These are loads of work, so I generally only make them once or twice a year. I make a big batch and freeze them. They're a lot of work, but they're worth it, as this is the only way for me to safely eat bao since developing food allergies.
2-3 lbs pork roast soy sauce ginger 1 teaspoon star anise powder 3-4 garlic cloves sugar water
Chop pork into 1”-1.5” slices. Peel ginger and roughly chop. Peel and crush garlic.
Put ginger, garlic, sugar, and star anise into bag and shake to mix well.
Add pork, then cover with soy sauce and water. Marinate over night in refrigerator, shaking bag occasionally for maximum coverage.
Dump bag into crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours until pork is 160ºF inside. Turn off crock pot and let pork cool slightly. Remove pork with a slotted spoon and cool on a platter. When cool enough to handle, slice pork pieces across the grain. The pork should be falling apart at that point so that you can crumble it further with your hands. Set aside.
500g all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons yeast 10g baking powder a pinch of salt 2 Tablespoons sunflower oil 260ml lukewarm shiitake dashi
Mix yeast with .25 cup of water (100º – 110ºF) and 1 teaspoon of sugar to proof. Let stand 10 minutes. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt, making sure to thoroughly combine. Add sunflower oil; the mixture should be crumbly. Add dashi a bit at a time, and mix dough until smooth. Knead for 10 minutes, then put dough in cleaned mixing bowl and cover with cling film and a kitchen towel. Let stand until doubled, at least 45 minutes.
Punch down dough to remove air, then divide in half. Roll halves into tubes, then cut each tube into eight equal pieces. Roll pieces into balls, and cover with a wet kitchen towel for 10 minutes.
400g char sui pork 4 – 6 green onions 2 – 3 cabbage leaves, steamed for one minute 4 – 6 dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted .5 teaspoon 5 spice powder ginger powder 2 Tablespoons sugar 5 cup defatted char sui liquid 1 Tablespoon flour 2 Tablespoons corn starch .5 cup water sunflower oil parchment paper
Chop soaked shiitake mushrooms, and steamed cabbage. Finely chop green onion.
Mix flour and corn starch with water.
Add sunflower oil to large skillet and heat on medium heat. Add crumbled char sui pork and sauté for a few minutes. Add char sui liquid. Add flour/corn starch/ water mixture and stir until syrupy. Turn off heat and let mixture cool. When mixture is cool enough to comfortable handle, separate and roll into balls of roughly 1.5”. Place balls on wax paper. Cut 16 4” x 4” squares of parchment paper, and set aside.
To make bao:
Press dough ball flat onto table. Roll out until roughly 4”. Pinch edges to flatten, then place char sui ball in center. Pinch edges up to form a ball and twist slightly to seal. Set on parchment square.
Set steamer basket in water-filled pot and cover, then bring to a boil. Turn heat off.
Place uncooked buns, parchment squares and all, into steamer basket. Be sure to give each bun some breathing room so that they don't merge into each other. Let buns sit in covered steamer for 10 – 15 minutes. Turn burner back on and steam for 20 minutes.