Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chinese Steamed Buns

As you well know the Cyclist and I love dim sum. Whether its at Pike Place Market or British Columbia we are willing to make a road trip for the best Chinese food. I can be sort of adventurous at a good dim sum restaurant but my meal is never complete until I have had Hum Bao! Apparently better known as Baozi or Char Siu Bao, it's a steamed bread bun filled with a sweet pork filling. Delightful.

For years we have thought about getting a rice steamer but never have. Well this Christmas I found one under the tree from my man. It's great for rice and has a nice little steamer basket to slip on top so adding a few vegis in the last few minutes is a great bonus.

But the biggest selling point for the Cyclist was the possibility of making our very own Hum Bao. I have yet to take the time to make a real Chinese pork filling but what we have tried has been awesome! The day after Christmas we filled them with some pre-made pulled pork we found at Grocery Outlet and the day after that we filled them with pizza fixings (this was the Cyclist favorite and the kids deep fried theirs. ~Beaner claims everything is better deep fried). You can be as creative as you want... I do plan on putting some time in and making the real thing but I keep thinking of other things I can try like... Apple, Peach or Cherry Pie Filling.

Until then I will give you the recipe for the dough and how to shape the bun.

I searched the internet and found several recipes for making steamed buns and finally chose to use this one from All Recipes . com courtesy of Michelle Che

Chinese Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao or Baozi)

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking powderLink
  • 2 tablespoons shortening


  1. Dissolve 1/4 cup sugar in 1 3/4 cups warm water, and then add the yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until mixture is frothy. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons shortening and the yeast mixture; mix well.
  2. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a greased bowl, and cover it with a sheet of cling wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until it has tripled in bulk.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl, and knead it on a lightly floured surface until it is smooth and elastic. Roll the dough into a long roll, and divide it into 24 pieces. Flatten each piece with the palm of the hand to form a thin circle. The center of the circle should be thicker than the edge. Place one portion of the pork filling in the center of each dough circle. Wrap the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch edges to form the bun. Let the buns stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Steam buns for 12 minutes. Serve.

The shaping is a little tricky so once again I sought direction from the Internet... You tube... the best source for anything "how to"... this one is good starting at minute 4:55. She gives good step by step directions for folding the dough. The rest is her directions for making the filling.

Have fun with this!