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Monday, October 1, 2012

Steamed Pork Buns/Baozi 包子

After my success of making Mantou, I really wanted to make some Pork Buns/Baozi. There are countless baozi recipes both for the bun and the filling. You can make it into a sweet treat or something savory. It's perfect for breakfast or just as a snack. I looked through countless Taiwanese/Chinese cooking blogs and settled on this meat filling.

Steamed Pork Buns/Baozi 包子
Makes 16 buns
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup milk for softer bun)
  • 1 tbs vegetable oil 
  • 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (to feed the yeast, 1 tsp flour, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tbs lukewarm water)
Meat Filling
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 4 stalks of green onions(scallions), chopped finely
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch 
  • 1 tsp ground pepper (you can use either white or black)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Chinese cabbage
Optional additions to the meat filling
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sake or rice wine (optional)
In a small bowl, mix the dry yeast with 1 tsp flour, tsp sugar and 1 tbs lukewarm water. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes. In a big bowl, add 3 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbs sugar, mix well. Then add the yeast mixture and also 1 cup of lukewarm water. Pending on the humidity, you might need to add extra water if it's too dry or extra flour if it's too wet. Kneed the mixture until all the ingredients are well incorporated, then add the vegetable oil and kneed for about 5 minutes. Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap then let it rest for about 15 minutes. 

While the dough is resting, we can proceed to make the filling. For this step I used my KitchenAid stand mixer with a paddle attachment but you can do it by hand. Add all the ingredients from the Meat Filling list into the bowl. Mix at medium speed for about 5 minutes. Divide the meat filling into 16 portions. 

Divide the rested dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion into round balls. Take the rounded ball of dough then flatten it with a roller to about 1/8 inch thick. Place the pre-measured meat filling into the center of the rounded dough sheet. Fold the edges together in a pleated fashion then pinch the edges together and twist. It's kind of hard to explain but you can watch this video to get the idea. The video is very informative as it shows you how to make 3 different shapes of bun/baozi. Allow the baozi to rest (cover with plastic wrap) for about 30 minutes before steaming. Like I mentioned in my Mantou post, there are two steaming method. One over the stove top or using a Datong Rice Cooker. I used the Datong Rice Cooker. For a steamer over the stove top, you will need to steam for 15 minutes on medium high heat. 

It turned out pretty good except I forgot to add the corn starch to the meat mixture so when I cut opened the hot baozi all the juices came out. 

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