Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao)
These buns are a grab-and-go street food in China. They were also popular in our Test Kitchens, where they earned our highest rating. Use a multitray bamboo steamer so you can cook all the buns at one time. To make them up to two months ahead, fill the dough, and freeze unsteamed buns on a tray in the freezer before placing them in a freezer-safe zip-top plastic bag. Steam directly from the freezer for an additional five minutes. This Chinese recipe is proof you don't have to get takeout to enjoy the fine cuisine. Serve these for a meal or as a fantastic appetizer for entertaining.
Kick up the spice level with some red chili peppers, cilantro, or jalapeños. Tiny cubed cucumbers make a fresh, crunchy addition to this Asian favorite. Hint: The beauty of this recipe is that you don't have to stick with pork. Make it a veggie, bean or even seafood bun.