The Daring Cooks Make Char Sui and Char Sui Bao | The Gingered Whisk: The Daring Cooks Make Char Sui and Char Sui Bao

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Daring Cooks Make Char Sui and Char Sui Bao

Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from Belly Rumbles! Sara chose awesome Char Sui Bao as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. To be honest, I don't think this cold is ever going to go away. I'm so tired of coughing. But that's not why this post is going to be short. No, you see, the reason I'm not going to ramble on today is this - Ladybug is in bed. My DVR is empty. Facebook has been sufficiently stalked. I'm taking this evening as mine, and I'm going to take a shower!! And then curl up in bed and read a book! 

I was excited when I saw this month's challenge. I had never heard of either Char Sui or Char Sui Bao. Both dishes were very easy to prepare, and turned out really great! After a day of marinading, you just bake the pork and get it all nice and chared (you can also BBQ it, if you happen to be cool enough to have a grill). I was really surprised and pleased with the taste -  slightly spicy and slightly sweet! We loved it! The next day we used the leftovers for the Char Sui Bao. At first I wasn't so sure about the dough, it didn't seem to be coming together as smoothly as I wanted it to. But after a nice rest in the laundry room (the only warm spot in the house) the little buns came together beautifully! Overall, I am really pleased with this meal (both of them, actually!) They were fairly easy to prepare and we all really enjoyed them!

Char Sui (Cantonese BBQ Pork)


1 teaspoon (6 gm) salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon (3 gm) ground white pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon shaoxing cooking wine
1 teaspoon (3 gm) five spice
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
  1. Trim the pork loin to remove fat and tendon and slice lengthways so you have two long pieces, then cut in half. Place in container that you will be marinating them in.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine.
  3. Cover pork well with ⅔ of the marinade mixture. Marinate for a minimum of 4 hours, I find it is best left to marinate overnight. Place the reserved ⅓ portion of the marinade covered in the fridge. You will use this as a baste when cooking the pork.
  4. Pre-heat oven to moderate 180˚C/350°F/gas mark 4.
  5. Cover a baking tray with foil or baking paper. Place on top of this a rack on which to cook the pork.
  6. Place pork in a hot frying pan or wok. Sear it quickly so it is well browned
  7. Remove from pan/wok and place pork on the rack and place in oven.
  8. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, basting and turning until cooked through.

Baked Char Sui Bao (Cantonese BBQ Pork Bun) 
Servings: 12
Filling Ingredients
350 gm (12 oz) char sui (finely diced)
2 green onions/spring onions (finely sliced)
1 tablespoon hoisin
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
¼ cup (60 ml) chicken stock
1 teaspoon (2 gm) cornflour
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
(1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Dough Ingredients
2½ teaspoons (8 gm/1 satchel) of dried yeast
¼ cup (55 gm/2 oz) sugar
½ cup warm water
2 cups (280 gm/10 oz) plain flour
1 egg (medium size - slightly beaten)
3 tablespoons oil
½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt
Egg wash: 1 egg beaten with a dash of water
(1 cup=240 ml, 1 tablespoon=15 ml, 1 teaspoon=5 ml)
Filling Directions:
  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or pan.
  2. Add diced char sui to the wok/pan and stir then add spring onions, cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add hoisin, dark soy sauce and sesame oil to the pork mixture, stir fry for one minute.
  4. Mix cornflour and stock together and then add to the pork mixture.
  5. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens, 1 or 2 minutes.
  6. Remove mixture from wok/pan and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
Bun Directions:
  1. Place the sugar and warm water in a bowl, mix until the sugar has dissolved. Add yeast and leave it for 10 - 15 minutes until it becomes all frothy.
  2. Sift flour in to a large bowl.
  3. Add yeast mixture, egg, oil and salt and stir. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands.
  4. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and slightly elastic.
  5. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to rise until it is double in size. This will take from 1 - 2 hours depending on weather conditions.
  6. Once dough has doubled in size knock back and divide in to 12 portions and shape in to round balls.
  7. Use a rolling pin to roll out to approximately 5cm (2 inches) in diameter. Then pick the piece of dough up and gently pull the edges to enlarge to about 8cm (3 inches) in diameter.By doing this it keeps the dough slightly thicker in the centre. This means when your buns are cooking they won't split on the tops.
  8. Place a good sized tablespoon of filling on the dough circle. Then gather the edges and seal your bun.
  9. Place the bun seal side down on your baking tray. Continue with rest of dough.
  10. Once all buns are complete brush surface with egg wash.
  11. Place in a preheated oven of 200º C/392º F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips:

The baked char sui bao freezes very well. All you need to do is take them out of the freezer and place in the over to warm. The steamed ones should freeze okay as well. To warm them place in microwave for about 30 seconds until warm and defrosted.


  1. Firstly I hope you get better very quickly.

    I am so happy you enjoyed the challenge and that your family did too!

  2. I hope you are feeling better!! Your Char Sui and Bao look so delicious - you did a fantastic job on the challenge. I love your little taste-tester, too - she is absolutely adorable!!

  3. My post was really short too, compared to my normally long ones, heh. I think I'm trying to catch a cold though, is my excuse}:P

    Your buns look delicious!

  4. I love it when the kids enjoy as well!

  5. I hope you are feeling better now. The char siu and the baked bbq buns look delicious. What a cute baby!

  6. Those baked ones look great. Hope you feel better soon!

  7. I hope your couogh will go away real soon..
    Your ladybug is adorable and you did a great job on this challenge

  8. Get well soon! Your food looks fabulous and your daughter is adorable. Great job.

  9. These look great! Hope you are feeling better!

  10. Stunning buns, Jenni! So glad everything came together and you had success. DThe dough can be tricky! Little beauty looks adorable eating that bun! Sophisticated taste at such a young age!

  11. Both the char siu and the buns look fantastic. Hope you enjoyed your evening!

  12. Thank you for sharing this.
    It is very interesting.


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