Saturday, June 7, 2014

Spicy Pork Steamed Buns from Korea

When I lived in Korea I regularly ate steamed buns or wang mandu.  They are common all over Asia.  In China they are called baozi.  Having sampled steamed buns in at least six Asian countries, I have to declare that the Korean ones are my favourite as they have the most flavour and the bun is the fluffiest.  The filling in steamed buns can be sweet, savoury or vegetarian.  It's your choice.  For these buns I've chosen to fill them with leftover meat from braised pork ribs in a bulgogi marinade.
2 heaped teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons oil
3 cups flour
Put the yeast in a bowl with the warm water, sugar and salt.  Stir so that everything dissolves in the water.  The yeast might begin to froth and that is okay, it's just activating.  Add in the flour and mix it in.  Knead the dough for 2 minutes then add in the oil and knead for another 2 minutes.  Leave the dough to rest for about an hour so that it has time to rise and double inside.  Punch the dough down and divide it into about 16 balls of equal size.  Flatten the ball in your hand and make a little hollow in the centre.  Spoon some of your spicy pork filling into the hollow and close the edges together so that there are no gaps.  You can make a smooth round bun or you can seal it by folding the top edge to make pleats.  Place each bun on a small square of baking paper in the steamer and steam for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Try and avoid the buns being too close to each other in the steamer or else they'll stick to each other.  Let the buns rest for about 10 minutes before eating them.
Cindy Vine is a South African currently living and working in Kyiv in Ukraine. She is the author of Hush Baby, Defective, C U @ 8, Not Telling and The Case of Billy B. All her books are available on Amazon in both print and Kindle format.

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