Posted by: hyacinthus | November 18, 2010

Do you know why a small char siew bun costs about S$1 each?

Probably 20 years ago, char siew buns were bigger and cost half of today’s price. Does anyone recall the prices then?

Well, I had this motivation to do char siew bun today. Tried to find the recipes and ingredients necessary for the experiment. As I could not find most of the ingredients at NTUC and Cold Storage yesterday night, I had to make do with only Lee Kum Kee Char Siew Sauce to marinate the meat overnight. However, I managed to buy these from the market nearby my place this morning 🙂

S hooks – Used to hang pork in the oven (S$1.60). Get stainless steel ones.

Rose Wine – S$8.80

Maltose – S$2.20

Maltose is extremely sticky and it’s harder to handle than honey. But, it works better than honey as it doesn’t leave a weird honey taste on your char siew. If you can’t find these 2 ingredients in NTUC / Cold Storage, you can buy it from this provision shop as shown in receipt below.

The recipe I used for char siew bun is found here. Note that the picture of char siew bun on that website is not how the final bun will look. The basic dough does not include ammonia bicarbonate. As a result, buns will not have a nice split when steamed.

Okay! Let’s look at the marinated pork first. The Lee Kum Kee sauce is a little salty. You need to add sugar to balance the taste… and probably some 5-spice powder.

After checking the marinated pork, I did the dough. Leave it in a big bowl and cover with a wet cloth.

Next, hang those marinated meat in the oven using S hooks. I have some hot water placed at the bottom of the oven at 200 degree celsius. It’s amazing to know that my oven has a place for those hooks! 🙂

Every 5 min or so, I’ll coat the meat with the remaining marinate.

Checking on the dough. Woah! Rise more than twice! 😀

End of Roasting! Let’s check the meat 🙂

Place it on a chopping board…

Slice some to try… Mum commented it’s not sweet. Hmmm… Don’t use honey. Cos honey isn’t sweet enough for the meat 😦

It went back to the oven again. This time, I coated thick layer of maltose on the meat.

Tada! It tasted sweeter and glossier this time! 🙂

Dice 3 pieces for my char siew bun’s fillings.

This piece is for dinner 🙂

I tried to pleat like those seen on youtube. But, it’s reeeallly tough! My best is probably the bottom left one. I think there’s a little too much water in the basic dough recipe. As a result, the buns were a little flat… 😦

Oops! It’s TOO BIG! O_o

There were too many buns. Had to throw away the remaining dough cos who is going to help me eat the buns for the next few days? *LOL*

After spending all that time and effort, a bun for S$1 is not that expensive after all ;p

PS. Just found Prima’s recipe to make the basic dough. Think it’s worth trying this out! 🙂



  1. Wow, so impressive! So much effort in a bun

    • lol… much can be improved! 🙂

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