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Monday 23 January 2012

Sluttishly Savoury: Char Siu Pork Pastries

There's always a bit of an argument when I go for dim sum (Westferry Royal China, most hungover Sundays). I don't like the pork buns, but for everyone else I know they're a dim sum staple. I almost always lose this fight, but sometimes I get my way and we compromise with pork pastries instead.

Pork pastries are my happy place.

Char siu is one of the sexiest things in the world. It just tastes SO GOOD. Unctuous, sticky, savoury. That reddish-pink pork is a thing of the gods. Wrap it in pastry and I'm practically giddy. Because it's Chinese New Year, I made some for lunch today. I started with one of Su Lin's recipes on Tamarind and Thyme (you should probably always start here for Chinese recipes), but then tweaked and played. You should get about 16-20 pastries out of this recipe, depending on what size you make them. Don't forget the golden dim sum rule: don't overfill them. Yes, filling is tasty, but they'll open up and be ruined. Less is always more than you think when it comes to dim sum filling.

You'll need:
  • 350g char siu pork (you can get char siu from a Chinese supermarket, but if you don't have one near you then make your own with our char siu marinade recipe).
  • One red onion
  • 1tsp hoisin sauce
  • 1tsp oyster sauce
  • 1tsp dark soy sauce
  • Splash sesame oil
  • 2 sheets of shortcrust pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Sesame seeds (optional, but pretty)
Make it!
  • Preheat the oven to 200 degrees
  • Fry the onions in sesame oil until they're soft, and then add the sauces and char siu, stirring occasionally until the meat is covered and heated through. Leave to cool. Try not to eat it all.
  • Eat a little bit more than you intended.
  • Cut discs of pastry (I found that a pint mug created the best size) and place a slightly heaped teaspoon of mixture in the middle of the discs. NO MORE. Fold your pastry over and pleat the edges to seal.
  • Beat an egg with a little water and use as an egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you have some to hand. They look pretty.
  • Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and then eat as many as possible before everyone comes into the kitchen to find out what the nice smell is.
Flickr image from Joyosity's photostream. I have lost the cable for my camera and my photos are being held captive.


  1. I love Royal China too!! I would do nearly anything to get hold of their very naughty deep fried custard buns. Save room for them next time you go and Happy CNY. p.s. YUM re the pork pastries~

  2. Some branches get the thumbs up more than others, but the Westferry one is nearest to home and the dim sum is always so good. We have successfully worked our way through the entire dim sum menu now, we're kings at ordering.

  3. Yum. I am trying these out at the weekend.


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