CHAR SIU FILLING:
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil
1 small onion, diced
250 g (9 oz) char siu, diced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1-2 drops red food color, optional
Salt, to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
150 ml water
CHAR SIU BAO DOUGH:
280 g (10 oz) low-protein flour (Hong Kong flour), cake flour or all-purpose flour
100 g (3.5 oz) wheat starch
90 g (3 oz) powdered sugar
8 g (1 scant tablespoon) active dry yeast or instant yeast
160 ml lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon Chinese white vinegar or lemon juice, optional
30 g (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
10 g (2 teaspoons) baking powder
10 ml (2 teaspoons) cold water
CHAR SIU FILLING:
Heat oil in pan, sauté onion for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in char siu, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil and red food color, if using. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes and add salt to taste.
Mix corn starch and water together, add to the filling. Simmer on low heat until the sauce is thickened.
Remove the filling from pan. Let cool.
Divide the filling into 16 portions. Set aside.
CHAR SIU BAO DOUGH RECIPE:
Sift the flour, wheat starch and powdered sugar. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add the yeast, lukewarm water and vinegar or lemon juice, if using. Gently dissolve the yeast with the water. Slowly bring together the flour mixture and add in the vegetable oil. Char siu bao dough ingredients.
Knead with hands for 15 minutes or until a soft dough is formed. It should be smooth and shiny on the surface. Char siu bao dough.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let rise for 60 – 90 minutes or until it expands in size.
Dissolve the baking powder with the cold water, sprinkle over the dough and knead until well combined. For fluffier buns, rest the dough for 10 minutes after baking powder is added.
Cut and divide the dough to 16 equal portions. Cutting char siu bao dough into pieces.
Using a rolling pin, roll and flatten each dough ball to a 3” circle. Place a portion of the filling in the middle. Char siu bao dough with char siu filling in the middle of the dough.
Wrap and fold the dough up. Wrapping char siu bao.
Pinch and twist to enclose the opening. Make sure the char siu bao is sealed tight at the top. Place it on a 2″ x 3″ piece of parchment paper. Repeat the same until you make 16 buns. Wrapped char siu bao ready for steaming.
Arrange the buns on a steamer, leave about 1” gap in between buns. Spray water mist over buns, and steam in a preheated steamer on high heat for 10 minutes. (You may add 1 teaspoon of Chinese white vinegar to make the char siu bao white.)
Remove buns from the steamer, serve warm. Char siu bao