Baked BBQ Pork Buns at Hong Kong Bakery

baked bbq pork bun Hong Kong Bakery

"This has to be one of cheapest ways to fill your belly in the Capital Region."

By Daniel B.

As much as anything else, dim sum is an eating style. Regrettably, it's one that is not readily available here. Sure, you can order some of the dishes at a few of our local Chinese restaurants. But without the benefit of rolling dim sum carts it is difficult to replicate the slow, leisurely pace of spending the morning with your friends and family over copious amounts of tea punctuated with tasty things to eat.

And even at those restaurants that do serve dim sum, one of my favorite treats has been elusive: The Baked BBQ Pork Bun.

The steamed barbecue pork bun is a staple of dim sum menus, and it's fine in all of its white and billowy glory. But as good as it is, this puffball doesn't hold a candle to its richer, more golden, baked cousin. For these, you will need to head to the Hong Kong Bakery, which is now inside the Asian Supermarket on Central Avenue.

And if you are lucky, you might just happen to spy a warm tray of them fresh from the oven lurking behind the counter.

The humble baked pork buns are easy to miss, as there is a lot of interesting food vying for your attention. Not least of which is the side of roast pork and whole roast ducks hanging in the window. There is a cabinet that keeps the steamed buns warm and wet and a buffet-style table filled with hot dishes. By the register are trays of fried delights, like sesame balls and fried mashed taro filled with pork. Occasionally in their midst you might also find something resembling a banh mi sandwich.

hong kong bakery fried sesame balls

But opposite the register is an entire selection of baked buns.

The dough is similar to a good challah or brioche. It is very tender, just a little bit sweet, and remarkably rich. And this dough is filled or topped with a variety of sweet or savory ingredients. The sweet ones (like red bean paste or the purple-hued taro) are great for dessert. However it's the BBQ pork ones that are my favorite.

Look back at the hanging meat in the window. Perhaps you will see a red strip of barbecued pork. Whether or not it is actually barbecued can be the subject of another column, but the meat is shellacked with a sweet red glaze and is deeply flavored with Chinese five spice.

For the buns, this meat is chopped up and sautéed with onions and additional seasoning. A few tablespoons of the intensely-flavored porky filling reside inside each golden bun.

There is just one caveat: this is not health food, and the pork isn't always lean. Sometimes it is, but other times it's unctuously fatty. Occasionally one might find a small piece of cartilage in the filling. However, none of this should scare you off of this special snack.

In dim sum parlors baked buns come three to an order and are relatively small, especially by comparison. At the Hong Kong Bakery, these things are enormous. The one I brought home weighed in at five ounces. That would make two over a half-pound of food.

And given the fact that they are only a dollar each, this has to be one of cheapest ways to fill your belly in the Capital Region.

They are also easily eaten with one hand. So should you ever be heading west on Central Avenue, trying to get to Wolf or even to Fuller Road, I'd highly recommend that you swing into the bakery for a bun or two. Then when you are stuck in the bumper-to-bumper traffic over the next several blocks, at least you will have something delicious to eat.

Daniel B. is the proprietor of the Fussy Little Blog.

Find It

Hong Kong Bakery at Asian Supermarket
1245 Central Avenue
Colonie, NY 12205

Comments

Is this the same Hong Kong Bakery as the one on Central Ave right through from the downtown University at Albany Campus?

I went there a lot for my first few years of college before I started cutting back on how much I went out to dinner (and ended up eating mostly Indian food, which gets my pick if i am going out rarely). Great food (and prices), not just the buns!

@BBnet3000: Yes, it is the same Hong Kong Bakery. They moved from Central Ave. a while ago. Now, they offer buns, cakes, bubble tea, smoothies, and quite a bit of to-go food. The menu stays largely the same. Food is still good.

I've been meaning to drop by and check this out. Looks incredible!

Everything they make is the real deal, like what you would get in Chinatown. Their buns have just the right amount of sauce and meat inside. Besides the delicious baked pork buns, I have a fondness for the steamed Big Bun. That bun is loaded with chopped pork, egg, and sometimes a piece of Chinese sausage.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

Talking about artificial intelligence at the Rockefeller Institute next month / Automating Inequality with NYS Writers Institute this week

Artificial intelligence makes for good stories because killer robots and all that. But the reality of its promise -- and potential threat -- is probably... (more)

Solid Sound 2019 early-bird tickets

The Solid Sound festival will return to MASS MoCA June 28-30 in the summer of 2019. And early-bird tickets for the fest go on sale... (more)

Morning Blend

Schoharie limousine crash + Larry Rulison and Lauren Stanforth look into the inspection records of limo companies statewide and concluded that "Prestige had the most... (more)

Here are the three finalists for the 2018 AOA Startup Grant

The hardest part of the $2,500 AOA Startup Grant contest is narrowing down the field to three finalists. That was especially true this year because... (more)

The Albany Hardware & Iron Co.

That image above is from a 1927 catalog and it depicts a building in Albany that still stands to this day. You totally know this... (more)

Recent Comments

Giving out odd candy like Charleston Chews and Mallow Cups to confused trick or treaters and hoping that they try them and learn that they're awesome.

Drawing: Historic Haunted Pub Crawl of Downtown Albany

...has 38 comments, most recently from Emily

Stuff to do this weekend

...has 4 comments, most recently from King Lear

Where to buy Mexican-style chorizo?

...has 10 comments, most recently from Burnt My Fingers

The Albany Hardware & Iron Co.

...has 2 comments, most recently from Tim Rudzinski, Sr.

Dominoes as an art -- and a job

...has 2 comments, most recently from Lisa Barone