Char Siu Burger (Gua Bao)
1 packet of of dry yeast
200ml milk (or water)
400g dumpling flour (Vinh Thuan Bot Banh Bao)
1 tbsp cooking oil
1. Pour sugar into a large bowl of milk or water (we did half milk and half water) and stir. Combine yeast into mixture and wait for a minute.
2. Slowly add flour into the mixture to combine.
3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes and then add cooking oil before kneading for another 10 minutes.
4. Saran wrap bowl or put a towel over it and leave it in a warm place for an hour to let the dough rise. You can slightly oil up the inside of the bowl to make sure it doesn’t stick after it rises.
5. Divide the dough into 8 balls and flatten then slightly into an oval shape. Put a piece of wax paper on half of the circle and lightly fold the other side over it to sandwich the paper.
6. Steam buns with 2 tbsp of vinegar in the water to keep buns white. Steam for 10-15 minutes.
7. Take out the wax paper after it’s done and spread some hoisin sauce inside. Place the lettuce and cilantro inside and place char siu into the bao last and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
After my trip to Vancouver, we were craving the char siu burger we had. So we thought that we’d try out hands at making our own. Josh didn’t want to use pork belly, which is usually the cut used in these burgers. We decided to use char siu (Chinese BBQ pork) for the recipe instead.
In all honesty, the recipe doesn’t take that long to make. It is, however, a bit more time-consuming than the usual recipes I’ve put up. Unfortunately, my city doesn’t have such a wide array of restaurants, so we do not have these types of burgers as readily available as Vancouver. No choice but to make it!
The recipe I posted is actually based off of the directions on the package of flour we used. The brand is Vinh Thuan and the flour is Bot Banh Bao. If you buy another brand, I encourage you to use their directions instead since it might differ.
This is definitely best eaten as soon as your bao is freshly steamed. The soft, warm bun combined with the ingredients is delicious. The bao in itself is pretty bland. It has a very light sweetness, but that couples nicely with the saltiness of the meat and the sauce. Japanese char siu (pork belly) can be really salty so having the bun be salty would be too much.
I recommend you to experiment with the flavours and put what you like inside. I think some cucumbers would be nice and if I made it again, I would prefer to have the pork belly instead. But.. I like fat food like that LOL. But seriously, some grilled pork belly cooked with some sweet soy sauce?! We also mixed our sauce with some hot sauce. We like things with a bit of spice haha!