Pork baos

We make these pork-filled buns for our family Christmas gathering every year. This is an Americanized dim sum recipe from the 1979 Sunset Chinese Cook Book. (Some good recipes in there, buy a copy if you can find one!) We use our KitchenAid mixer for this, so adapt it if you use a food processor or hand kneading.

Makes 12-16 buns

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 c warm (~110° F) water
  • ⅓ c sugar
  • 2 T salad oil
  • 1 t salt
  • 3¼ to 3½ c all-purpose flour

Dough method:

  1. In the mixer bowl, combine warm water, yeast, sugar, oil, and salt. Leave in a warm place until bubbly (about 10-20 minutes). Tip: pre-warm the bowl with hot water!
  2. Add most (3 cups?) of the flour, mixing at low speed until the flour is hydrated. Add more flour as needed until it forms a ball.
  3. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for a few (2-3?) minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Grease a large bowl (at least double the volume of the dough), turn the dough into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled, usually 1-2 hours.

Pork marinade ingredients:

  • 1½ lb boneless lean pork, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • ½ t fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 t sugar
  • 2 T soy sauce

Pork marinade method: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.

Pork filling ingredients:

  • 2 t sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T shao xing wine (or use dry sherry)
  • ¼ c water
  • cooking oil
  • the marinated pork (above)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • melted butter

Method:

  1. Combine the sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, shao xing wine, and water.
  2. Heat up your wok over high heat and add some oil. Drain any excess marinade from the pork.
  3. When the oil’s hot, add the pork and stir-fry until browned.
  4. Add the chopped onion and stir-fry until limp.
  5. Stir the sauce and add to the pork, cooking until the sauce thickens.
  6. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
  7. Lightly flour a work surface, turn out the dough and knead for a minute or so.
  8. Roll out the dough and cut into 12-16 equal size pieces, and divide the pork filling appropriately.
  9. Roll each piece out to a ~4-inch diameter circle, thicker in the middle and thinner around the edge.
  10. Put some pork filling in the middle of a round of dough, pulling the edges up and twist to seal.
  11. Put the bun on a greased baking sheet, seam down, spacing about 2 inches apart.
  12. Repeat for the rest of the dough and filling. Once all the buns are prepared, brush the tops with melted butter and cover with plastic wrap.
  13. Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
  14. Let the buns rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
  15. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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