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Steamed pork buns October 19, 2011

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Pork.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before my love of yum cha, and dumplings generally. One of the dishes I’m sure to try at any yum cha is the steamed pork buns. It’s my litmus test for the rest of the dishes: if the steamed pork buns are good, there’s a good chance the rest of it will be good too!

However good the yum cha is, there’s one fundamental problem: you need to exit the house, preferably in semi-respectable clothes, and travel to the place of yum cha before enjoying your meal. This is fine sometimes, but other times, one (OK, I…) prefers to stay home. In these cases there is no solution except to make your own steamed pork buns.

I followed this recipe, and started with the dough, which was a simple mix of flour, yeast, sugar, baking powder and water. I mixed this together, kneaded it together a short while, then rubbed some oil onto it and left it to rise.

While the dough was rising, I prepared the filling. I ground up some pork, and combined it with spinach, green onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and chinese rice wine. I mixed it all together to evenly distribute everything.

By this time the dough had risen – and goodness gracious it certainly rose well!

I separated the dough into two pieces, then rolled each piece into thin logs. I was able to get 8 smaller pieces of dough out of each log, ending up with 16 dumplings.

I took each piece of dough individually, and flattened it slightly to form a disc. Then I took a spoonful of the filing and put it in the centre of the dough. I was very optimistic with how much filling would fit in the dough discs, and generally overfilled them as much as I could.

I didn’t try to do any fancy folds with my dumpling dough or anything, I just folded them over and patted them into somewhat circular shapes. I cut out squares of baking paper and put each dumpling onto a square, then straight into the steamer.

I steamed them for about 15 minutes, and again was surprised at how much the dough expanded. Those 5 dumplings you see above were practically touching by the time they were done! I served the dumplings with a soy sauce and vinegar dipping (well, dunking really) sauce.

If only I’d had other yum cha food to go with these dumplings – if my litmus test was anything to go by, the food would have all been fabulous! The dumplings were great: chewy and soft, flavoursome from the meat and all together comforting and delicious.

The plan had been to cook all the dumplings and then freeze the ones we didn’t eat, creating an easy-to-pull-out snack which would be quick to heat up and therefore eat. Of course it didn’t quite happen that way because there were no leftovers; although it did take us a few hours to eat them all, we got there in the end. Next time I’ll definitely make a double batch!



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