A few weeks ago I made this Slow-cooked Five Spice Pork Shoulder , and although it was moreishly delicious I decided it would have been pork overdose to eat it all straightaway so I popped the shredded leftovers in the freezer thinking they would be nice in noodle soup.
Then while at my Mums this weekend, hanging out in in the Oriental Market, I remembered I used to buy these ready made little char siu bau, doughy little pillows filled with spicy pork , they were a perfect hangover food.
Char sui , this meat means fork roast, traditionally slices of pork shoulder are rubbed with a mix of honey, five spice powder, soy sauce, hoisin sauce and sherry vinegar and less traditionally but commonly used a red powder familiar in “chinese” rib sauces. The meat is then roasted “on a fork”. Bau is the bun, a sweet yeasty dough either steamed or baked. A little research convinced me the dough recipes were not beyond me, in fact although I had rice flour most the recipes said plain flour would work fine and having made the dough at lunchtime it took only a few minutes in the evening to make them – ready to steam in a few minutes.
I ate them with my hands my lips tingling with the chilli sweetness of the pork, the dough a perfect mix of fluffy and glutinous . They were not heavy at all and I had to stop myself eating way too many.
Since these took a few minutes to make if you are making from freshly cooked pork , you can make a batch that can be frozen to steam from frozen later.
Char sui bau
Makes 20 buns
6 cups of plain flour
2 cups of warm water
1 tsp of sugar
3g ( 1tbsp) of active dried yeast
1 tbsp of sunflower oil
- Mix together the sugar , oil & water.
- Add the yeast.
- Pour into the flour and mix well.
- Knead for a few minutes then leave to rise for at least 2 hours but if left well covered can be up to 5 minutes.
Mix 200g slow cooked five spice pork shredded and mixed 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce, 1 tsp of minced garlic ,1 sp of hone 1tsp chilli flakes , 1 tsp of rice wine vinegar.
To make the buns
- Remove a ping pong ball sized piece from the dough.
- On a very lightly floured surface , knock the dough flat with the heel of your hand.
- Place a well heaped teaspoon in the centre.
- Wet the edges of the dough and gather together squeezing to form a pouch
- Repeat until all the buns are all made
- To cook place the buns in a steamer with at least 1cm between them
- Steam well for 8 minutes