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banh bao (vietnamese steamed pork buns)



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Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total: 300 minutes

Servings: 6

Cost: $6.85 /serving


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Step 1

Combine the flour, yeast and sugar in a bowl then pour in the water and milk. Mix it in until incorporated then let it rest for 3 hours so the yeast has time to activate.Note: Depending on where you live, you may need to let it rest for another 1-2 hours. The warmer the climate, the quicker the yeast will activate.

Step 2

Pour the remaining flour, self-raising flour, sugar, lemon juice, egg white and oil into the activated mixtue and knead it until a smooth dough forms.

Step 3

Let the dough rest in a bowl for 30 minutes with a cloth or glad wrap over the top.

Step 4

Meanwhile, combine the pork mince and pork paste along with the pepper, chicken bouillon powder, salt, sugar, oyster sayce and fish sauce.Tip: Use a pestal and mortor to mash the ingredients together which helps to give it a smoother consistency.

Step 5

Mix in the wood ear mushroom, water chestnuts, shallots, fried onions and spring onions.

Step 6

Roll about 1/4 US cup of the pork mixture into a ball, flatten it in your palm and place a quail egg in the center.

Step 7

Wrap the mixture around the quail egg and roll it to form a sphere then push a sliced Chinese sausage on the surface.

Step 8

Leave it to sit on a plate as you roll the rest of the mince. Depending on each ball size, you’ll get roughly 6 balls.

Step 9

Cut 15 cm x 15 cm (6″ x 6″) squares out of baking paper.

Step 10

Divide the Banh Bao dough into equal segments and roll them into balls. Cover using a cloth as you work on each to avoid drying.

Step 11

Flatten each ball into a circle approximately 20 cm (8″) wide using a rolling pin or a smooth cup.

Step 12

Place a meatball in the center of the flattened dough.

Step 13

Bring the top and bottom parts of the Banh Bao dough in and pinch to stick together over the meatball.

Step 14

Repeat the same steps with the left and right sides of the rolled dough.

Step 15

Where the openings are for each corner, push the tips in to form a heart shape. You'll end up with four hearts.

Step 16

Pinch each heart's tips to close the openings.

Step 17

Hold one pinched tip and pull it to the center, pinching it with the dough in the middle to allow it to stick. Repeat with all pinched tips.

Step 18

Give the center one final pinch to seal all the dough.

Step 19

Place the wrapped bun on a baking square.

Step 20

Set up your steamer to a boil and steam the baos for 30 minutes or until the meatball is cooked.Note: Alternatively, steam the meatballs before wrapping and steam the whole bao for 10 minutes or until the Banh Bao dough is cooked.

Step 21

Serve fresh as is or with a drizzle of Sirarcha!

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