Remember like 2 months ago when I bought a giant pork shoulder because the coronavirus crisis had affected meat availability in the grocery store? Well, we’re still in the middle of this damn pandemic, and I still have 4 pounds of pork shoulder sitting in my fridge. So I decided to go from Mexican cuisine to Chinese to make Char Siu steam buns. This recipe produces some of the most juicy and tender pork imaginable, and perfectly pairs with the fluffy steam buns. If you don’t have the tools necessary to steam the buns, this pork also works great over rice or try it in a tortilla for an Asian-fusion burrito.
Chinese Barbecue Pork Steam Buns
For the marinade:
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Soy Sauce (preferably low-sodium)
1/2 cup Hoisin sauce (find in your grocery’s Asian aisle)
1 tsp Chinese Five Spice
1 tsp Pepper
1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
5 inch piece of Ginger, grated
4 cloves Garlic, grated
1/2 Pear, grated
4 lb Boneless Pork Shoulder
For the Sauce:
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
1/3 cup Sriracha
1 tsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
For the Steam Buns:
4 cups AP Flour
1 1/2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Instant Yeast
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 cup Whole Milk
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Vinegar
1 cup Water
Sliced Cucumber, Carrot, Radish, and Cilantro, for serving
For the Pork:
- Combine all marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade for glaze.
- Cut pork in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 3 pieces lengthwise, each around 3 inches thick. Trim off excess fat from each piece. Prick each piece of pork with a fork about 12 times. Place in large bag and pour over remaining marinade. Leave in fridge for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.
- Heat the oven to 300 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and place in wire or silicon rack (quick side note: Silicon baking racks are sooooo much easier to clean than wire racks). Pour 1/4 cup of water below rack. Place pork pieces on rack and tent with aluminum foil.
- Cook for 20 minutes. Remove foil on top and cook for an additional 45 minutes, or until pork reaches temperature of 140. (Pork will continue to cook under broiler)
- For the glaze: Combine reserved marinade with honey and ketchup. Place in medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until thickened, about 4 minutes.
- Turn on broiler. Broil pork for 4 minutes, then remove from oven and brush over 1/2 of glaze on top side. Broil until caramelized, about 6 minutes. Flip pork and repeat both steps with other side. Let rest on cutting board for 10 minutes.
- For the sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in bowl. Leave in fridge for 15+ minutes to let flavors develop.
For the Buns:
- Combine all ingredients in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attached
- Knead on low speed for 5-7 minutes, until smooth.
- Place in oiled bowl. Cover and let rest for 2 hours.
- Punch down dough and knead with hands for 5 minutes. Cut into 18 pieces, and roll each into a ball. Cover with towel and let rest for 15 minutes.
- Using a rolling pin and working one at a time, flatten each ball into a circle 6 inches in diameter. Lightly brush with oil and fold in half, taking care not to crease the fold.
- Place each bun on a square of parchment paper or a reusable steamer mat. Place in bamboo or other steamer basket and steam for 8 minutes or until puffed up.