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)
- 1/2 pack of bun flour mix (equivalent to 500g low gluten flour & 5g yeast)
- 250ml water
- 30g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp condensed milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbs sesame oil (or vegetable oil), for brushing
- Pour 450g flour into a mixing bowl (reserve 50g for dusting the work surface & add to the dough with the condensed milk)
- Mix sugar in 150m water, pour the mixture into the flour
- Stir yeast in 100ml water, pour the mixture into the flour
- Knead for 5-10 minutes or until the dough is smooth (I used a bread machine for this process); add a little more water if required
- leave the dough aside, covered in cling wrap, for 3 hours
- After 3 hours, knead the dough briefly; spread the dough on the work surface, evenly spread the baking powder on top; knead the dough for 3 minutes
- Add condense milk to the dough and a little more flour, knead the dough for 3 minutes or until smooth; leave the dough aside, covered with cling warp, rest for 30 minutes
- After 30 minutes, roll the dough into a sausage, cut into 10 pieces
- 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 minutes
- Starting with cold water, steam the buns for approximately 20-30 minutes (depending how thick the buns are)
- When steaming is completed, don’t open the lid immediately – leave the buns in the steamer for 1-2 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.