roast pork stuffed pineapple topping bun (菠萝叉烧包)

ever since g got back from hong kong, he’s been furiously looking for a hong kong style pineapple bun stuffed with roast pork. roast pork buns or plain pineapple buns are common in nyc chinese bakeries; it’s a bit like walking into mcdonald’s and asking for french fries. but apparently, the combination of the two is rather rare.  one of g’s friends even suggested that he buy a roast pork bun and a pineapple bun separately, and then cut off the top of the pineapple bun and eat it together with the roast pork bun.

i thought i could help g out and learn a new recipe in the process. . . i didn’t do everything perfect (made an error in the pineapple bun topping) but they still tasted pretty good and hey, it’s not bad for a first trial!

[note: chinese pineapple buns don't utilize pineapple as an ingredient.  they are so named for the topping's resemblance to the fruit]

Roast Pork Stuffed Pineapple Topping Bun (菠萝叉烧包
(makes about 15-18 buns)

Alex Goh’s Sweet Bread Dough 1 recipe (note you need to make part of this in advance)
Roast Pork Filling
(adapted from Eileen Yin Fei Lo’s The Chinese Kitchen)
BBQ Roast Pork 2 cups, chopped into ¼ inch cubes.  About ¾ lb.  I’ve made this from scratch in the past but opted to purchase from a restaurant in Chinatown this time.
Canola Oil 2 tbsp
Onions 1 cup, finely diced
Chinese Rice Wine 3 tsp
Sesame Oil 1 tsp
Sauce:
Oyster Sauce 2 tbsp
Soy Sauce 3 tsp
Ketchup 4 tsp
Sugar 4 tsp
Tapioca Flour 4 tsp
Pepper 1 tsp
Chicken stock 1/3 cup
Japanese Style Pineapple Bun Topping
Bread Flour 225g
Eggs 2 large eggs
Butter 1 stick (~110g) at room temp

To make the roast pork filling:

  1. Mix together all ingredients under “sauce” and set aside in a small bowl.
  2. Heat up canola oil in a skillet.  Add onions and saute over high heat until it just starts to brown.
  3. Add in roast pork and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Add in rice wine, followed by the “sauce.”  Stir the mixture until the sauce thickens and turns brown (about 2 minutes)
  5. Drizzle in sesame oil, mix well and transfer to a bowl.
  6. Cool to room temperature, the refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

To make the pineapple topping:  [I opted for the japanese style pineapple topping which doesn't have any sugar. might try the hong kong style next time].

  1. Cream butter in standmixer until pale and creamy.
  2. Add in eggs and continue to mix well.  It will look a bit curdled.
  3. Finally add in flour and mix on lowest speed until well-combined.  Do not overmix.
  4. Can be made in advance and stored in refrigerator well wrapped.  Best if brought to room temperature before use.

To assemble:

  1. Divide Sweet Bread Dough into 50g pieces and roll into a round ball.
  2. Flatten the ball with your hands or a rolling pin.  Try to make the sides of the dough thinner than the middle.
  3. Place about a tablespoon or so scoop of roast pork filling and place it in the center of the disc.  Use your fingers to cup and pinch the dough around the filling until the filling is completely covered.  [This takes some practice.  Mine looked horribly ugly on my first attempt.]
  4. Place the filled bun, seam side up,  on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Repeat until all buns are filled.
  5. Then, divide the pineapple topping dough into equal pieces.  Roll into a ball and flatten into a disc.  Place the pineapple topping disc on top of the filled bun. It should completely cover the bun [unlike what i did in the picture, i left a lot of space, thinking that the topping might melt a bit in the oven], then gently draw a grid on the topping with a paring knife.
  6. Proof for 50 minutes in your oven set at proofing temperature.  Bread will have roughly doubled in size.
  7. Brush with egg wash [i didn't put nearly enough on the pineapple topping] and bake at 350ºF for 15-20 minutes.

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