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6 cups all-purpose flour
2 (1/4 ounce) packages dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 cup boiling water
1 cup warm whole milk
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening or lard
1 teaspoon baking powder
parchment paper
400 g chinese-style roast pork
1 cup finely chopped green onion
6 dried shiitake mushrooms
1/4 cup canned bamboo shoot (optional)
2 teaspoons dark roasted sesame oil
1 piece fresh ginger, chopped finely
3 tablespoons soy sauce (or 3 tablespoons defatted roasting liquid from pork)
1 tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1 kg pork roast, only slightly fatty
soy sauce
1 inch piece gingerroot
1 star anise
3-4 garlic cloves

1The dough:.
2Cut up the parchment paper into 24 squares about 10 cm / 3 inches square.
3Proof the yeast in a bowl or cup in the 1/4 cup of warm water with a pinch of sugar added, until foamy.
4In a large bowl, put in 5 cups of the flour. Make a well in the center, and add the hot water and mix rapidly.
5Add the sugar and yeast/water mixture, baking powder, warm milk, and the shortening or lard. Mix well.
6Add the rest of the flour little by little until you have a workable dough. Knead for a few minutes on a floured board until it’s soft and pliable.
7Put into a large bowl, cover with a clean towel, and leave in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
8Take out the dough and roll into one long sausage. Cut the dough into 24 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, and let rest for a bit.
9To fill the buns, flatten each ball so that the middle is slightly thicker than the edges. Put about a tablespoon or so of filling in the middle. Gather up the edges and pinch them firmly together to seal, then turn the bun over and place on a square of parchment paper. Let the buns rise for 15-20 minutes before steaming.
10Steam in a steamer for 20 minutes. Eat while piping hot.
11The filling:.
12Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water until soft. Cut off the hard stems and slice thinly.
13Cube the pork, or chop it up finely.
14Mix the flour and cornstarch with the water.
15In a pan heat the sesame oil and toss in all the ingredients except the flour/cornstarch water. Sauté briefly, then add the flour/cornstarch water. Cook until it’s a bit syrupy.
16Let cool and use to fill the buns.
17The Chinese-style roast pork (Chinese: char siu; Japanese: yakibuta).
18If you have a big piece of pork, cut it into about 500g pieces.
19Roughly chop the ginger, skin on is okay, and crush the garlic to crush a bit.
20Put the pork pieces in a sturdy plastic bag or container. Put in the pork, ginger, star anise and garlic, and fill with enough soy sauce to cover the pork.
21Seal the bag well and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Turn the meat several times if you can so that the marinade penetrates evenly.
22Preheat the oven to 140° C / 280°F
23Empty out the contents of the bag into a baking dish. Add a bit of water so that the meat is sitting in about 1cm of liquid.
24Sprinkle the meat with sugar, and bake for about 2.5 – 3 hours, turning the meat every 20-30 minutes. If you want it even sweeter, sprinkle more sugar on the meat periodically.
25At the end, the liquid will be almost gone and syrupy, and you will have dark amber colored pieces of pork.
26Let cool and slice thin, cube, etc. You can use cubes in fried rice, or in the steamed buns of course, and any number of things.
27It is quite worthwhile to make this in some quantity, since the cooking takes so long, and to freeze in portions for later use.

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