What do you do when you’re craving a bbq pork bun (char siu bao) but you live too far away from the city so there’s no easy way to get one? Make chewy crispy bite sized bbq pork (char siu) dumplings!
A few days ago, we had made some char siu. (You can find the recipe here: ‘Sweet and Sticky Chinese BBQ Pork (aka Char Siu)‘). It hit the spot, or so I thought. Apparently it wasn’t enough, because today I am craving bbq pork buns (char siu bao). What to do, what to do?
When it comes to baking or working with yeast, I am completely at a loss. I think it has something to do with exact measurements and being precise (I’m a free spirit in the kitchen and almost never measure anything.)
Anything requiring yeast always came out to one of these scenarios:
- “Weird…is my yeast dead?”
- “Bah! It’s not fluffing up!”
- “Gaaaah! Where’s the bubbles??”
…you get the idea.
So bao? Not, today. It’s in my bucket list of things I would like to learn to do but not today.
Today was going to be crispy chewy bite sized morsels stuffed with char siu kind of day! A snacky kinda day!
Most of these ingredients should be available at your local grocery store.
If not, then you can most likely find hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese five spice and dumpling skins at a Asian grocery store.
There are many different types of dumpling skins out there, the two main ones are dumpling skins and wonton skins.
For this recipe, I would highly recommend using dumpling skins for their fabulously chewy, dense texture. Wonton skins are a lot thinner and a lot lighter – they still work but it would produce a lighter and less chewy dumpling.
Here’s how I tell the difference whenever I go shopping for them.
Wonton skins: they are very pliable and bendy in its packaging because of how thin and light they are. They are also easily separated because they are floured generously between skins.
Dumpling skins: they are more dense and thick. So you won’t be able to bend it as easily, they are more pale in colour (wonton skins are usually more yellow) and the skins are also more densely stacked together (almost stuck together).
Note: The round dumpling skins are usually more common in stores. I used square ones for simplicity, ince it’s quick and simple to fold but if you want the more pretty pleated dumplings, then you should use the round ones 🙂
Dumplings usually come with a meat and some sort of filler (a veggie or some kind of starch etc). These dumplings don’t have fillers, it’s just pure char siu and a bit of green onions because green onions make everything better 😛
Tip #1: Since there is no raw meat in this the filling of these dumplings, these are fun things to wrap with kids too.
Tip #2: If you’re like me and love the crispy, chewy skin, then don’t over stuff the dumplings! 🙂 Less filling, means more crispy chewy skin!
The result of this will be a chewy crispy dumpling with the sweet bbq pork char siu filling. Fantastic for a quick snack or a meal in my case! 😛
Let us know if you made these and how they turned out! Use #pupswithchopsticks, we’d love to hear from you!
Chewy crispy Chinese BBQ pork (Char Siu) dumplings that are simple to make right at home!
- 1 package of dumpling wrappers
- 1 lb bbq pork – char siu (chopped)
- 5 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 5 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon chinese five spice
- 5 teaspoons honey
- 2 stalks green onion (finely chopped)
Making the Filling
- Combine all the ingredients in the ‘Dumpling Filling’ ingredient list together into one bowl and mix until the meat has been coated in the sauce.
Wrapping the Dumplings
- To wrap the dumplings, fill the center with a teaspoon of filling (or less if you like a more chewy crispy dumpling).
- Use a bit of water along the edges as the “glue”. Fold the dough over and press on the seams to put it together.
Cooking the Dumplings
- Add oil to a non-stick pan and adjust the heat to medium low.
- Once the oil is hot and shimmering, add a few dumplings into the pan, careful not to overcrowd it.
- Brown them lightly on each side for about 1 minute a side
- Add 1/4 cup of water into the pan and put a lid on it and steam it for approximately 2-4 mins. Make sure the bottom of the pan is lightly covered with water or the dumplings will burn. (This will steam the dumplings to soften up the skin.)
- Remove the lid and let the water evaporate. At this point the dumplings will look waterlogged and gross. That’s normal 🙂
- Once the water evaporates, continue to brown and crisp up the dumplings for about 5 mins
- Remove from the pan when the dumplings are crispy.
- Enjoy! 🙂
- If you like dumplings that are chewy and crispy, put less filling in them. It gives you more skin for that wonderful chewy crispy texture.