AT A GLANCE
The trick to mastering barbecue pork buns is time, patience and low-protein flour, writes Tony Tan.
|01||For char siu, cut pork into 3cm-thick, 5cm-wide strips, then combine in a bowl with Shaoxing, sugar, beancurd, hoisin, garlic and five-spice, stir to coat, cover and refrigerate to marinate (at least 2 hours, preferably overnight).|
|02||Preheat oven to 220C. Drain pork (reserve marinade), place on a lightly oiled rack placed in a roasting pan, add a little water to pan and roast, basting with marinade and turning occasionally, until cooked and slightly charred (30-35 minutes). Brush with honey mixture while still hot, cool to room temperature, then finely dice and set aside.|
|03||For char siu sauce, combine stock, sugar, oyster sauce and soy sauces in a jug, set aside. Heat oil in a wok over high heat, add ginger, spring onion, shallot and garlic, stir-fry until fragrant and just golden (1-2 minutes). Add stock mixture, bring to the boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cornflour mixture, stir continuously until thick (1 minute), remove from heat, add diced pork, stir to combine and transfer to a bowl to cool completely.|
|04||Dissolve sugar in 125ml lukewarm water in a bowl, add yeast, stir to dissolve and set aside in a draught-free place until foamy (5 minutes). Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl, make a well in the centre, add yeast mixture, oil, vinegar and ½ tsp salt and mix until well combined.|
|05||Turn onto a lightly floured surface, knead until soft and pliable (8-10 minutes), then place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a draught-free place until doubled in size (1-2 hours, or 2-3 hours on a cold day).|
|06||Punch dough down, turn onto a lightly floured surface, cut in half, roll one half into a cylinder and cut into 6 pieces (cover remainder with a tea towel). Roll each piece into a ball, then roll out to a 15cm-diameter round. Repeat with remaining dough.|
|07||Cut out twelve 20cm squares of baking paper and set aside. Working with one dough round at a time, place a round in your cupped hand and spoon a tablespoon of char siu in the centre. With your other hand, gather and pinch the pastry inwards to form a bun and twist the dough to seal. Place on a square of baking paper and place in bamboo steamers with room to expand. Cover with a tea towel and set aside until slightly risen (30 minutes-1 hour).|
|08||Steam buns in batches, covered, over a saucepan of boiling water until puffed and cooked through (12-15 minutes). Serve hot.|
Note The char siu recipe, courtesy of the Hong Kong Grand Hyatt's dim sum sifu, Lau Chor Keung, is best prepared a day ahead. Red fermented beancurd is available from Asian grocers.