down as much as it does in these videos. And with the exact same timing between the ups and downs 😂😂

  21. Here's a shortcut u can use any frozen can biscuit dough just roll out with flour dust it'll save u half the time.

  22. "traditional filly is sweeter….at least the ones I've had in san fran" lmao? recipes on point though

  23. I have tried others recipes and the buns never turned out good. I will try this recipe. Steamed pork buns are my favorite!

  24. I think your bread to meat ratio is perfect. "Authentic " Chinese steam buns have way too much bread.

    Hope you can start a movement.

  25. Is this person cooking deaf and the person speaking his interpreter? I absolutely love watching all these videos keep making them🤟🏻

  26. The good thing about these buns is that they always come out great, no matter how weird they looked when uncooked.

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