Chinese pork buns

    6 hours 40 min

    These Chinese BBQ pork buns are famous around the world! When you follow the tips and techniques in this recipe, you’ll be rewarded with these juicy authentic-tasting buns. I failed a few time before getting them perfect. So you can save your time by reading this because I am only sharing the best!

    3 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • Ingredients for 1st dough
    • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • 130g water
    • 270g cake flour
    • Ingredients for 2nd (sweet) dough
    • 1 tablespoon (12g) baking powder
    • 70g cornflour
    • 60g cake flour
    • 80g sugar
    • 40g cooking oil
    • Barbecued pork filling
    • 3 slices root ginger, peeled and diced
    • 1 spring onion, diced
    • 150ml water
    • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon plain flour
    • 1 tablespoon cornflour
    • White pepper to taste
    • 200g Chinese barbecued pork

    Prep:1hr10min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:5hr resting  ›  Ready in:6hr40min 

      To make the first dough:

    1. In a large bowl, combine the following ingredients to make the 1st dough: 2 teaspoons yeast, 2 teaspoons sugar and just one teaspoon of the flour with 130 ml of warm water. Let stand for about 20 minutes.
    2. You'll know the yeast is active and ready when you see a layer of white foam on the surface (as shown in the picture). Dispose of the mixture and try again with a different package of yeast if you don't see any foam within 20 minutes.
    3. Add the 270g cake flour for the first dough.
    4. Stir gently with chopsticks and then knead to smooth dough.
    5. Cover with cling film and let stand at around 30 C for about 4 to 6 hours.
    6. This is how it looks after 6 hours.
    7. To make the filling:

    8. Mix ginger, spring onions, 150ml water, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, plain flour and cornflour; stir well. Heat and stir constantly until thickened. Season with white pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. Chill in the fridge and let set.
    9. Slice the bbq pork into 2mm thick pieces.
    10. Add the chilled ginger and green onion paste to the pork; mix and set aside.
    11. To make the 2nd dough which is sweeter:

    12. Mix the baking powder with cornflour and cake flour; sieve together. (This is to ensure that the baking powder will be evenly absorbed and buns will be smooth and pretty after steamed). Add the sugar and oil. Mix with the first dough, kneading until smooth. Roll into a ball.
    13. Cover with a upside-down bowl and let stand for 10 minutes.
    14. Divide dough into 12 to 15 pieces and roll into balls.
    15. Flatten the balls into rounds. Spoon about 25g to 30g of the filling in the centre of each circle and seal. It’s fine if the top is a bit thick, it just helps creating the top flower look.
    16. Line bamboo steamers with baking paper and arrange the buns on top. Set aside in a warm place for 5 minutes. Bring 1.5L to 2L of water to the boil in a wok over high heat for about 10 minutes. Place the steamers in the wok and steam over medium heat for around 12 to 15 minutes or until cooked. Make sure the lids of the steamers are tightly closed.


    To avoid killing the yeast with hot water, simply mix 2 portions of cold water with 1 portion of boiling water. That makes it around 40 degree C, which is perfect. I used about 45 ml of boiling water and 85 ml of 26 to 28 degree C cold water in this recipe.

    Different filling:

    To make spring onion and ginger soup for the filling, simply put smashed ginger and spring onions in the water and squeeze out the juice. Otherwise, using plain water is fine too.

    Whiter buns:

    Replace water with milk or sugarless soya milk for whiter looking buns. Otherwise adding a little cream of tartar or lemon juice will whiten the buns too.

    Prep tip:

    In order to get the beautiful flower look on top, try not to make it too tight when bringing the edges together to seal. BBQ pork buns are meant to be thick and soft unlike other Chinese buns.

    Make your own marinade for Chinese bbq pork:

    Easy seasoning to try if you make your own BBQ pork: Try a combination of minced garlic, sugar, salt, five spice powder, soy sauce, sesame oil and red colouring.

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