My char siu puff is not as pretty as I wanted it to be but I have totally no regret of preparing it. I do know the reason as to why they did not look like the store bought version because I have egg washed too much on the pastry. Therefore it looked too smooth and appeared to be “harder”. Trust me, it is not hard but very flaky and I also know that the lard that I used have improved the flakiness of the puffs.
Puff is not new to Chinese cuisines. Chinese do have lots of recipes preparing Chinese style flaky puffs. The recipes are rather similar to the Western croissant or other type of French puff pastry. However, Chinese version is simpler and prepared mostly using lard.. Of course if you don’t take lard, you can prepare using cooking oil or vegetable shortening or butter though not advisable. In addition to flakiness, lard provide a special aroma for the pastry..
This is a recipe that include the preparation of Chinese puff pastry. If you are running short of time, you can always use the western ready made puff pastry.. Some recipe called it as “cheater” version of char siu puff meaning using the ready made puff pastry . Well, I do believe it all depends on circumstances of the case though I would hope readers will lay their hand trying to prepare this. Once you are successful, you can prepare a lot of other Chinese pastries.
I have long wanted to prepare this famous char siu puff that was commonly served in the dim sum restaurant. The shapes served in the restaurant can range from rectangular shape or square shape or triangular shape. I have opted to prepare the triangular shape as I thought it was easier. In fact, it was not… It can be messy if sealing was not good and as a word of advise, do not be too greedy with your fillings, it can be rather hard to wrap and once the pastry touch the oil from the filling, it cannot be sealed properly. Having said that, bigger pieces of pastry will not have the problem and i have adjusted accordingly in the recipe to prepare slightly bigger Char Siu Puff.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Recipe adapted from 粤式叉烧酥
Servings: About 12 Char Siu puffs depending on sizes
- 120 grams of top flour or low protein flour
- 50 grams of water
- 40 grams of lard or cooking oil or vegetable shortening
- 10 grams of castor sugar
- Pinches of salt
- 75 grams of top flour or low protein flour
- 35 grams of lard or cooking oil or vegetable oil
- 120 grams of diced barbecue pork （叉烧）
- 1 small onion – diced （大葱）
- 1/2 tablespoon of sesame oil （麻油）
- 1 tablespoons of castor sugar （细砂糖）
- 1 tablespoons of Chinese cooking wine （烹饪酒）
- 1.5 tablespoons of oyster sauce （耗油）
- 1 tablespoons of dark soya sauce (not in picture) （酱油）
- About 2 tablespoons of corn starch/potato starch with 2 tablespoons of water （5勺生粉或玉米粉加5勺的水）
- 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon of golden syrup
- some sesame seeds
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- In the frying pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, sauté the onions until fragrant. Add in the barbecue pork and stir fry until well mixed which took about 1-2 minutes. Add in the green peas, cooking wine, oyster sauce, sesame oil, sugar, oyster sauce and dark soya sauce. Stir fry for another 2 minutes. Add in the starch solution and off the heat when the starch solution turns transparent. If it is not sticky enough, add in more starches.
- It is best to take some filling and taste if it suits your taste buds. Note that you have to be rather high handed with your seasonings because the bun skin is rather plain in taste. Once ready, set aside for later assembly.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put all the ingredients for the water skin and use hand to knead until smooth. Note that this is rather fast and may took 2-3 minutes. Take out the water skin, set aside and perform the same for the oil skin. If it is too sticky, add plain flour one tablespoon by tablespoon until a pliable dough is formed. Let the two types of dough rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before proceeding to the next step.
- Place the water skin dough on a lightly flour surface. Roll it to about 9” x 9’ rectangular shape. Roll the oil dough to about 6” x 6” and place on top of the water skin dough. Fold the sides to cover all the oil skin dough. Use a rolling pin to roll it back to 9” x 9”. Roll up the dough and turn it to the other way, Roll again to about 9” x 9”. Fold again for another time.
- Roll it flat again to about 9” x 9’. Cut the dough into 9 square pieces of 3” x 3” . Put about 1/2 tablespoon of the fillings on top the small square. Fold the dough into triangle shape. Lightly press flat and seal the edges. To make it even more secure, use some fork to press down the sides creating a design. Egg wash (one egg mixed with one tablespoon of golden syrup) and sprinkle generously with sesame seeds. Baked in the pre-heated oven for at least 20 minutes or until the desired colour tone. You may need to rotate the baking tray if there are some colour tone unevenness. Best served hot as a dim sum item.
I hoped that readers are clear with the instructions. The original recipes called for dividing the oil and water dough into 12 portions, wrap up, roll flat and mould into a square shape. I found that there are too much wastages in this exercise and I therefore change to preparation to this way which have less wastage. Remember that you can always use the ready made puff pastry and if possible, use lard if you want a crispier flakes in your char siu puff. If you want to know how to prepare lard, you can refer to this post: Teochew Mee Pok And Fish Ball Noodles (潮州肉脞面 ，潮州鱼圆面）
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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