Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Chinese Roast Pork Rolls-Cha Shi Bao

Cha shu bao or Cha shi bao (the cookbook says one thing, the class I took in Mandarin a couple of years ago said another).

I had to repeatedly shoo my daughter away from the roast pork only to discover her hovering over it with telltale greasy fingers. I find the roast pork in Chinese restaurants to be rather dry and nasty most of the time and try to avoid it, but this stuff… divine. Filling bread dough with it is pretty easy, if the vultures don’t eat it all while your back is turned. The bread is on the sweet side and the meat is coated with a salty-sweet sauce and the combination has been enough to make me take the commuter rail into Boston to get it.

Of course, now that I am 1200 miles from Boston that is not going to be happening again anytime soon. For the second time in two years I decided to throw some together. The recipe for the bread part is from a website that I did not record two years ago, I think it was a discussion group. The meat recipe comes from An Encyclopedia of Chinese Food and Cooking by Wonona Chang. I think I achieved better results the last time I made them, this batch seems dry. The bread doesn’t seem to have quite the right texture , but I swear that I used the same recipe. I must have used the Roast Pork II recipe last time. The pork is great on its own but it is not quite right for these particular rolls. This is a do-over. The result is good, but not quite what I had in mind. I would not ride 45 miles on the commuter rail for these.

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