Life in Japan : Meet Kuromori’s Char Siu Bun

I loved this when i was a child.

Remember the Shumai? Now come meet its cousin.

I ordered some buns along the Shumai and today is the day to finally taste the REAL Char Siu Bun. I still remember when i was in Mexico, i craved for bun out of the blue and through the almighty google learned how to make pork bun. Interestingly, my bun’s top never break into sections like those in the picture here. So i asked the expert, across the ocean half a world away. Hey, why does your bun look different from mine?

Apparently, it was because of the yeast used. As someone who make buns once in a blue moon, i used dried yeast. For Chef Kuromori, he used “Lao Mian”. So what is “Lao Mian”?

“Lao Mian” is the natural yeast that chefs who make dimsum cultivate by keeping a small piece of dough and mix it in with new dough the next day. Like a yeast pet or pet yeast. Its equivalent in western culinary is the mushy sourdough.

It was very touching to see someone in Japan take such care into making it right for Char Siu Bun. Meat buns in Japan are sold in convenient stores and often eaten as quick hot lunch. Whereas those in Yokohama China town focus more on the pan fried soup dumpling version, or the nicely round steamed version with mince meat which is called “Shang Yok Bao” where i am from.

Personally i think Char Siu Bun is difficult to get right. The filling have to be cooked separately before being wrapped in dough, the correct seasoning is definitely crucial but the texture of the filling post an extra challenge compare to having a ball of minced meat. Char Siu Bun filing is chopped Char Siu in reduced Char Siu sauce, so getting the golden ratio of greasy and lean meat chopped in the right size would make it an ELEGANT bun or well, a nice bun.

These, were ELEGANT.

楽・食・健・美 -KUROMORI-

Bonus track : My buns in Mexico

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