Char siu bao is a Cantonese barbecue pork-filled bun. They are typically sold in Chinese bakeries. Likewise, they are similar to a type of dim sum. Char siu refers to the pork in the filling. Bao means bun.
Undoubtedly, the color red is significant in traditional Chinese culture. Indeed, it symbolizes feelings such as luck, happiness, and joy. Consequently, it’s often worn by brides because of its auspicious power to ward off evil. Accordingly, in honor of this colorful tradition, we cooked char siu bao in a CVap®.
Char siu is based on the traditional cooking method of skewering meat on long forks and placing it in an oven or over a fire. Consequently, the seasonings turn the exterior layer of the meat dark red. In like manner, it’s similar in appearance to the smoke ring seen on properly-smoked American barbecue.
Char Siu Pork Marinade
- 1 Cup Red Miso
- ½ Cup Honey
- ¼ Cup Soy
- 3 Tbsp Five Spice Powder
- Dash of red food coloring
- Mix ingredients. Consequently, it should form a paste.
- Trim center-cut pork loin. Cut into two long strips to make smaller loins.
- Rub loins with paste, coating heavily.
- Place in refrigerator (uncovered) and allow to dry marinate for two days.
- Place in CVap set at 150°F Vapor temp/225°F Air Temp.
- Roast for 50 minutes.
- Remove and slice, portion, and chill.
Finish Your Char Siu Bao
Naturally, char siu is usually eaten with a starch such as noodles, rice, or bao. In this case, we prepared bao for our char siu pork.
To prepare bao, double-proof the dough balls (proof at 90°F Vapor Temp – 90°F Air Temp. Next, knock down dough and re-form rolls. Subsequently, proof one additional hour at the same settings. Finally, cook them in a CVap Cook and Hold Oven in a foil-covered, perforated 2¼” half steam table pan. Set temperature to 200°F Vapor Temp/205°F Air Temp for 16 minutes.
You can find the bao recipe here.
A seasoned foodservice industry pro like our late friend Chef Barry taught us all a thing or two about what it takes to succeed in this business! He worked with scores of trailblazers throughout his career and owned or operated his share of restaurants. Barry passed away in March 2022. He is deeply missed.