Chinese pork buns

  • ⅔ cup (240g) char siu (Chinese barbecue) sauce
  • ¼ cup (60ml) dark soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (90g) honey
  • ⅓ cup (110g) Asian chilli jam
  • 1kg boneless pork neck, butterflied
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour (cornstarch)
  • hot chilli sauce and Chinese black vinegar, to serve


  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) lukewarm water
  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 2½ cups (375g) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  1. Place char siu sauce, soy sauce, honey and chilli jam in a large bowl and mix to combine. Set 1 cup of the mixture aside. Add pork to the bowl. Toss to coat and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place the reserved marinade and cornflour in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 2–3 minutes or until thickened. Place the pork on a large lined oven tray and cook, turning halfway, for 1 hour or until golden. Finely chop the pork, place in a bowl with the remaining marinade and mix. To make the dough, place sugar, water and yeast in a small bowl and mix to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Place the flour and butter in a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and mix to form a dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4–5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a large, lightly greased bowl, covered with a clean damp tea towel, and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Cut 16 x 8cm squares of non-stick baking paper and place on 2 large oven trays. Divide dough into 16 balls. Roll out each on a lightly floured surface to a 10cm round. Divide pork mixture between each round, and pinch the edges together to seal. 
  2. Place 1 bun on each square, cover the trays loosely with a damp tea towel and set aside for 5–10 minutes or until slightly risen. 
  3. Place the buns, in batches, in a medium bamboo steamer, allowing room to spread. Place the steamer over a medium saucepan filled with simmering water and steam for 12 minutes or until the dough bounces back when pressed. Step 4 Serve with the chilli sauce and vinegar. Makes 16.
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