Steamed Meat or Char Siew Buns

My best reward for making these buns was getting a thumbs up from my wonderful three year old daughter when she ate the first bun mommy made for her.

Ingredients for the dough:

2 packets of Bột Bánh Bao flour (1 packet of flour makes 12 buns, so this portion will make 24 buns)

2 cups of Milk

1 cup of Sugar

2 tablespoons of Oil

24 White Paper Cupcake Cups

Mix everything well in a strong mixer like Kitchen aid mixer with the appropriate attachment. Used the mixer to knead the dough for 10 minutes and cover the mixer bowl with a damp cloth for 15 minutes. Then knead for another 5 minutes and cover with damp cloth again until you are ready to make the buns.

I made two different fillings: Char Siu filling and Pork/Chicken filling

Ingredients for Char Siu filling:

1/2 pound of Pork Belly (sliced into thin strips) or Boneless Chicken Thigh (cut into thin small pieces)

1/4 pound of Lean Ground Pork or Lean Ground Chicken

3 sticks of Chinese Sausage/ Lap Cheong or Chicken Lap Cheong (cut into very small pieces)

1 chopped Shallot

1/2 clove of chopped Garlic

1/2 teaspoon of chopped Ginger

1 tablespoon of White Ground Pepper

2 shakes of Garlic Powder

2 shakes of Onion Powder

1 1/2 tablespoons of Ketchup

1 teaspoon of Oyster Sauce

1 tablespoon of Brown Sugar

Method for making Char Siu fillings:

Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Fry chopped shallots and garlic until garlic are slightly golden brown. Add pork belly or chicken thigh meat and ground meat. Fry until 90 percent cooked, then add chopped ginger, white ground pepper, garlic and onion powder and mix well. Next, add Chinese sausages and fry untill all meat is thoroughly cooked, then add ketchup and brown sugar and mix well until the sauce thickens and slightly caramelizes. Scoop up the filling with a spatula that has holes to drain off excess oil. Allow fillings to cool down either at room temperature or in the fridge.

Ingredients for Pork or Chicken filling:

1/2 pound of Pork Belly or Boneless Chicken Thigh meat

1/4 pound of Lean Ground Pork or Ground Chicken

1 bunch of Green Onions (chopped finely)

2 tablespoons of Chopped Ginger without the skin

1 teaspoon of Sesame Seed Oil

1 teaspoon of Chinese Rice Wine/ Shaoxing Jiu

1 teaspoon of Hawaiian Shoyu (with ginger flavor)

1 teaspoon of Teriyaki Sauce

1 Egg

Grind pork belly with lean ground pork in a food processor. Alternatively, use boneless chicken thigh meat with lean ground chicken. Add the rest of the ingredients including the seasoning into the food processor and blend well with the meat.

How to wrap the buns:

Approximately divide each batch of filling into 12 equal portions in a bowl with a metal spoon, i.e. 24 total. Do one kind of filling at a time.

Divide the dough into 24 equal portions, cutting the dough with a knife. Roll each portion into a ball and roll each ball out with a small rolling pin so that the middle of the dough skin is thicker than the edges of the dough skin. Put a dollop of filling on the dough skin on the table and carefully pull and pinch the dough skin to the middle as you go around the entire circumference of the the dough skin then pinch and twist the center together tightly. Invert the pinched side of the bun onto a cupcake cup and do the same for the rest of the buns. The buns are less likely to come apart in the steaming if the pinched side of the bun is facing down in the cupcake cup. When all the buns are sealed, steam them in a steaming pot for 20 minutes and move to a plate with a pair of tongs.

Mark the Char Siu buns with red dye, dotting the bun with one bamboo chopstick.

Copyright 2012 From the Kitchen of Eloise

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