Thursday, February 26, 2009

Steamed Orange Pork Buns

Oh, this month's Royal Foodie Joust was certainly a challenge! Angela from Spinach Tiger chose Satsuma (or any other orange citrus) - zest, fruit or juice, Shallots and Edible Flowers as the three ingredients we had to use in our dish. At first I was completely stumped by the edible flowers, February in Minnesota is not actually prime time for them. Then I had an ah-ha idea to use tea with dried flowers in it. Since we were using citrus, I thought I'd use an orange tea, the Tazo one I chose had hibiscus flowers & rose petals as well as orange zest in it. I thought it would make a good marinade for pork to use in an Asian dish so, I decided to try my hand at a dish we love, but have never made, Steamed Pork Bun.
Steamed Pork Bun
This dish is a little time consuming with quite a few steps, marinating the pork, roasting the pork, making the filling, making the dough & then finally making the buns, but the results are so worth it. Plus a lot of the time isn't hands on.

The pork was perfect! It smelled amazing cooking & had such a wonderful flavor when done, I especially loved the blend of the citrus & the anise in the Five Spice Powder. This recipe will make a little more than twice the pork you need for the buns but I'm looking forward to using the rest in some fried rice or even another batch of buns. Orange pork isn't really traditional to pork buns (we usually get barbecued pork) but it really worked as a variation. The addition of the orange zest to the filling made that orange flavor really pop.
Steamed Pork Buns
The bun dough puffed up beautifully during steaming & had the exact texture of the ones I've had at restaurants. I need to work a little on my technique for making them though. On most of them I ended up with too much dough where the ends were gathered together. Next time I'll really make sure each circle of dough is much thinner around the edges. It didn't effect the flavor at all, its really just more of an esthetic thing.

Thanks to Angela for giving us such interesting ingredients & to Jenn The Leftover Queen for hosting another fun Joust.

Steamed Orange Pork Buns
(I adapted these buns from the ones on Just Hungry)


8 oz water
2 bags Tazo Wild Orange Tea
2 cloves garlic. peeled & crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled & sliced
1/4 t Chinese Five Spice Powder
1/4 c low sodium soy sauce
1 1/4 lb boneless pork (We used boneless country ribs. Chose a cut of pork that is not too fat or too lean)

Bring the water to a boil. Seep the tea bags into the water until the water is cool & then discard the tea bags. Put the tea, garlic, ginger, Chinese Five Spice Powder, soy sauce & pork into a sealable bag. Seal the bag removing as much air as possible. Put the bag into a bowl incase of leaks & then refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 280 F. Pour the contents of the bag into a roasting pan. There should be about 1/2-inch of liquid, if not add a little water. Sprinkle some sugar on the pork. Roast until it reaches between 160 & 170  F turning every 30 minutes, about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. Sprinkle sugar on the pork again on the first turn.

Remove from cooking liquid & allow to cool. Leave cooking liquid in the pan to cool.


1/4 c water
1/2 T flour
1 T corn starch
1 t sesame oil
2 T cooking liquid with the fat removed
1 T soy sauce
1/2 c of the cooked pork, cut into a small dice
1/4 c shallot, finely chopped
1/2-inch piece of ginger, peeled & finely chopped
zest of one clementine or mandarin orange

Mix the water, flour & corn starch together in a small bowl & set aside.

Put the sesame oil, cooking liquid & soy sauce in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the shallots, ginger, zest & pork and sauté briefly. Stir in the flour/cornstarch/water mixture. Cook until thickened. Allow to cool.


1 T + 1 t warm water
1 t dry yeast
pinch of sugar
2 c all purpose flour (plus more if needed)
1/3 c hot water
1/3 c warm milk
2 t vegetable shortening
1/3 t baking powder

Put the yeast & pinch of sugar into a small bowl with the warm water. Allow to dissolve.

Put 1 1/2 flour in a medium bowl. Add the hot water & stir rapidly. Stir in the yeast mixture, warm milk, shortening & baking powder. Slowly stir in the remaining flour until you have a soft dough. Dump the dough out in a floured surface and knead a few minutes until you have a soft pliable dough (you may need to knead in a little more flour), it will be slightly sticky. Put the dough into a large sealable bag. Seal & let sit in a warm place until double in size, about 45 minutes.

Roll the dough out into a log. Cut into 8 even pieces. Roll the pieces into a ball & let them rest about 5 minutes.

Flatten each ball into a circle that is fatter at the middle than the side.
Make a circle
Place 1 heaping Tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the circle.
Top with filling
Gather the edges to the middle & pinch to close.
Gather the edges
Place gathered side down on a 3" x 3" square of parchment paper. Let the bun rise for 20 minutes.
Pork Buns Rising
Steam the buns in the parchment paper squares for 20 minutes. Serve right away.

Makes 8 buns.


Maria said...

I have never made these at home, awesome job!!

Dewi said...

OMG, I grew up with this buns. My son also love it and been asking me to make my own. The only problem is that I don't have a large steamer.

Yours look mouth watering.

kat said...

Elra - We don't have a huge steamer either. We did five in our Dutch oven with a steamer basket & another 3 in a large soup pot with a silicone steamer in it.

Jen said...

Wow.... I never even considered that I might be able to make pork buns at home. It's just one of those things that I thought was a restaurant food only. I'm definitley bookmarking this one for when I'm done studying and can spend a day cooking.

vanillasugarblog said...

I don't know if I'd have the patience for that. They came out so good.

Kirby! said...

What a coincidence: just the other day, I was thinking about making some steamed buns!! I got a steamer a few weeks ago, and char siu bao is my favorite dim sum item ever. I've been hesitant to try them because I'm afraid that they will be really time intensive and not turn out the way I want them to. But it looks like the ones you made are pretty simple and tasty!

Anonymous said...

What a creative idea, using the tea that way!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Wow, a lot of work but they look delicious!

Deborah said...

I have never had steamed buns before, but I've always wanted to try them. These flavors sound delicious!

Thistlemoon said...

Wow Kat, another great entry! Thank you so much for participating and bringing such a great entry to the table!

grace said...

this is really something i should attempt before i die--not only is it a neat method, but they sound quite tasty!

TS of eatingclub vancouver said...

Oh, I love this tea-marinated pork bun idea!

Anonymous said...

Hi again, I just had to comment on these buns! They look amazing, and I'm bookmarking them now. I do a baked pork bun, like you find in the Korean and Chinese bakeries, but I love your filling and my bamboo steamer needs a workout!

gaga said...

Yum, those turned out beautifully!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Beautiful bao! They look so good!

amycaseycooks said...

How freakin' cool1 Can you come make tham in my kitchen? I'll do al the dishes.

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