Steamed Buns

For dinner tonight we’re having Chinese steamed buns and possibly a noodle or rice dish. I’m going to try both a bbq pork and a sweet/sour chicken filling. Sarah’s sister is visiting tonight and she’s a fan of dim sum, so we figured we’d try this out on her.

A local radio station (BXR) had a music therapy station at Les Bourgeois (a nearby, albeit mediocre winery). But who are we to say no to free food and drink. We also won two CDs — a Jack Johnson and a Pseudopod. By the time we got home nobody really wanted the chicken so we just did the pork.

Overall it was a good experiment. The sauce is a bit too western — I think adding some sugar and possibly some ginger would solve it though. Read on for recipes.

Bun Dough
3 cups of flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp active yeast
1 tsp sugar

Combine the water and milk in a small bowl. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water/milk mixture and allow the yeast to proof for 10 minutes. Combine flour and yeast mixture in the bowl of a food processor and process for 1 minute. Additional flour or water may be needed to make the dough come together. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and allow to rise until doubled in volume (about 90 minutes). Punch down the dough and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. This dough should keep in the fridge for a few days or frozen for about a month (although I haven’t tried it yet).

BBQ Pork Filling
2 boneless country style pork ribs
2 tbls Hoisin sauce
3 tbls BBQ sauce (I recommend Blues Hog)
1 tsp chili paste
1/2 tsp 5 spice powder

Combine all of the ingredients except for the ribs to make a marinade. Marinade the ribs for 2 hours. Roast in a 350° oven for 30 minutes or until the pork registers 160° on an instant read thermometer. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Reserve any juices for use later. Chop the pork into small pieces and mix with reserved juices to achieve the desired consistency. Chill until ready to use. Make another batch of the marinade to mix with the chopped meat as a sauce.

Cut the dough into even pieces (about 24 — although our filling only filled 20 YMMV). Roll each piece into a small ball and flatten with an indentation in the center. Place one tablespoon of filling into the center and wrap the dough around to close. Be sure to leave an opening in the top for the steam to escape.

Place the buns on cabbage leaves in a steamer over boiling water. Cook for 20-30 minutes until they are no longer doughy. Enjoy!