Do you like Charsiew Polo Buns? I do and I wanted to try baking some myself so I casually asked our favourite Hong Kong Masterchef, Gen Shu if he would be willing to share his recipe with us. Not only was he willing, but he even volunteered his friend Chef Ip to come over to my place to personally show us how to make the buns! Chef Ip, as you may have read in my earlier post is the other Hong Kong Chef that we know who actually make these buns at his J.H.K restaurant in Pasir Ris.
The real secret with the buns lie in the charsiew filling. To get that moist charsiew filling, you have to make a special jelly to which the charsiew is added. Get that right and you have a charsiew bun that tastes like the real thing. The crumbly topping is optional. You can simply glaze it with sugar syrup to make the normal baked charsiew buns or add the topping to make it into a charsiew Polo Bun.
For the Char Siew, you might consider just buying it from the shops. Half a kg of Char Siew costs $10 while half a kg of pork collar costs $7, so unless I am doing a lot of polo buns, I rather just buy the Char Siew to save time. At any rate, I don’t have a charcoal oven to properly grill the Char Siew. But if you want to make it yourself, Chef Ip has provided a recipe. You will need to portion it as his recipe for Char Siew and filling is for 6 kg of pork. The bun recipe will make around 20 small buns.
Char Siew Sauce Recipe
37.5g dark soy sauce 老抽
150g light soy sauce 生抽
37.5g oyster sauce
3 pieces of shallots
3 pieces of garlic
3 slices of ginger
2 tbsp oil
112.5g corn flour
Fry shallots, garlic and ginger till fragrant, then add sauces and sugar. Finally lower the heat and add corn flour and stir till it is a thickened jelly.
餐包皮 (Bun Recipe)
600g bread flour
150g castor sugar
Mix and knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth. Portion out and roll into 50g balls and let rest for 10 minutes before flattening and filling with Charsiew Filling. Let it rise for 45 mins before baking.
菠漯包皮 (Polo Crumbly Topping)
300g plain flour
3.75g bicarbonate of soda
3.75g ammonia bicarbonate
A little yellow colouring
Start with cold butter and use your fingers crumble it with the flour till the mixture is like breadcrumbs. Then make into dough and let it rest in the fridge for an hour. When the buns are ready, flatten and placed on top of the bun. You will need to spray the buns with a bit of water before to make the topping stick.
6kg 梅肉 pork
105g chicken powder
140g sesame sauce
140g hoisin sauce
35g five spice powder
35g ginger powder
140g oyster sauce
140g rose wine
Marinate 45 mins, bake at 200 degrees Celsius At about 35mins (or 75% done), bring out of oven, glaze with honey to caramelize. Bake remaining 5 mins. Total 40mins.
Our Hong Kong Chefs are now busy making mooncakes to supply to five star hotels. So if you want to get their mooncakes at wholesale prices, here is the price list and contact details:
D24 Durian Paste Snow Skin Moon Cake 9 (mini) $ 32
Black Sesame Paste Snow Skin Moon Cake 9 (mini) $ 28
Traditional Double Egg Yolk White Lotus Moon Cake 4 $ 34
Traditional Single Egg Yolk White Lotus Moon Cake 4 $ 32
Traditional Four Egg Yolk White Lotus Moon Cake 4 $ 40
Traditional Five Mixed Nuts Moon Cake 4 $ 38
Traditional Pure White Lotus Paste Moon Cake 4 $ 28
Call Chef Ip at 65824209 to order
Many thanks to Gen Shu and Chef Ip for so generously sharing their recipe.