Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Chinese steamed buns

I really like these steamed buns but strangely enough, chinese restaurants here never have them on their menu. I just have to make my own then, don't I? And so I did. They're a little time-consuming but actually very easy to make. The filling could be made with whatever your fridge just stocks as long as it can be chopped up finely.

Chinese steamed buns (makes six)

For the dough:

  • 200g plain flour
  • 1.5 dl luke-warm water
  • 15g fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • a pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 nut-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 strips of smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 4 mint leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • a few drops of sesame oil

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Put the flour in a large bowl and add the sugar and salt. Pour in the water and yeast, mix, then knead vigorously to form a soft dough. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. Knead again and let rise for another 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the filling. Chop all the vegetables and the ginger very finely. Mince the garlic. Heat the olive and sesame oil in a large frying pan. Add the garlic and the chopped vegetables. Fry for a few minutes, covered until just barely soft. Stir in the mint and bacon and season with salt and pepper. Add soy sauce and rice vinegar to taste. Let cool a bit.

Form the dough into a roll and cut into six pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each one out to a circle with a diameter of about 8cm. Place some filling in the middle and gather up the sides, pressing them together. Place the buns in lightly oiled steam basket and steam over simmering water for 15 minutes. Serve with salad and some soy sauce and sweet chili sauce for dipping.

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