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Char Siu Pork Buns

by Gok Wan from Gok Cooks Chinese

A lip-smacking recipe for Char Siu pork buns. This dim sum favourite from Gok Cooks Chinese features sticky barbecued pork tenderloin in a fluffy Chinese bun.


In Chinese cuisine there are so many different types of dumpling, with so many different fillings and flavours inside them; whether steamed, fried or boiled, the Chinese have eaten them for thousands of years. These buns filled with barbecued pork are a classic dim sum dumpling.

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For the char siu filling:
2 tbsp groundnut oil
200g pork tenderloin, roughly diced into 1cm pieces
2 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp yellow bean paste
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
For the buns:
500g plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
1 sachet (7g) of fast-action yeast
2 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tbsp caster sugar
300ml warm water
1 tbsp sesame oil
To garnish:
16 goji berries (optional)

Essential kit

You will need a wooden basket steamer.


Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat. Once hot, add the diced pork and stir-fry until it turns golden. Pour in the Shaoxing rice wine and let it reduce for 30 seconds. Spoon in the yellow bean paste and the hoisin sauce, and stir to incorporate. Add the soy sauce and turn off the heat. Let the mixture sit and cool while you make the buns.

Put all the ingredients apart from the water and sesame oil into a bowl and roughly combine. Pour half the warm water into the dry ingredients and stir. Pour in the remaining water and mix well. Dust a clean surface with a little of the extra flour, and tip the dough on to it. Knead with your hands for 5 minutes. Once kneaded, if possible try to shape your dough into a rough ‘bun’.

Rub the inside of a large bowl with the sesame oil. Put in your dough, cover with clingfilm or a clean teatowel, place in a warm place and leave to prove until the dough has at least doubled in size. This normally takes a minimum of 90 minutes.

Tip the dough on to a floured surface and knead it again, to knock out the air. Take a golfball-sized piece of dough and flatten it with the palm of your hand. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the cooled pork mixture into the middle of the flattened pastry. Carefully pull up the edges of the dough to encase the filling in a ball shape, then smooth the edges and place on a floured tray.

Repeat the process with the remaining dough and filling, then cover the buns with a damp tea towel and leave to rise for another 15 minutes. Once risen, place each one on a small disc of baking parchment with the join underneath. Top each bun with 2 goji berries, if using. Place in a steamer and cook for 12-15 minutes.

Take the steamer baskets to the table and serve immediately, as part of a dim sum feast.

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