Bao Buns with Char Siu BBQ Pork
Bao steamed buns are a very popular street food throughout China and Taiwan and are basically a sweet white, yeast leavened, steamed bun that is then filled with all sorts of amazing treats! There are always vegetarian options these days, and we have a vegan option below, with no less flavour. The shape is unique, and the sweetness of the fluffy bun is traditional. We have cut back on the sugar, and you could leave it out entirely if you wished, though the pork marinade is full of sticky sweetness!
If you wish to offer an accidentally vegan version of the Bao Buns, make the Char Siu Pork marinade omitting the oyster sauce, then marinate 200g of mixed mushrooms for 30 minutes. Fry mushrooms on a medium-high heat with a drizzle of EVOO. Use as you would the pork in this recipe.
We love both versions equally and I will usually make both if I have guests.
This recipe appears in The Weekend Table and if you don't have that book yet, you better hurry. I have the last copies in Australia...and not many of those.
The amazing pictures throughout The Weekend Table were taken by the incomparable Samira Damirova.
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- 1 Batch Char Siu BBQ Pork Set aside half of the marinade. Recipe
The Bao Buns
- 100 Grams water
- 120 Grams milk
- 1 Tablespoon dry yeast
- 25 Grams Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) plus more as needed BUY
- 350 Grams plain flour BUY
- 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon raw caster sugar BUY
- 1 Pinch pink salt flakes BUY
- water for steaming
- Carrot and Daikon Pickle Recipe
- 1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, shredded
- 40 Grams daikon radish, shredded
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 Teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 Handful fresh coriander or cilantro leaves
- Chilli Jam to taste Recipe
Make the Char Siu BBQ Pork as per the recipe, saving half of the marinade to make a sauce.
To make the sauce, cook the remaining marinade 10 min/Varoma/speed 1/MC off. Set aside.
To make the Bao Buns, place water, milk, yeast and EVOO into a clean and dry Thermomix bowl and warm 2 min/37°C/speed 2.
Add flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and combine 6 sec/speed 6. Knead 3 min/Interval/dough setting.
Tip dough out onto a floured silpat mat. Wrap and allow to double in size.
Roll dough on a floured bench to approx 1/4 inch think. Cut out circles using a circle cookie cutter (or a glass) approx 3 1/2 inch circles.
Brush some EVOO on one side of each Bao and fold in half, oil side in. Place baos onto baking paper lined Varoma tray and dish. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Place 1 litre of water into the Thermomix bowl. Bring to the boil 10 min/Varoma/speed 2.
Place filled Varoma in place when water is boiling. Steam 10 min/Varoma/speed 3.
Place cucumber, carrot and daikon into a bowl with the white wine vinegar and combine. You can add a tsp of sugar to this pickling liquid if you wish.
To assemble, fill steamed bao with sliced BBQ pork, a drizzle of reduced marinade, pickles, spring onion, black sesame seeds, coriander and chilli jam. Serve immediately...you may wish you made a double batch. Just saying.
Alternatively, lay everything out separately then allow guests to assemble bao themselves.
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