I have recently discovered steamed buns (Chai Bau) and I have scoured the internet looking for recipes that I can use to make them at home; however, every recipe I found required a Wok with a steam plate which is something I do not own. Then I discovered this recipe which does not require a Wok but can be done in a dutch oven instead if desired/needed it also does not require yeast.
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1 1⁄4 cups warm water (about 110 )
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 1⁄4 cup lard
- 1 tablespoon lard
- 1 1⁄2 lbs boneless lean pork, cut into 1/4 cubes
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 4 teaspoons sugar, divided
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 1⁄4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 24 parchment paper, squares 3x3-inch
- Dissolve sugar in warm water.
- Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl, making a well in the center of the flour then pour the baking powder in the well.
- Gradually pour in the water solution, stirring until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Knead with lard, adding a little at a time, into the dough until smooth and elastic.
- Cover and set aside.
- Put the cut up pork in a large bowl and season with garlic, ginger, 2 teaspoons sugar, and 2 Tbs. soy sauce.
- Mix well and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons sugar, cornstarch, 2 Tbs. soy sauce, sherry and water.
- Stir well to make a slurry and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat a 12” Dutch oven or wok over high heat, add oil and heat until starting to smoke.
- Stir fry pork mixture until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add onion and stir fry 2 more minutes until onions are limp.
- Stir in cornstarch mixture and cook until thickened and bubbly.
- Cool mixture to room temperature or refrigerate to chill.
- Set aside.
- Divide the dough and filling into 24 equal portions.
- Flatten each portion of dough and roll into a 4” circle, leaving the center twice as thick as the edges.
- Cup one circle of dough and place 1 portion of the filling in the center, pressing the filling down with the thumb.
- With your other thumb and index finger, gather and pleat the edges of the dough up around the filling in loose folds, meeting at the top.
- Twist the top of the dough to firmly seal.
- Place on a piece of parchment paper, twisted side up.
- Arrange buns on a cake rack in a 12” Dutch oven or the bottom rack of a Camp Chef UDO14 (Ultimate Dutch oven) then the top rack.
- Let rise 10 to 15 minutes.
- Carefully pour 1 cup hot water into Dutch oven, not getting water on the buns.
- Cover and simmer over medium heat until water is evaporated or 10 to 15 minutes. Serve hot.