Name: Char Siu Bau
Primary Ingredient(s): BBQ Pork
Type of Dish: Bun
Method of Preparation: Baked or Steamed
In the world of Dim Sum, it is the Pork Bun that is the “ol’ standby” for me. This is the solid ground which allows me to “advance to” and “retreat from” the more exotic fare. There is a reason for this, which I will get to in a moment.
The buns can come to you in two different forms – baked (pictured above) and steamed (pictured below). Both are worth your time, especially the steamed version. Those of us from Western traditions should try the steamed versions if only to understand that bread need not be baked in order to taste wonderful, or at the very least, unique.
What makes the dish is the filling, with the succulent, yet sweet, barbecue pork. The sauce provides a mouth-feel that balances nicely with the texture of the bun, and works in concert with the taste of the swine.
Can you tell that this is one of my favorite dishes?
In trying to understand my passion for this dish, I was able to make a connection between the baked bau and the dinner buns my grandmother used to make for Holiday feasts. Take away the pork filling, and it is as if the two buns were made from the same recipe, glaze and all. Of course these treats would be my safety zone, as they remind me of simpler times with family.