Friday, March 29, 2013

Steamed Pork Buns Recipe

 Here is my recipe for Chinese Pork Buns.  There are many variations out there.  And I can't imagine any of them being anything but yummy!

I start out with bread dough.  Any recipe for bread dough that you have used and been successful at will do.  I did not measure anything this time.  Just dumped bread flour, salt, yeast, oil, and warm water in a bowl.  Stirred it up.  Made sure it felt the right consistency, and put a wet towel over the bowl so it could rise.

Once the dough is risen, you can divide it up into equal parts and start filling the dough.

For the pork, I put 4 small boneless pork chops in a crock pot earlier that morning.  Then added these three ingredients and let it cook all day on low.

Soy Sauce, BBQ Sauce, and Garlic

When the dough was ready, I took a fork and shredded the pork.  I chopped up some scallions and got ready to fill the dough.

After flattening out a piece of dough, I spooned about a tablespoon of the pork into the middle and then sprinkled a few scallions on top.  

 Then I carefully drew the sides together around the pork and pinched them all together  at the top to form a little packet of dough.  I put the dough packets on a greased cookie sheet.  (They have time to rise again while you are finishing the rest of the packets and then boiling water.)

I don't have a special Asian steamer, so I just used my biggest pot with a vegetable steamer basket in the bottom.  I sprayed it with cooking spray to help the dough not stick.  When the water in the bottom was boiling, I carefully placed 4 dough packets down on the basket.  (You want the water level boiling under the steamer basket.  No water should be coming through it.  Only steam.)

 Place the lid on the pan and set the timer for 10 minutes.  Don't peek.  The steam needs to do its job!

When the buns are done, they will have enlarged considerably and though they still look white and doughy--they will be done!  Steamed bread dough---fully cooked---and delicious filling inside!

Take them out carefully with a spatula and let them cool on a rack. Then do another batch.  Remember to check the water level---as you don't want to run out of steam or burn your pan.  I had to refill once and then wait for it to start boiling again before I put a new batch in.

My 4 little pork chops made 16 large pork buns.  And I had pork mixture to spare.   Cooked, these are about the size of a big hamburger bun.

Sadly, I didn't get a picture of one with a bite taken out of it.  That is where the pure joy comes in!  Juicy spicy meat spilling out of a soft chewy bread dough.  I guess when we sat down to eat, we were too full of yummy bliss to think about getting the camera!

Here are some links to other people's recipes:

A more complicated one with oyster and hoisin sauces.

An easier one with the option of using ground pork.

The recipe I have printed off in my cookbook, but use only as a guide---and this time, I hardly followed it at all!

I think the basic idea is to use flavored pork (usually with soy sauce and oyster sauce and a sweetener) and to then add a thickener like corn starch so it won't be too runny once inside the dough.  I just used some BBQ sauce we had on hand, added soy sauce to give it an Asian flair and then didn't thicken it---because it was thick enough coming out of the crock pot. 

Try it!  It's soooooo yummy!

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