Cha Siu Bao
Want to wow someone on Valentine's Day? Nothing says love like a project that produces a rare and coveted treat like cha siu bao.
Yes, we've got Chinese chocolates (here
), but to show your true devotion you've got to invest some time and effort.
Making cha siu bao isn't necessarily hard, but it does have several steps: making the fluffy, yeasty dough; making the juicy, caramelized cha siu roast pork; making the sweet but not too sweet sauce; and putting them altogether in one perfect package. The good news? You'll make enough bao to keep some, give some, and freeze some—the freezer stash reminding the object of your affection of your affection for days or weeks to come.
In Kathy's multiple experiments developing this recipe, she found that, "As it turns out, the heart of a great chasiu marinade begins with oyster sauce and soy sauce. I'm using Megachef oyster sauce
(gluten-free!) and Zhongba light
and dark soy sauces
, supplemented with a very special hoisin sauce
(completely new to the USA!). Many mainland chefs omit hoisin sauce altogether, but The Mala Market's Guangwei Yuan hoisin
has an important kick to it... red yeast rice powder! That's what gives this hoisin sauce its brown-red coloring, and it's also the cherry-red all-natural coloring traditional restaurants use in chasiu.
Red yeast rice powder is a bit of a niche ingredient however, so while you may not keep it on hand for many other uses, you'll definitely reuse the hoisin sauce."