If you like barbecued pork, this recipe created by Taylor Headrick, a Johnson County Community College student chef, combines a succulent filling stuffed into the center of a fluffy, steamed bun.
Chinese barbecue pork buns are a dim sum staple. Headrick first tasted this dish at a local restaurant he frequented and has been a fan ever since.
Although this recipe is made entirely from scratch, the flavorful buns can easily be re-created in the comfort of your own home.
Taylor Headrick is a second-year student in the Johnson County Community College Chef Apprentice and Hospitality Management Program. He works as an apprentice chef at Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe.
About the column
Cooking 101 is a bimonthly column exclusive to The Star designed to introduce home cooks to basic cooking techniques. The recipe, food styling and photography are a joint project between culinary students and instructors at Johnson County Community College’s Hospitality Management Program.
Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns
Makes 5 servings (2 buns per person)
For the tenderloin:
1 (3/4-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat
1 (8-ounce) bottle char-siu (Chinese barbecue sauce)
For the dough:
3 cups bread flour
3 tablespoons Bird’s Custard Powder
1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup water
Flour, for kneading
Oil, for proofing bowl
For the filling:
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons rice wine or sherry
2 slices bacon, diced small
6 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons oyster sauce
4 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
5 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ginger, minced or ground
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, mixed with 1 teaspoon water
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
1 tablespoon honey, mixed with 1 teaspoon hot water
2 tablespoons chopped chives
To prepare the barbecue pork: Marinate tenderloin in char-siu sauce for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a hot skillet, sear tenderloin on all sides until brown, then place in a roasting pan and finish in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the meat reaches 155 degrees on a meat thermometer. Remove meat from the oven and allow to cool. Dice finished tenderloin into 1/4 -inch cubes and reserve.
To make the dough: Combine flour, custard powder, nonfat dry milk, yeast and sugar in small mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix butter, oil, egg and water. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry ones all at once and begin to mix by hand. The dough should form quickly. Begin kneading the dough for 7 minutes, using some extra flour (if needed) to form dough into one ball. Oil a small mixing bowl and place kneaded dough into the bowl, cover with damp towel and let rise for 1 hour.
To make the filling: Add 2 tablespoons oil to sauté pan on medium-high heat. Saute shallots until softened. Add rice wine and reduce. Add diced bacon and cook until crispy. Then add reserved barbecued pork cubes to the filling and cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, combine water, oyster sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, sugar, cornstarch, pepper and ginger together. Pour mixture into saute pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Cook until mixture is completely incorporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool. When filling is cool, mix in chopped green onions.
To fill the buns: Portion the dough into 10 golfball-size dough balls. Roll out the balls into even 1/4 -inch thick rounds. Place 2 tablespoons of the barbecue pork filling in center of dough and pull up sides and pinch off the top. Continue making the buns until you run out of dough and filling.
Place buns in a bamboo steamer (or other steamer you may have) and steam until dough has cooked through, approximately 45 minutes. Brush the buns with egg and water mixture, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Place buns back in the steamer for 8 more minutes. Remove buns from the steamer. Drizzle buns with honey, sprinkle with chopped chives and serve.
Per serving: 790 calories (35 percent from fat), 31 grams total fat (7 grams saturated), 186 milligrams cholesterol, 93 grams carbohydrates, 33 grams protein, 787 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.