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Chinese Steamed Buns Recipe

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Makes 16 buns

Chinese Bun Dough
1 1/4oz package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 cup lukewarm water (105-115F)
3 cups all-purpose flour (reserve 1 tablespoon if mixing by hand)

In small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar evenly over the lukewarm water; stir
until yeast dissolves. Let stand 10 minutes or until foamy.

In large bowl or in food processor, combine flour and yeast mixture and mix
well, or process 1 minute. If mixing by hand, sprinkle work surface with the
reserved 1 tablespoon flour; turn dough out onto work surface and knead
until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Spray large bowl with nonstick cooking spray; place dough in bowl. Cover
loosely with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise until dough triples
in volume, about 3 hours. Punch down and wrap in plastic until ready to use.
Will keep 3 days in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer.

Mushroom Marinade (was Chinese roast pork)
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce (mine had no added oil or fat)
1 tablespoon chili sauce (again, mine had no added oil or fat)
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry (I omitted this with no problem)
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced scallion (white part only)
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 1/2" piece pared fresh ginger root, minced (I grated mine cause I hate
6 oz portabella mushroom caps (was 1 pound, 4 oz pork loin)

To prepare marinade, combine hoisin and chili sauces, wine, soy sauce,
scallion, garlic, and ginger in bowl. Clean mushroom caps, and place top
down on shallow dish. Spoon mixture into top, and allow to marinate for a
few hours. (I just let mine sit while my dough was rising.)

Steamed Buns with Dipping Sauce

(the original called for 1 t of oil -- in a nonstick pan???)
1/4 medium red bell pepper, finely diced (I'd use more next time.)
2 scallions, finely chopped (both white and green parts; reserve 1 teaspoon
for dipping sauce)
1 minced garlic clove (reserve 1/8 teaspoon for dipping sauce)
Marinated mushrooms from above recipe
1/4 cup whole water chestnuts, finely diced
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Bun dough (see above recipe)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon hot chili oil (before anyone flames me, Michelle does allow
small amounts of oil for flavoring. I used some of my chili sauce instead,
but then ended up not using the sauce cuz I didn't need it)
Chopped cilantro for garnish

In large non-stick saucepan, add bell pepper, scallions, and garlic, and
cook, stirring constantly, until peppers are soft, 5-8 minutes. Chop
mushrooms (the pieces need to be fairly small to go in the dumplings) and
add, with marinade, to peppers. Add water chestnuts and hoison sauce; cook
until most of liquid has evaporated, 3-4 minutes. Cover and refrigerate
until ready to use.

Sprinkle work surface with flour. Turn bun dough out onto prepared surface,
knead 1 minute and roll into a log, about 16" long and 1 1/2" wide. Cut
dough into 16 equal pieces and roll each into a ball. Flatten each ball with
the palm of your hand into a 3" diameter circle. Place a heaping teaspoon of
filling mixture in center of each dough round, and gather up edges to
enclose filling, twisting edges together and pressing to seal. Repeat with
remaining dough and filling, covering buns with plastic wrap.

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. =-)

Line steamer rack with cheesecloth or wax paper (I used cabbage leaves).
Place in large shallow saucepan or wok; add 2" water, cover and bring to
rolling boil. Arrange 8 of the buns at least 1" apart on prepared steamer
rack; cover and steam until puffy, tender and cooked through, 15-20 minutes.
Repeat with remaining buns, adding water to pan as necessary. (I did this in
my Black and Decker steamer, which only allowed for 4 dumplings at a time. I
filled the water to the highest water mark, refilling after steaming 8

Meanwhile, prepare dipping sauce: In small bowl, combine soy sauce, 1
tablespoon water, the reserved scallions, the vinegar, the reserved garlic,
and the hot chili oil, if using; sprinkle with cilantro, if using.

Serve freshly steamed buns immediately, with dipping sauce on the side, or
cool and freeze for later use. (To reheat, thaw until soft and steam until
warmed through, 5 minutes.)

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!

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