Friday, May 1, 2015

Char Siew Pastry or Asian Pasties

If you are Asian, you would probably have eaten dim sum many times. If you aren't Asian, you would probably have heard of dim sum or eaten dim sum with your Asian friends many times too. On the other side of the world, croissants and pastries are a favourite with many people. On this side of the world, dim sum also consists of pastries like Asian pasties, steamed food, etc. One of my favourite dim sum is char siew pastry.

I particularly like this easy recipe from Alan Goh's "Irresistable Pastry". You must prepare the filling before doing the dough as the filling needs to be cooled. Please see my modifications in blue


Filling (A)

400gm chicken meat, diced (you may use pork if you prefer)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
35gm sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Filling (B)
2 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp bean paste 1-2 tbsp char siew sauce

Filling (C)

100gm water

Filling (D)
1 tbsp potato starch
2 tbsp cornflour
50gm water

Method for Filling:

  1. Mix Filling (A) together and marinate for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat the oil and add the garlic. Stir fry until fragrant.
  3. Add in your marinated Filling (A) together with the char siew sauce and cook until the chicken/pork is about 80% cooked.
  4. Add in Filling (C) until it boils. Then add in Filling (D) and cook until it thickens. 
  5. Dish up and spread on a wide plate to let the cooling process speed up.
Ingredients for the dough:

Water Dough
200gm flour

20gm oil
40gm sugar
100gm water

Oil Dough
200gm flour
130gm shortening


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the water dough until it forms a smooth dough and is pliable.
  2. Divide the water dough equally into 20 parts and cover with gladwrap or clingwrap or a tray then let it rest while you make the oil dough.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the oil dough until it forms a big ball of dough. Do not be alarmed if the texture of this dough is different from the water dough as it should be relatively sticky. Divide this dough into 20 equal parts.
  4. Flatten 1 portion of the water dough into a circle and then place the oil dough in the middle and wrap up the water dough. Repeat this for the rest of the 19 portions and cover with a tray or clingwrap.
  5. Take one portion of the dough and roll it vertically so that you may roll it backwards down like a mini swiss roll. Do the same for the remaining 19 portions and then repeat.
  6. Lastly, take a portion of the dough and flatten it into a circle then place about a tbsp of the filling in the middle and then, according to the type of shape you prefer, seal the dough by pinching to make sure that there are no holes so there will be no leakage. 
  7. Place the sealed dough side downwards then brush with eggwash and sprinkle with white sesame seeds.
  8. Bake in preheated oven of about 180 to 200 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes.
Additional tips:
  • eggwash means to beat 1 egg yolk and then brush it over your pastry liberally but take care not to overdo it such that the eggwash drips all over the pastry and onto the tray.
  • You may prepare the filling 1 day before and chill overnight in the fridge. Remember to take it out before you prepare your dough so your filling goes to room temperature.
  • You may use lard to replace shortening too. It will definitely taste better.
  • You may wrap your char siew pastry into triangles, rectangles, etc, whichever shape that is your type.
  • Alternatively, you may also use frozen puff pastry to make this. Just thaw your puff pastry, roll and cut then shape. Don't forget to use your fork to poke the pastry in the middle before brushing with eggwash and baking. **This is to prevent the pastry from overpoofing (is there even such a word?? You get the idea).
  • If your oven gets pretty hot easily, use 200 degrees celsius.
  • At around 13 to 15 minutes or when your pastry gets relatively brown on one side, turn the tray around so that the other side of the pastry gets evenly brown too.
  • To reheat your pastry for eating, you may put it in the oven and preheat it for about 5 to 7 minutes at the same temperature you used for baking. If not, you may use the microwave oven for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • This pastry may be kept for about 3 days in airtight container and 1 week in the fridge. I'm sure it won't be able to last that long ;)
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I didn't manage to take a picture of what's inside the pastry as things just happened too fast. You just keep on eating and eating as it is so delish. Try it and you will know what I mean. I love the layers of pastry you can see and that is what makes the pastry so so good. Mr G said that this was even better than my 1st attempt at it. He snitched 2 while I wasn't looking. =_=" This is a perfect tea time treat or breakfast treat with a hot cuppa tea or coffee. Dig in!!

You can see how my 1st attempt of this pastry went.

I'm submitting this post to Tea Time Treats organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Tea Time Treats Linky Party
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