Cheater’s char siu bao – Chinese BBQ pork steamed buns

I love Chinese BBQ pork steamed buns (as well as the baked version, which is like bread stuffed with tasty bits of meat with a sticky-sweet glaze on top). Since I know how to make steamed pork buns and I recently found a great recipe for homemade char siu, I thought I’d concoct my own version of a BBQ pork steamed bun.

I’m not sure if it’s entirely ethical to write out the recipe I used from The Best International Recipe which involved a simple marinade (for at least 4 hours or overnight) for pork (I used strips of country-style pork ribs instead of the recommended pork butt), which was roasted in the oven, then broiled while brushing a honey/ketchup/marinade glaze on top. So instead, I’ll link to the Chinese Barbequed Pork recipe on and let you decide if you want to try it for free for a few days to get that recipe or look up the cookbook next time you’re in a library or book store. (Or you can try one of the many recipes out there on the web.)

After enjoying your delicious hunks of meat over rice with some steamed or stir-fried veggies on the side, reserve some of the meat for your steamed pork buns. I ended up using two and a half country-style pork ribs for the filling; unfortunately, I have no idea how much that translates to weight, but it resulted in probably 3-4 cups of filling after I ran it through the food processor.

Which leads me to the “cheater’s” portion of this recipe. More authentic recipes have you stir fry the cubed or chopped pork with mushrooms, green onions, bamboo shoots, and extra seasonings. I wanted a meatier bun, so I cut the pork into food-processor-sized chunks and pulsed it until the pork was minced up, then mixed some of the yummy leftover meat juice/marinade with the minced pork to make it more “pasty.”

I made the dough according to my basic steamed pork bun recipe, filled up the pieces of dough with spoonfuls of filling, steamed the buns, and ate. Yum

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