Saturday, June 4, 2011

Chinese Filled Buns

Last weekend my daughter said to me she was craving Chinese Filled Buns.  So I made some.  This was something I used to make all the time when the kids were at home. I don’t make these as often now because I love them, but I hate them.  If these are in my fridge, there is a constant battle between my mouth and my hand.  Every time I walk by the fridge, mouth wants my hand to reach in and get a bun.  Hand resists, mouth insists.   For me, these are like eating popcorn. I can easily eat a whole loaf of bread’s worth in an afternoon

Although somewhat time-consuming, these are very easy to make; and there is a lot for the effort put in.  They are good hot or at room temperature.  They make great picnic food, appetizers, and snacks.  The basic idea can be used with fillings other than what I am posting here.  Some ideas:  ham or bacon  and eggs, Italian sausage and cheese, taco meat, barbecued meat or chicken, ham and cheese just to name a few.  Also, the two fillings can be served in flour tortillas if one doesn't want to go to the effort of making the buns.  Kids like to help make these by stretching out the dough balls. I found this recipe in Sunset magazine sometime in the 80's. 

My photos aren’t great, but I am going to try a little bit of a tutorial.

You will need 3 loaves of frozen bread dough,  thawed until just pliable, about 1-2 hours.  (I forgot to take a photo of the bread.)

To make the pork filling, which is what I made, you need the ingredients  below.


You cut the pork butt into 1/2-inch cubes, pour a garlic, ginger, soy marinade over them, brown the cubes, add a cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry, water mixture to thicken them up.

The thickened mixture will look like this. Set aside to cook.

You cut each loaf of bread into 16 pieces.  Roll each piece into a ball and stretch the dough ball out to about 4 inches, just as if you were making mini pizzas.

Place 1-2 T. of filling into the center of the dough circle.  I use about 1 1/2 T.


Pinch the edges of the dough ball together, and place on greased baking sheet.  Repeat with all the pieces of dough.  Let rise in warm place 20-30 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees about 20 minutes.


Chinese Filled Buns (Bow)
3  loaves  (3 lb.) frozen bread dough

Choice of Filling below. Other fillings may be used, try taco meat, ham and cheese, Italian sausage, etc.

Remove bread dough from freezer and thaw as package directs, covering it with a moist cloth or brushing surface with salad oil; thaw just until the dough is pliable, 1-2 hours at room temperature.  Meanwhile prepare filling.

With a lightly floured knife, cut a thawed loaf in half lengthwise and then cut each half into 8 equal-sized pieces, making 16 total pieces.  Roll each piece of dough into a ball.  Pull and stretch the dough as if making a mini pizza until it is about 4 -inches in diameter.  Place 1-2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of each round; pull edges of dough up around filling and tightly pinch together to seal.  Place buns, pinched side down, about 2-inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet.  Cover and let rise in warm place until puffy and light, about 20-30 minutes.

Brush each bun with melted butter.  Bake in a 350-degree oven for about 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.  I also like to brush with butter when they come out of the oven.  Serve warm, reheated or at room temperature.  Repeat with remaining two loaves.  Makes 48 filled buns.  Store buns in refrigerator or freeze.

These can be made ahead, and, in fact, we like them better after a day or so in the refrigerator.  To heat individual buns from refrigerator, place in microwave and heat 30 seconds.  If doing more, increase the time by 15 seconds or so for each additional bun.

Buns may be frozen.  Flash freeze on a baking sheet, then seal tightly in a freezer bag.  To reheat, place the frozen buns, uncovered, in a 350-degree oven for about 25 minutes or until heated through.

You may use chicken breasts or thighs in either of the recipes below.

Chinese Pork Filling
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. grated fresh ginger root (or 1/4 t. ground ginger)
2 t. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 1/2 lbs. boneless pork (such as butt), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 t. sugar
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. soy sauce
1 T. sherry
1/4 c. water
1 T. vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped

Combine garlic, ginger, sugar and soy sauce.  Add pork cubes to this mixture and stir to coat.  In a small dish combine sugar, cornstarch, soy sauce, sherry and water.  Mix well and set aside.  Heat oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add pork, cook, stirring frequently, until browned, about 5 min.  Add onion and continue stir-frying for about 2 minutes more or until onion is limp.  Stir cornstarch mixture into pork; cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds.  Skim off and discard any fat.  Cool.

Curry Beef Filling

1 t. curry powder
1/8 t. cayenne
1/2 t. sugar
2 T. soy sauce
1 t. grated fresh ginger root (or 1/2 t. ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 lb. boneless beef (such as top round), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 more t. curry powder
1 T. cornstarch
3 T. water
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, finely chopped

Combine curry powder, cayenne, sugar, soy sauce, ginger and garlic.  Add beef and stir to coat.  Combine second curry powder, cornstarch, water, and soy sauce.  Set Aside.  Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat.  When the oil is hot, add beef and cook, stirring, until meat is lightly browned, about 2 min.  Add onion and continue stirring until it is limp, about 2 min.  Add cornstarch mixture to pan and cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens, about 30 seconds.  Cool.

Monday-DIY Groceries:  Biscuit and All-Purpose Mixes

Linking to This Chick Cooks,  What I Made Wednesday, Ingredient Spotlight

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