Pork Buns Recipe

Should we carry our own, or trust in our skill foraging in the wild? Just make some Pork buns and enjoy the ride!

Few of us would make a hassle about packing food in our bag when going for ten miles plus trip nowadays (except for some snack maybe) when cheap and reliable establishments offer their goodies day in and day out for the tired travelers.

Pack or not to pack buns?

Not to mention when we are going on a longer journey like a holiday. A few decades ago, it would have been unimaginable not to pack up with reasonable amount of supply to survive the vast distances that occupied the land between restaurant filled towns.

Things got even messier when large groups of people were involved, like it was and still is the case with wars. Sun Tzu, the military strategist writer of the thousand’s years old treatise The Art of War, realized that to carry one cartload of supply to the front-lines  twenty cartloads, hence foraging on the enemy’s supply could give us tactical advantage.

“Hence a wise general makes a point of foraging on the enemy. One cartload of the enemy’s provisions is equivalent to twenty of one’s own, and likewise a single PICUL of his provender is equivalent to twenty from one’s own store.—Sun Tzu’s Art of War, ss. 2.15: Waging War (suntzusaid.com)”

What are pork buns?

Nowadays, most of us don’t have such tedious tasks. We only have to pack up with food if we decide to have some fun and leave the civilization behind to live in nature for a couple of hours or got the crazy idea to quit sugar for whatever reason.

Pork buns are really versatile food or rather the buns are, invented by the same Sun Tzu who wrote The Art of War.

We can fill them with all sort of fillings and thus making chicken, pork, sweet or sour buns. The possibilities are really endless and so are the flavors.

Which bun to take?

Luckily, the buns themselves don’t go that crazy when it comes to variety. We’ve got the big buns that leavened and are either steamed or baked then there are the small ones that aren’t leavened but cooked or steamed.

The small ones, we just call dumplings most of the time in the West and the big ones are buns but in China they are simply small or big “bao” which means “bun”.

Of course, when it comes to fillings, there aren’t enough words to categorize each bun as much, like we can’t name every ragout in Italy differently, so we just call them all the same.

What’s in the bun?

What we know as Pork buns in the West though is most likely Cha siu bao which is Barbecue pork bun. As its name suggests, it has barbecue flavored pork inside and it’s the steamed big bun variety.

Its main drawback is that if we really want to experience the real deal, we first have to make some Chinese barbecue pork and fill that into the buns. It’s not that hard if we have the ingredients and a bit of food coloring but lack of that, we can take a shortcut through ground pork lands.

As the buns will be steamed anyway, we can simply mix ground pork with some spices and herbs to put some pork buns quickly and easily on the table. We can take our preparation process one notch further and brown the meat and vegetables before filling them into buns and that will provide a completely different yet equally exciting experience.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Buns

  • 2½ cups / 300g Flour
  • 1 cup / 150g Corn starch
  • ¼ cup / 65ml Cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Fresh yeast
  • ⅞ cup / 200ml Water

Filling

Beginner – Ground pork
  • 1 green onion / scallion (finely sliced green and white)
  • 7 oz / 200g Cabbage (diced ½” / 1cm or smaller)
  • 1 piece / 10g Ginger (peeled, grated)
  • 1 lb / 500g Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Sesame oil
Advanced – Ground prepared pork
  • ½ cup / 120ml Cooking oil
  • 1 green onion / scallion (finely sliced green and white)
  • 1 piece / 10g Ginger (peeled, grated)
  • 7 oz / 200g Cabbage (diced ½” / 1cm or smaller)
  • 1 lb / 500g Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon / 5g Salt
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Sesame oil
  • 1 piece / 10g Ginger (peeled, grated)
Overkill – Chinese BBQ pork
BBQ pork
  • ¼ cup / 60ml Hoisin sauce (Check out how to make Hoisin sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons / 45ml Soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon / 3g Chinese five spice powder
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoon / 3g Red food coloring
  • ¼ cup /60ml Honey (optional for sweet dish)
  • 1 lb / 500g Pork shoulder
Filling
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Cooking oil
  • 2 pieces Shallot (finely cut)
  • ½ cup / 100ml Water
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Hoisin suace (oyster sauce) (Check out how to make Hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon / 15ml Sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon / 15g Corn starch (optional)

How to make Pork buns

Buns

  1. Knead flour, corn starch, cooking oil, salt, fresh yeast and water together. A stand mixer or any mixer with a kneading hook will be a great help here. We are after an elastic, a bit sticky dough. We use corn starch to mimic the low protein flour that are used to make pork buns. Feel free to replace the amount of flour and corn starch with cake flour.
  2. Cover the dough and put it to a 68°F – 81°F /20°C  – 27°C corner until it doubles in size for about 45 – 90 minutes. Meanwhile make the filling.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

Filling

Beginner – Ground pork
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
Advanced – Prepared ground pork
  1. In a skillet, heat oil to high then add the onion / scallion then sauté until glassy / translucent look, for 3 – 5 minutes.Onion -gp- SunCakeMom
  2. Add cabbage. Sauté until the cabbage reduced in size, for about 5 – 10 minutes.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  3. Add the meat, salt, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  4. Stir-fry until the meat is browned. Take it off heat and let it cool off.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
Overkill – BBQ pork
  1. Make the marinade by mixing Hoisin sauce, Soy sauce, Chinese five spices powder, cooking oil, red food coloring and the optional honey or sweetener together.
  2. Rub the pork shoulder with the marinade, put it into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  3. Roast the marinated pork shoulder in a 320°F / 160°C preheated oven for 90 – 120 minutes. Dab it with the remaining marinade in every 20 – 30 minutes.
  4. Let it cool down before slicing it up.
  5. In a skillet, heat oil to medium then fry the finely sliced shallot or onion until a glassy / translucent look, 3 – 5 minutes.
  6. Add Soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil and the BBQ pork slices.
  7. Add some water and a bit of corn starch to thicken up the sauce.

Assembly

  1. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut it into 4 equal pieces.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  2. Gently make 4 rolls.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  3. Cut each roll into 3 equal pieces.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  4. Gently roll them into a ball.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  5. On a floured surface roll one out to a 4″ / 10cm disk shape. Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  6. Make the edges thinner than the rest of the disk.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  7. Fill it up with about two tablespoons of filling.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  8. Close it up by pinching 8 – 12 pleats around the edges. Check out the videoPork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  9. When all pleats are up and the bun is closed, twist the top around so it closes tightly. Cover them and let them rest and the yeast to work its wonders for 15 – 30 minutes. Get the steamer ready. Check out: How to roll, fill and close the buns.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  10. Pork buns are made in bamboo bun steamer but any steam will do, given that we put some purpose made parchment paper under the buns. Cut out a circle as big as the steamer. Fold it in half, quarter then eighth or even sixteenth if it is possible. Along the edges cut small triangles out.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  11. Open it and place it onto the steamer. It’s ready to roll off the buns.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
  12. With the lid on, steam the buns for about 10 – 15 minutes. Make sure the steaming water doesn’t run low nor reaches the buns. The buns are ready when the dough bounces back when touched and skin formed.Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

Enjoy!

Pork-buns-recipe-g12x9-SunCakeMom
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5 from 1 vote

Pork Buns Recipe

Should we carry our own, or trust in our skill foraging in the wild? Just make some Pork buns and enjoy the ride!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese, Dairy free, Sugar free recipe
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 372kcal
Author SunCakeMom

Ingredients

Buns
  • cups Flour
  • 1 cup Corn starch
  • ¼ cup Cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh yeast
  • cup Water
Filling Beginner - Ground pork
  • 1 green onion / scallion finely sliced green and white
  • 7 oz Cabbage diced ½" / 1cm or smaller
  • 1" piece Ginger peeled, grated
  • 1 lb Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
Filling Advanced - Ground prepared pork
  • ½ cup Cooking oil
  • 1 green onion / scallion finely sliced green and white
  • 1" piece Ginger peeled, grated
  • 7 oz Cabbage diced ½" / 1cm or smaller
  • 1 lb Ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
  • 1 piece Ginger peeled, grated
Filling Overkill - Chinese BBQ pork
    Make BBQ pork
    • ¼ cup Hoisin sauce
    • 3 tablespoons Soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder
    • 1 tablespoon Cooking oil
    • 2 teaspoon Red food coloring
    • ¼ cup Honey optional for sweet dish
    • 1 lb Pork shoulder
    Make Filling
    • 1 tablespoon Cooking oil
    • 2 pieces Shallot finely cut
    • ½ cup Water
    • 1 tablespoon Soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Hoisin suace oyster sauce
    • 1 tablespoon Sesame oil
    • 1 tablespoon Corn starch optional

    Instructions

    Buns

    • Knead flour, corn starch, cooking oil, salt, fresh yeast and water together. A stand mixer or any mixer with a kneading hook will be a great help here. We are after an elastic, a bit sticky dough. We use corn starch to mimic the low protein flour that are used to make pork buns. Feel free to replace the amount of flour and corn starch with cake flour.
    • Cover the dough and put it to a 68°F – 81°F /20°C – 27°C corner until it doubles in size for about 45 - 90 minutes. Meanwhile make the filling.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

    Filling Beginner - Ground pork

    • Mix all the ingredients together.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

    Filling Advanced - Prepared ground pork

    • In a skillet, heat oil to high then add the onion / scallion then sauté until glassy / translucent look, for 3 - 5 minutes.
      Onion -gp- SunCakeMom
    • Add cabbage. Sauté until the cabbage reduced in size, for about 5 - 10 minutes.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Add the meat, salt, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Stir-fry until the meat is browned. Take it off heat and let it cool off.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

    Filling Overkill - BBQ pork

    • Make the marinade by mixing Hoisin sauce, Soy sauce, Chinese five spices powder, cooking oil, red food coloring and the optional honey or sweetener together.
    • Rub the pork shoulder with the marinade, put it into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
    • Roast the marinated pork shoulder in a 320°F / 160°C preheated oven for 90 - 120 minutes. Dab it with the remaining marinade in every 20 - 30 minutes.
    • Let it cool down before slicing it up.
    • In a skillet, heat oil to medium then fry the finely sliced shallot or onion until a glassy / translucent look, 3 - 5 minutes.
    • Add Soy sauce, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil and the BBQ pork slices.
    • Add some water and a bit of corn starch to thicken up the sauce.

    Assembly

    • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and cut it into 4 equal pieces.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Gently make 4 rolls.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Cut each roll into 3 equal pieces.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Gently roll them into a ball.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • On a floured surface roll one out to a 4" / 10cm disk shape.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Make the edges thinner than the rest of the disk.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Fill it up with about two tablespoons of filling.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Close it up by pinching 8 - 12 pleats around the edges. Check out the video
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • When all pleats are up and the bun is closed, twist the top around so it closes tightly. Cover them and let them rest and the yeast to work its wonders for 15 - 30 minutes. Get the steamer ready.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Pork buns are made in bamboo bun steamer but any steam will do, given that we put some purpose made parchment paper under the buns. Cut out a circle as big as the steamer. Fold it in half, quarter then eighth or even sixteenth if it is possible. Along the edges cut small triangles out.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • Open it and place it onto the steamer. It's ready to roll off the buns.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom
    • With the lid on, steam the buns for about 10 - 15 minutes. Make sure the steaming water doesn't run low nor reaches the buns. The buns are ready when the dough bounces back when touched and skin formed.
      Pork buns recipe - SunCakeMom

    Notes

    Enjoy!
    Nutrition facts calculated for the Advanced Pork Buns

    Nutrition (per serving)

    Calories: 372kcal (19%) | Carbohydrates: 35g (12%) | Protein: 10g (20%) | Fat: 21g (32%) | Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 27mg (9%) | Sodium: 510mg (22%) | Potassium: 201mg (6%) | Fiber: 2g (8%) | Sugar: 1g (1%) | Vitamin A: 35IU (1%) | Vitamin C: 12mg (15%) | Calcium: 24mg (2%) | Iron: 2mg (11%)

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