Pillowy soft steamed buns filled with a sweet, savoury saucy pork filling. Homemade Chinese Pork Buns are truly just like the ones you swipe off the dim sum trolleys. These will blow your mind!
Sunday morning Yum Cha is almost a religious ritual here in Sydney. Large groups descend upon vast restaurants from mid morning, with steaming trolleys piled high with dumplings and buns rattling around the room. The familiar sound of bowls being banged onto tables, the bottomless Chinese tea, and the brisk, borderline rude service.
It’s all part of the experience. Polite service at Yum Cha is almost creepy. It’s just wrong.
The trolley-chasing protocol differs from restaurant to restaurant, but I’m shameless. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And when I need pork buns, I will stalk trolley after trolley until I find it!
Homemade Pork Buns aren’t a quick and easy recipe but they are worth the effort because it will blow your mind how similar they are to Yum Cha / Dim Sum. Plus, if you’re addicted as I am to pork buns, you’ll save stacks because it’s probably 70 – 80% cheaper to make at home.
And they are the ultimate freezer standby. 1 minute in the microwave from frozen = pork buns that you’d swear just came out of a bamboo steamer.
HOW TO MAKE PORK BUNS
There are 4 main steps to making steamed pork buns.
1. THE FILLING
Made with Chinese Barbecue Pork (Char Siu), chopped then coated in a simple sweet and savoury sauce. Use either store bought or homemade Char Siu. Full blown home made Char Siu requires at least 24 hours marinating time, so if time is of the essence, refer to the recipe notes for a quick homemade Char Siu.
2. DOUGH FOR PORK BUNS
Just like making any yeast bread or rolls, the dough is pretty standard and effortless if made using a stand mixer!
The dough is soft and elastic dough, very easy to work with. The recipe video is helpful to see the dough consistency.
3. STUFF ‘EM!
OK, so there’s no denying this is the part that takes some practice and I’m no Pork Bun Goddess. But it doesn’t matter. Even if you just bundle it up like a money bag and get that filling sealed inside, it’s still going to taste just as good!
The recipe video is the best way to learn how to wrap pork buns, but here’s a brief step by step description:
Roll out pretty thin rounds, making the edges thinner so you don’t end up with a huge thick wad of dough when you pinch it together;
Place it on your hand and top with Filling. Pinch the dough around the edges (#6 below) to make pleats – around 8 times;
Moving around the edge, gather together the pleats, bringing them together so you end up sealing the bun at the top (#7 and #8 below);
Pinch to seal and give it a good twist (#9).
Voila! You’re a Pork Bun Master!
I use a bamboo steamer set over simmering water in a wok. Any steamer will do, but if you want the truly authentic pork bun experience, it’s worth getting a bamboo steamer because it imparts a subtle fragrance into the buns.
They aren’t expensive and you can find them at most Asian stores. Then you can make Chinese Steamed Fish, Shumai – Japanese Steamed Dumplings and Steamed Chinese Dumplings!
Nifty tip: How to make the paper liner for the bamboo steamer. Fold baking paper, line up with centre and trim off end (#1), then cut little diamonds along the edge (#2), unfold (#3) then plonk into your steamer!
ALL CREDIT TO WOKS OF LIFE
I want to be very clear about giving credit for this recipe because it is not an original recipe by me.
This is a recipe that was meticulously researched and created by Judy and Bill from Woks of Life – their Steamed BBQ Pork Buns. Really good people, excellent taste, exceptional cooks and a very high standard of quality. I trust their recipes completely.
Judy and Bill – we salute you!
It’s worth every minute of effort. Tastiness aside, everyone is always soooooo impressed by homemade Pork Buns.
Let’s be honest. The prospective praise seals the deal. – Nagi x
Chinese Steamed Pork Buns
These are truly just like what you get at Yum Cha / Dim Sum. Soft fluffy white buns with a juicy sweet and savoury filling. Perfect freezer standby – microwave from frozen and it’s like they’re fresh out of the bamboo steamer! Recipe video below.
1 tsp active dry yeast powder
- 1 tsp active dry yeast powder
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 cup water