Char Siu Pau
The final Daring Cook’s Challenge for the year – my how time has flown by. In fairness, I haven’t been the best Daring Cook, failing to complete a number of the challenges due to travelling and other commitments.
By hey, I managed to this challenge cooked and plated before the reveal date! Yay me! To be completely honest, there was no way I was going to let this challenge go by without making an effort. Char Siu has always been close to my heart – my late grandmother introduced me to this dish a long time ago. Every time I came home from university, she’d insist that she buy me Char Siu Rice from the restaurant nearby. It’s the only place I know which sells the perfect Char Siu; perfectly charred meat on the outside yet tender and succulent on the inside.
Seeing what this month’s challenge was brought back many nostalgic memories and when the dish was complete, I wished so hard that my grandmother was still here to savour it as she would have definitely agreed that this Char Siu recipe came pretty damn close to the one from ‘our’ restaurant.
Our Daring Cooks’ December 2011 hostess is Sara from ! Sara chose the awesome Char Siu Pau as our challenge, where we made the buns, Char Sui, and filling from scratch – delicious!
Char Siu also known as Cantonese BBQ Pork is widely available in Chinese restaurant and is used in many dishes such as in fried rice, noodles or even on its own. In Malaysia, we often have it with rice, a soy based sauce and some sliced cucumbers.
For the pork, we were given 3 cooking options to choose from; straight into the oven, seared on a hot pan then transferred into the oven or grilled on the BBQ.
For the paus/buns we have the option of either steaming or baking them. I have never taken a fancy to the steamed buns so naturally the baking option was my choice.
Sara also provided us with a vegetarian option – Mushroom Fillings for Baked Buns. The original Char Siu and vegetarian recipe can be found here.