Steamed buns are a staple in Northern China. They have been around for 1800 years. According to a legend, steamed buns were invented by Zhuge Liang, a famous military strategist. He created this bread as a way to sustain his army when they fell ill on their way to South China. The original bun is called a “mantou,” which literally means “flour head,” while the filled bun is called a “baozi.”

These buns can be purchased from a Chinese supermarket, and are often available frozen. They are then steamed in a bamboo steamer. Or they can be made from scratch, using yeast. Sinking your teeth into a steaming hot and soft Steamed Chicken Buns, slowly chew it to savor the flavors, and then down it with a cup of Chinese tea is a ritual that will remind you of how great life is…

Recipe: Steamed Chicken Buns

Steamed Chicken Buns

WARNING: This takes a little practice, so I’d recommend that you plan on *not* serving the first 2 or 3 you make to company. =-)

Ingredients for Steamed Chicken Buns:

8 oz. steamed bun flour
1/2 tablespoon oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon lime juice (optional)

Chicken Buns Filling:

8 oz. skinless and boneless chicken breast (cut into small pieces)
1 big leave of napa cabbage (finely shredded)
2 dried black fungus or dried shitake mushrooms (soak in hot water to soften, then diced into thin strips/pieces)
Some cilantro leaves (chopped coarsely)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon corn starch
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
3 dashes white pepper powder

Directions to cook Steamed Chicken Buns:

1, Follow the instructions of the steamed bun flour, mix it with milk, sugar, and oil. Knead the dough for 15 minutes or longer until it becomes soft and smooth. Roll the dough into a cylinder (about 1.5 inches in diameter). Cover them with a wet towel and set aside. Mix the chicken buns filling ingredients and set aside.

2, Take a small piece of parchment paper and cut it into 1.5 x 1.5 inch squares.

3, Cut the dough into small pieces (about 1 inch thick) and use a rolling pin to flatten it. Put about 1 teaspoon+ filling into the center. Pleat the dough and seal it tight with your finger tips. Place it on top of a paper square. Repeat until you finish the dough and ingredients.

how-to-pleat-a-bun

I got this photo instructions from the My Kitchen food blog – http://mykitch3n.blogspot.com/

4, Lay the chicken buns into a bamboo steamer (make sure you leave some space in between the chicken buns as they expand after steaming). Heat up a wok with water. Place two wooden blocks (for steaming purposes) into the wok and place the bamboo steamer on top of them. Steamed for about 10 minutes. Transfer out and serve immediately.

Cook’s Tips:

Adding a few drops of white vinegar into the boiling water would make the steamed chicken buns whiter. Adding a few drops of lime juice into the dough makes the buns whiter, too.

Enjoy! The recipe also says that you can use other veggies and sauces — try chopping up your favorite ff Chinese dish and making it into a filling!You can also  fry the bun in a pan. And then a new recipe ” Fried steamed bun stuffed with chicken ” is just here.

{August 31, 2010} {Tags: , }