Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pan Fried Pork Buns

Pork bun is one of my most popular dishes. It is just simply great: soft fluffy dough on top, with crispy bottom and delicious ground pork inside.

In China, Baozi 包子 (bun) is a very common breakfast food. It is said that the history of baozi dates back to 300AD. There are many different kinds of stuffing: sweet red bean, vegetable, pork, etc.  Buns are served mostly steamed and sometimes pan fried. 

Pan Fried Pork Buns
Serves: 10-20 people (about 25 buns)
Prep time + Cooking time: 2.5 hrs


- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 oz or 1 tsp instant yeast
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup milk

- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp of finely minced ginger
- 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp corn starch
- 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground white pepper

Prepare the Dough
- In a small bowl, add 1/4 lukewarm water to instant yeast, oil and sugar. Mix well.
- Add flour to a large bowl. Add in the yeast water, mix well. Add 3/4 cup lukewarm water, mix.
- Add the milk to the flour mix. Mix and knead until the dough binds together and becomes smooth on the surface.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap. Store the dough in the oven for about 1 hour. The size of the risen dough is about twice the size before.
- Cut a piece of dough (about 2 tbsp). Cover the rest of the dough with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.
- Roll the piece of dough into a ball. Lightly flatten the dough. Use a small rolling pin. Use your left hand to turn the dough in a circular motion, while your right hand roll the pin to stretch out the dough. The edge of the dough should be slightly thinner than the center. 
- When the dough is about 3 inches in diameter, it is good to wrap.

Prepare the Stuffing
- Add ginger, scallion, garlic, egg white and corn starch to the ground pork. Mix well.
- Add in soy sauces, cooking wine, salt and white pepper. Mix. 
- Slowly pour some cold water in the meat and mix in one direction. Add more water, mix. Repeat this step until the stuffing has a softer consistency. The added water is about 1 cup total.
- You can pan fry some stuffing first and taste if it has the right amount of salt.

Wrap Buns
- The wrapping part may look challenging. It only takes some practice to get the hang of it.
- Place the flattened dough on your left hand (again i'm talking from a right-handed person's perspective), scoop some stuffing (about 1 tbsp) on the center of the dough. 
- The right thumb is on top of the dough, and the right index finger is on the back of the dough. Use those two fingers to fold and pinch he dough to make small "wrinkles". Your left thumb pushes the dough clockwise, while the right hand folds and binds the dough. Fold the dough for 360 degrees, then twist and bind it all together. There you have it!


Pan Fry
- On a large skillet, drizzle vegetable oil. Place the buns on the heated pan. Sear the bottom for about 2 mins or until lightly brown. Make sure there is space between the buns.
- Pour a cup of water (carefully!) and cover the pan. Cook on high heat for 5 mins or until the water evaporates. 
- Remove the lid, cook for 2 mins or the bottom of the buns are golden brown.
- Serve immediately with soy sauce or dark vinegar.
[**Steam on high heat for 15-20 mins for steam buns]




1 comment:

  1. Tried. Failed. The dough was much to dry causing many break when trying to form the buns, finally added some water but still not very satisfying, the bottom of the buns were badly burned, they did not really rised when steamed probably because the yeast was already exhausted after waiting one hour. Next time will add more water and oil and only wait 20 min for the initial raise, then form the buns and let the buns rise. Will pan fried only one minute or less.