The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chinese pork buns question

gmmace's picture

Chinese pork buns question

Hello all,

I made some Chinese pork buns using a bun recipe I found on this site.  The bread came out nice and fluffy, though I need to tweak my filling recipe a bit.  But I'm wondering how to make the kind of rough textured pork buns you sometimes see at Chinese restaurants.  They look like they have burst open, a bit like popcorn.  It seems like the secret is probably in the shaping of the dough, but I haven't been able to find any recipes that will yield this kind of result, most recipes just form the buns into a round, or pleat the top.

Here's a pic of what I mean:


yy's picture

You're probably right that the secret is in shaping the dough. I remember this post by Happylina from a while back. Also click on the link that she includes in her post. It seems like leaving the seam on top allows the bun to split open when steaming. The fact that chinese bbq pork buns you buy at the store or in restaurants have such pronounced bursting probably has to do with enhanced leavening methods as well as a special type of flour (do a google search for "HK flour").

lazybaker's picture

I saw a technique used to make that burst open peaks pattern for Chinese steamed cupcakes called "huat kueh".

What is done is that a knife is dipped in oil and then inserted into the cupcake batter in a cross-section X pattern. Imagine you dip a knife in oil and then make an X on the surface of the batter. The oil makes the batter separate as the batter steams, producing that cut open effect.

I haven't tried the cutting technique on the buns. I imagine it's probably similar. Just dip a knife in oil and then make an X pattern cut on the surface of the bun. I don't know how deep of a cut it is, probably 1/4" through? I guess a deeper cut, the more pronounced peaks.


Loafer's picture

I haven't made the pork buns, but we got a very similar patter on regular rolls at a bakery I worked at by snipping an X in the top of the rolls with a pair of scissors.  This cut the X, but also pinched and peaked the slits in a characteristic way that seems very similar to me.