Making Chinese buns is so very easy, simply pick up a good quality pack of bun flour & follow the instruction on the pack, and add a bit of baking power. There are a few popular type of buns – plain ‘man tou’ (馒头), ‘bao zi’ (包子) which is a bun with meat or vegetable in the center, twisted bun Huajuan (花卷), and in the north, ‘Rou jia mo’ (肉夹馍) which is a meat sandwich.
Here is a meat-bun sandwich I made today, filled with lamb stir fried with Sichuan soy bean chili paste.
Recipe is as follow:
(Makes about 10 sandwiches)
- 4 cups of low gluten flour (approx 500g), more for dusting
- 1.5 tsp (approx 5g) yeast
- 1 3/4 cup of water
- 1/4 cup condensed milk
- a little sugar
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- a little sesame oil (or vegetable oil), for brushing
- Put yeast in a glass, filled with 1/4 cup of warm water, add a little sugar; Wait for yeast to be activated, approx 15 minutes (depending on room temperature).
- Knead the dough: I use a stand mixer with a bread hook, approx 10 minutes. I add all the ingredients and some of the water, then add the remaining the water gradually during kneading.
- Let the dough rest until it rises to at least double the volume; collapse it and let it rise again.
- Roll the dough into a sausage, cut into small pieces (I use approx 50gm)
- Roll each piece into a ball; then roll a ball out to a round disc (or oval if you like); brush some oil on the top side of the disc, then fold half over; run the rolling pin lightly over the disc to firm it up; place the disc over a piece of baking paper (non stick paper)
- Repeat with the rest of the balls
- Place buns in a steamer, leaving plenty of space in between each bun; let the buns rest again for 15-30 minutes
- Starting with cold water, steam the buns for approximately 20 minutes (depending how thick the buns are)
- When steaming is completed, don’t open the lid immediately – leave the buns in the steamer for 10 minutes to ‘settle’ before opening the lid.
Spicy lamb with chili soy bean paste
- 400g lamb mince (or thin lamb stir fry strips)
- 20g leek, sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1/2 capsicum, sliced
- 1 tsp chili soy bean paste
- 1 tsp oyster sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- a little cooking oil
Bring a frying pan to medium heat, add cooking oil, onion & leek , stir fry for 1 minute or until aromatic; add chili soy beach paste, stir fry for 1 minute; add lamb mince & sugar, stir fry until the mince is mostly cooked; add capsicum & oyster sauce; simmer for 10 minutes on low heat.