Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Homemade Steamed Meat Buns (居家手工大肉包)

It's been a long while since I last posted something, was too busy and lazy lately. But I have not stopped trying out new recipes. Recently I tried making some steamed meat buns. I had a craving for buns or baos, especially char siew baos, but since I didnt have ready made char siew pork with me, I had to make do with making meat buns or meat baos instead. It was my first time making any kind of chinese steamed baos, and I didnt expect them to be successful. It was not easy to pleat the baos though, I have to say it is the single most challenging task of making buns. I really had a tough time pleating and closing the top of the baos properly, and at the end of my bao-making session, I still had not mastered the skills. Arggghhh...

Here they are, my ugly 'little' big baos, just before going into the steamer.



And here is one of my baos, just out of the steamer, smiling happily at me.


No prizes for guessing what went inside my steamed meat bao.


My buns/baos were really big, I weighed each of them and they turned out to be 180-200 grams each. If you are a big eater, 2 of such baos will be enough for dinner, and if you have a small stomach, your stomach will be bursting after gobbling just 1 bao.


Adapted from Homemade Chinese Steamed Bun (居家手工包) by Koh Sai Ngo, Yong Leng Chin


Ingredients A (mix well and set aside for 10 min before mixing with B)
1 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water

Ingredients B
600g flour
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp oil

Steps for making 1 portion of basic bao skin.
Method
1. Mix ingredients A with ingredients B and hand-knead until it becomes a smooth dough. (I used bao flour and found the dough a bit too dry, so I added extra water, about 3 - 4 tbsp)

2. Divide the dough equally into portions (no. of portions dictated by the recipe) and set aside to rest for about 10 min. (One portion of basic bao skin can be used to make about 6-8 big baos and 28 small baos.)

Note :
- After wrapping the fillings, the baos need to be rested for another 25 min.
- Time needed for steaming : small baos need 10 min, big baos need 15 to 20 min depending on the bao size.

Steps for Making Steamed Meat Buns
Skin Ingredients - 1 portion of basic bao skin (as above)

Filling Ingredients
500g minced meat
some dried shitake mushrooms, chopped and soaked in water, and dried using kitchen towel
some spring onions, chopped finely
2 boiled eggs (each cut into 4 pieces)

Seasonings
2 tbsp chinese cooking wine

1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 - 2 tbsp soya sauce
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
a pinch of pepper

Method 
1. Combine the filling ingredients (except for the boiled eggs) and the seasonings in a big bowl and mix well.

2. Divide the basic bao skin into 8 portions, rest for 10 min under a kitchen towel. Divide the fillings also into 8 portions so that each bao will have equal amount of fillings. Take a portion of bao skin, and roll it flat into a circle of about 16cm diameter, depending on how big you want each bao to be. Put in the fillings plus 1/4 of a boiled egg, wrap well, making sure that the bao is well-pleated and repeat the steps until all the bao skins and fillings are finished.

3. Put the wrapped baos/buns aside, and let them rest for 25 min under a kitchen towel.

4. In the meantime, heat up a steamer on high heat on kitchen stove, let the water come to a boil before putting in the buns for steaming for 15-20 min. I used an aluminium steamer with 2 layers so I managed to steam 8 buns in 2 layers.

Note :
The original recipe calls for adding chinese sausages, which I have omitted because I didnt have it at that moment. Also the ingredients involved a mixture of 2 deboned chicken drumstick and 300g minced pork meat, plus half a yam bean (diced). I have omitted the chicken drumstick and added some spring onions instead of the yam bean which is otherwise known as '沙葛' in Chinese.

This post has been submitted to YeastSpotting.


[Updated 2 May 2013] For a much better version of bao dough, check out the following recipes:
1. Simple Char Siew Bao (29 July 2012)
2. Hong Kong Style Smiling Char Siew Bao (2 May 2013)

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