Ham Bow (Steamed Meat-Stuff Buns)

From the 1996 KLO dinner — Dim Sum

Ham Bow (Steamed Meat-Stuff Buns)

Bread Dough:

  • 2 pkg fast-rising yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup milk, heated to lukewarm
  • 4-1/4 cups bread flour


  • 1/2 lb Barbecued Pork Strips, chopped into medium small dice
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup minced Napa cabbage (Chinese celery cabbage)
  • 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • pinch salt
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 Tbsp water

Barbecued Pork Strips:

  • 2 lbs boneless pork butt, cut in long strips 2″ square
  • 2 Tbsp Chinese chicken soup stock (or regular chicken stock with 1 tsp minced ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soybean condiment (mein see)
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1-1/2 Tbsp honey
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • few drops red fool coloring

Bread Dough:

Sprinkle yeast over lukewarm water and then add the sugar. Allow to stand and then stir in the yeast. Add the warm milk. be careful that this is only lukewarm (about 90 degrees). Stir in the flour and knead until smooth. Place the dough on a plastic countertop and cover with a large metal bowl. Allow to rise until double in bulk, about an hour. Punch down the dough and allow to rise another 30 minutes.


While dough is rising, prepare filling. Combine all ingredients in a wok (except dissolved cornstarch), and chow just until the mixture is hot. Thicken with cornstarch and allow filling to cool.

Construction: Punch the dough down and knead for 1 minute. Roll the dough into a snake about 1 foot long and divide into 24 pieces. Roll each into a ball and then roll out into a 4″ circle.

Fill each bun as you roll it. Place a heating teaspoon of filling in the center of the dough circle. With your fingers, gather the sides of the dough up around the filling in loose folds, meeting at the top. Pinch the dough together so it will hold. Place the filled bun upside down on a 2″ square of waxed paper and place in a bamboo steamer. When all the buns are finished cover the steamer and allow the dough to rise until not quite double in size. In about 30 minutes the dough should spring back slowly when pushed gently with your fingers. Steam them for 15 minutes. Serve with a bit of Chinese mustard.

Barbecued Pork Strips

To make marinade, combine all ingredients except pork. Marinate the pork for 3 hours, unrefrigerated, or 6 hours in the refrigerator. Turn the strips every hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Place a large cake pan half filled with water on the lowest shelf of your oven. This will catch drips from the meat and prevent smoking. Place the meat strips directly on an oven rack and put in the top position of the oven. Be sure that all of the meat is over the dripping pan. Roast for 45 minutes without disturbing the meat. Then turn the heat up to 450 F and roast an additional 15 minutes, or until the pork strips are crisp and a rich brown color. Slice the meat and serve it hot or cold.

Variation: Set up a grill for indirect heat. Place the strips directly on the grill rack (oil it first to avoid sticking) and grill over the lowest heat for 45 minutes.

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