CAROLINA ALUMNI REVIEW 45
Char siu bao
Barbecued pork buns
Yield: 48 buns
For the smoked pork:
1 pork butt, 7 to 9 pounds, bone-in
1 12-ounce can RC Cola (or Coca-Cola)
12 ounces apple cider
12 ounces cider vinegar
4 cup salt
1 tablespoon chili flakes
▶ Combine liquids. Whisk spices into the liquid until completely
dissolved; reserve ½ cup.
▶ Poke pork with a paring knife and immerse in brine, weighted, for
24 hours. Remove from brine and let dry, refrigerated, while you
prepare the smoker.
▶ Smoke pork for 4 hours at 225 F. Remove from smoker and wrap
completely but not too tightly in foil. Cook for another 4 to 6 hours
in smoker or in a 250 F oven until meat is tender and juicy.
▶ Shred while warm, removing any glands, excess fat or sinew, and
toss with your favorite sauce to coat. Cool well-wrapped. Roll into
48 1½ tablespoon-size portions. Eat or refrigerate the rest.
For the pork buns:
2 packages dried yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
9 cups flour
2 cup sugar
4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup boiling water
4 cup sesame oil
▶ Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water; add 1 cup of flour and mix
thoroughly. Cover with cloth. Let rise 1 hour, until bubbles appear.
▶ Dissolve sugar and vegetable oil in boiling water; stir well. Once
cool, combine with yeast mixture and remaining flour in mixer fitted
with dough hook on low until combined, then on medium for 2
minutes. Dough should be moist and just clear sides of work bowl.
▶ Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth. Put into an
extra-large, greased bowl in a warm place. Cover with damp cloth.
Let rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
▶ Divide into 4 portions. Knead first portion 2 minutes; repeat with
next 3. Roll each into a rough 12-inch-by-2-inch cylinder. Cut each
into 12 pieces. Keep those not in use covered with the cloth.
▶ Flatten each piece with palm of hand. Roll with rolling pin into
3- to 4-inch circles, leaving a slight mound in the middle. Place a
tight 1 ½ tablespoon of the pork in the middle of the round. Lift
up one edge between your left thumb and index finger and hold
it above the center of the pork. With your right hand, gently bring
the section of edge ¼ inch away from your left hand to that hand,
pinching the edges together with your left thumb and forefinger as
your right hand brings up the next section of edge. Continue until
you have made a complete rotation and the bun is sealed. Place
buns 1 inch apart in lightly greased bamboo steamer baskets and
let rise another 10 minutes or so.
▶ Bring 2 inches of water to a brisk boil in a large pot the same
circumference as your baskets. Steam for 15 to 20 minutes or
until dough is cooked through. Serve immediately.