There are certain items that I have to order whenever I see them on the menu. One of those items is Chinese beef hand rolls. These rolls are basically flaky scallion pancakes that are stuffed with tender braised beef and fresh cilantro. When made right, they're just irresistible. Inspired by these rolls, I decided to make my own version - with a little twist. Here are my Chinese hoisin beef hand pies filled with the most flavorful beef and served with a cilantro lime sauce.
Chinese Hoisin Beef Hand Pies
- 2 lb chuck roast
- 1 tsp Chinese 5-spice
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1 inch ginger knob
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin plus ¼ cup divided
- ¼ cup rice wine
- 2 cups beef or chicken stock
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
- 1.1 lb puff pastry 2 sheets
- 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
Cilantro lime sauce
- 1 cup cilantro chopped
- juice of ½ lime
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 garlic clove finely grated
- salt and pepper
- Season the chuck roast with the Chinese 5-spice, salt, and pepper. Turn on the saute settings on the instant pot and heat 2 tbsp oil. Sear the chuck roast until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Turn off the saute settings. Add the black peppercorn, ginger, garlic, granulated sugar, soy sauce, 2 tbsp hoisin, rice wine, and beef or chicken stock to the pot. Turn on the pressure cooking manual setting to 45 minutes. Let the steam release naturally, then remove the braised beef from the pot.
- Shred the meat with two forks. In a large saute pan, combine the remaining ¼ cup hoisin with ¼ cup rice vinegar, and 2 tbsp brown sugar. Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat, and continue to cook until the sugar has dissolved. Add the shredded meat, stirring to coat. Remove from heat and stir in ¼ cup chopped cilantro. Let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the cilantro lime sauce. Combine the finely chopped cilantro with the juice of ½ lime, olive oil, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lightly dust a clean work counter with flour and roll out the puff pastry sheets to about 12x8 inches. Cut each pastry sheet into 4 equal pieces for a total of 8 pieces. Place about ½ cup of the braised beef in the center of 4 of the pastry sheets, leaving a ½ inch border.
- Brush the beaten egg with water on the borders. Top each hand pie with the remaining 4 pastry sheets. Using a fork, crimp the edges, sealing the two pastries together. Lay the pastries on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake the Chinese hoisin beef hand pies for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve with the cilantro lime sauce.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you're a fan of puff pastry and tender beef, you'll probably like these Chinese hoisin beef hand pies. I mean, you really can't go wrong with the combination.
Let's start by making the chuck roast. I used the instant pot to prepare the hoisin beef but you can use the oven. Ever since I purchased an Instant Pot, I can't bring myself to use the oven to braise anymore. I'm all about the shortcuts today people.
If you're using the oven, go ahead and season the chuck roast with the spices and sear the roast in a Dutch oven. Add the remaining ingredients for the beef and bring the liquids to a boil. Cover the pot and continue to cook the beef in the oven at 325 degrees for about 2 ½ hours or until the beef is fall-apart tender.
Remove the beef and simmer the remaining braising liquid with a touch of sugar. Add the shredded beef, tossing to coat it in the lovely sauce. Stir in the cilantro and let the beef cool completely. We want the beef to be cool before making the hand pies or else it can melt the puff pastry.
You can prepare the beef the day before; however, I do recommend shredding the beef while it's still warm. It falls apart much quicker when it's warm.
Make the cilantro-lime sauce while the beef is cooling - this can also be made the day before.
Now it's time to assemble the hand pies. Rather than spending time making scallion pancakes, I decided to use puff pastry. The beef and sauce take enough time already so I didn't want to spend even more time making the pancakes. Call me lazy or smart, but it still works!
Roll out the puff pastry sheet until it's about 12x8 inches in length. I made giant hand pies and divided the sheet into 4 rectangles. If you want smaller portions, cut the sheet into 8 rectangles instead.
Fill the puff pastry with a generous amount of the hoisin beef, place a piece of puff pastry on top, and crimp the edges with a fork to seal the pastry. Brush the tops with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds. Don't forget to cut little slits on the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake the Chinese hoisin beef hand pies until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes, and serve them with a side of cilantro lime sauce. Phew, that seemed like a bit of work but boy was it worth it! I absolutely loved the flavors of the beef. Paired with the flaky buttery pastry and fresh cilantro lime sauce, it's a winning combination.
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