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soft and fluffy banh bao (vietnamese steamed pork bun)

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Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total: 110 minutes

Servings: 8

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

Cut the sausage links to 16 small pieces or 8 larger piece. Slice one hard-boiled egg to 4 quarter pieces

Step 2

Cut the chives into about 2-inch pieces. Pour in hot water and let them sit for 10 minutes. Drain off water and squeeze out any excess liquid. Make sure the chives are dry and not wet. Set aside

Step 3

Place the pork, chives, and the rest of the ingredients for filling in a large mixing bowl. Stir to mix everything. You can take a small scoop of the filling and cook it quickly in boiling water to taste the seasoning. Add more oyster sauce and/or soy sauce as needed. Cover the filling and let it marinade for at least 30 minutes or overnight

Step 4

Once you have the basic steamed buns dough, divide the dough into 8 equal portions, flatten the dough with your palm and then use a rolling pin to roll it out to form a circle about 5-6 inches, with a slightly thicker middle part. This is to support the weight of the filling. Don't roll the dough too thin. If you roll the dough too thin, the filling might make the steamed buns "wrinkle" later when you steam

Step 5

FOR ROUND SHAPE: Place about 2 Tbsp of pork filling in the middle, 1-2 Chinese sausage and 1 piece of egg. Gather the edge to enclose into a round ball and place the seam side down. Cup the dough with both palms and move the dough in a circular motion to shape it taller. This part is important so your steamed buns come out tall instead of spreading to the side after steaming

Step 6

Place on a piece of parchment paper. Lightly dab the surface of the bun with some milk using your finger to smooth the surface. Loosely cover with a plastic wrapper to prevent drying. Work with another dough and do the same

Step 7

IF YOU WANT TO PLEAT SOME PATTERNS: Place the char siu filling in the middle. Create a fold around the edge and then pinch to seal. Cup the dough with both palms and move the dough in a circular motion to shape it taller. This part is important so your steamed buns come out tall instead of spreading to the side after steaming. Don't be surprised that the pleats pattern will fade the longer the buns are proofed

Step 8

Place on a piece of parchment paper. You don't need to dab the surface with milk if you have patterns. Loosely cover with a plastic wrapper to prevent drying. Work with another dough and do the same

Step 9

Let the dough rise at room temperature or at a warm place.  If it's winter where you are, you can use your oven "bread proof" function to let them proof in there, or simply turn on your oven to the lowest temperature and then turn off and after 15 minutes, place the shaped buns in there to let them proof. They won't necessarily double in size, but at least puff up to about 50% of the original size. This may take about 30 mins to 1 hour at a warm temperature. Don't go by the time however

Step 10

Most likely your steamer won't be able to accommodate steaming all buns at one go. You may need to steam in 2-3 batches, which means, the rest of the batches will sit longer and continue to proof while waiting for the steamer. Not good for the buns! Here's what you can do: Make sure the cover them with plastic wrap and then place them in the refrigerator to slow down the yeast activity or halt it all together until they are ready to be steamed

Step 11

Bring the water in a steamer to a boil. Wrap the lid with a cloth. This will prevent water dripping from the lid creating burn spots. Place some of the buns on the steamer. Lower the heat to MEDIUM. Close the lid and leave about 1/4-inch of gap to let some steam escapes. Steam on MEDIUM heat for about 15 minutes or 18 minutes for larger buns

Step 12

Turn off the heat. Do not open the lid of the steamer. Let the buns sit there for 5 minutes like this. The buns will not sink or wrinkle due to the sudden change in temperature

Step 13

Remove the buns to wire rack to let them cool down. This is to ensure the bottom of the steamed buns will not be wet and soggy. Decorate the top with red edible marker if you like. I just drew some simple flower

Step 14

If you make extra and plan to store them, once the steamed buns have cooled down, place them on a baking sheet not touching each other and put them inside the freezer for 1 hour then transfer to a freezer bag

Step 15

They can be reheated in the steamer without thawing. Steam over high heat for 5 minutes

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