I had a block of shortcrust pastry taking up valuable ice cream space in my shoebox sized freezer and I knew I had to use it up somehow. My last visit (actually, I should make that “final visit”) to Oriental City had me walk away with another boxful of the delicious roast meats from China City Express – I always ordered a mixture of char siu, that reddish barbecued pork, and siu yoke, the roasted pork with gorgeously golden brown, crunchy skin. With half a silver takeaway container of char siu on my hands, I knew I had to make these char siu pastries.

Char Siu Pastries Straight Out of the Oven

The filling was meaty and salty and sweet and the pastry crumbly. Of course, homemade shortcrust would be better but sometimes there’s just no time! And when you decide to make at 10pm, it’s nice to have the shortcut.

Inside a Pastry

Char Siu Pastries
makes about 15

1.5 cups char siu, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
sugar
1 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

around 250g ready made shortcrust pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with a little cold water
sesame seeds

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add the oil. Toss in the chopped onion when the oil is hot and fry until translucent and perhaps even a little brown. Add in the chopped char siu and stir together until the char siu is heated through. Add the soy sauce, oyster sauce and sesame oil and stir through. Add sugar to taste – you might like the filling to be a little sweeter. This will also depend on how salty your other sauces are. Finally, add the cornstarch mixture – this will cause all the liquid to thicken and the onion and char siu mixture will start to pull together. Set aside until cool.

Roll out the shortcrust to about 1/8 – 3/16 inch thickness. Cut into rounds a little larger than a mug diameter and fill with approximately 1 tbsp of filling. Fold in half and seal by pleating the edges. I used a curry puff maker that I purchased in Malaysia ages ago – this saved me a lot of time! Or feel free to enclose the filling using any shape you fancy. Lay on a baking tray lined with baking paper and brush the tops with the egg mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 200 degrees Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

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