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Jul 13, 2007 09:55 AM

Steamed BBQ Pork Buns

Ok, chowfriends, here's what I have a hankering for:

The steamed buns that are filled with barbeque pork (and other assorted things) in a sweet red sauce that are served at Chinese dim sum. The buns are white and doughy, and usually have a crosshatch at the top. They are not the buns that are filled with the gray colored pork, and have been toasted on top.

I have looked everywhere for a version of these to eat at home - from Maria's chinese bakery in Rockville to Daruma (Japanese, I know, but they stock Chinese goods) to no avail.

Perhaps I need to know the term of art? Please advise.

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  1. These are the pork buns (cha siew bao) which are traditionally served in dim sum places. The bakeries like Maria's will have the baked version which have a brown crust. You can buy frozen ones in places like Kam Sam or Maxim, but the ones we usually get are vegetarian but taste very close to the authentic.

    1. Char shiu (roast pork) bow or bao (bun)--seen in freezer cases at Lotte Plaza (which has a Rockville location) and possibly at Hanh Ah Rheum (unsure spelling), both being pan-Asian supermarket chains. Carry out Saturday and Sunday from dim sum service at New Fortune on Rockville Pike, Hollywood East and Good Fortune on University in Wheaton.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chowsearch

        The spelling and pronunciation can vary a bit. It's the trouble with different Romanizations of the Chinese language, which also has different dialects.

        No leads on where to get an at-home version.

        1. re: chowsearch

          Hanh Ah Rheum (isnt that H-Mart now?) definitely sells them in the frozen aisle. I bought a pack a few years ago. They were quite doughy.

          I am excited to learn that Bahn Mi DC has them. Can't wait to try!

        2. Banh Mi DC in Falls Church and some cafes in Eden Center carry these as well, sweet roast pork and pork or chicken with egg. Sio Bao (sp)
          Also, Grand Mart in Centreville or Sterling carries them in the freezer section.

          2 Replies
          1. re: CH2176

            Can't say much in defense of the frozen version.

            1. re: CH2176

              The ones at Banh Mi D.C. Sandwich are excellent.

            2. You might want to check Trader Joes or Shoppers. Both have a wide variety of frozen ethnic foods that you can prepare at home.

              1. I hope by 'assorted other things', you weren't referring to cardboard...


                BEIJING, July 12 (UPI) -- A dim-sum restaurant in Beijing allegedly sold buns stuffed with a cardboard treated with caustic soda and flavored with pork fat.

                Authorities in the Chinese capital closed the shop after a television program reported on the unusual and possibly dangerous filling, The Beijing Times reported. The owner allegedly decided to cheat his customers as pork prices rose and reportedly said that he was saving $132 a day.

                The owner allegedly used a prep kitchen some distance from his shop to prepare the buns so customers wouldn't realize what they were purchasing. According to the television program, the filling was prepared by soaking cardboard in water and caustic soda to make it look like pork and then adding pork flavor and fat.