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We’re back with another great recipe for you to try! This time we’re making Chinese buns (bao) from scratch, and they are delicious; our office could not get enough of them. Traditionally when you make bao, you put what we have as the topping inside the actual bun. However, this way you can have the bun plain or with our yummy topping!

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The topping is made with LiberTerre pork strips, which are tender, juicy and tasty. Not to mention the pork is raised without antibiotics or added hormones and is Canadian raised, in Alberta in fact! Click here to find a retailer that sells LiberTerre near you.

This recipe does take a while to make, but only because the dough has to rise for two hours before you can steam it. So make sure you have some time on your hands before you begin, but I promise you it is worth it. The buns turn out slightly sweet plus nice and soft. That paired with the tangy and slightly spicy pork makes for a winning combination. So dig in, and let us know what you think!

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Mini Chinese Pork Buns (Cha Siu Bao)

Ingredients

Steamed Buns

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tbsp Sugar

1 cup warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

Pork Mixture

2 cups LiberTerre pork strips

Sesame oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tbsp ginger, minced

3 tbsp Soya sauce

1 tbsp Sriracha

2 tbsp Hoisin sauce

1 tbsp Rice wine vinegar

¼ tsp Corn starch

2 Green onions, finely sliced
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Directions
  1. Combine

In a bowl combine the sugar, yeast and water and let the yeast rise to the top (about 10 minutes) or until you see it has become frothy.

  1. Mix and Knead

In a separate bowl, sift the flour and baking powder together.  Add butter and yeast mixture to the flour mixture and combine.  Once the mixture has come together into dough, place on a lightly floured work surface and knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic.

  1. Leave to Rise

Put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise covered and in a warm spot until it has tripled in volume (about 2 hours).

  1. Roll and Cut

Once the dough has risen, knead on a floured work surface and using a rolling pin roll out the dough until it is about 1/3 inch thick.  Use a cup with a 2 inch diameter to cut out rounds of dough.  Let the rounds sit for 10 minutes before steaming them.  (If you want to make these ahead of time, you can store the rounds in a sealed container lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)

  1. Sauté

Heat a large pan to medium high heat.  Add the minced garlic and ginger and sauté until soft and translucent.  Add the Hoisin sauce, soya sauce, Sriracha and rice wine vinegar to the pan and stir until combined.  Add the pork to the pan and coat with the sauce.  If you notice that the pork has released a lot of juices, add some cornstarch on top and combine until sauce has thickened.  Cook until the pork is cooked through, about 10 minutes.

  1. Steam

To steam the buns, place them into your bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper (with holes cut into it to allow steam to pass through) and make sure they are not touching each other. If you don’t have a bamboo steam a regular vegetable steamer works as well! Steam the buns for 10 minutes.  Remove the buns from the basket using tongs (be careful as they are very hot) and place them on a plate to cool slightly.

  1. Assemble

Add about 1 tablespoon of pork on to each bun and top with sliced green onions.  Drizzle with hoisin sauce and serve with cilantro.

  1. Enjoy!

 

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