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Brief History (Click here to original reference)
China has a very vast territory and different types of baozies are popular and available in many Chinese cultures. They are eaten at any meal but are preferred at breakfast. Its’ size varies, it can be as small as an amuse bouche to a large hand palm. It is very fulfilling just by itself! A large one is already a meal. To western cultures, Baozies are known as steamed buns.
So How was baozi developed?
Baozi is actually a derivation of the Chinese mantou. Baozi dates back from around 1,800 years. Today in the north of China, baozi dough is salty and in the south it is sweet, sometimes both sweet and salty.
The dough size can double or even triple in the steaming pot so do give it some space! The less salt you add the more it will rise because salt stops east from fermenting. The consistency can go from very fluffy to something a little more chewy. In any case, it’s really good. There are all sorts of stuffings but the most popular one is with ground pork so that’s what I’m experimenting on today.
Preparation and Cook Time
- Prep time: 180 min
- Serves: 4-6
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 2 hour 10 min
Ingredients for Baozi stuffing
- 1.5lb ground pork (can use chicken, beef, or lamb)
- ¼ cabbage
- 5 scallions
- 2inch fresh ginger root
For the baozi dough:
- 500g flour (all-purpose)
- 1.5tsp instant yeast
- 50ml lukewarm water
- 230ml milk or water +/- 10ml, at room temperature (or vegetable shortening)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g sugar
- 3g salt
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1/10 tsp baking soda (optional)
For the stuffing marinade:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp Chinese rice wine
- 1 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp ground white pepper
- Salt to taste
- Follow basic steamed bun (Mantou) recipe to make the basic dough. You’ll need about 2 – 3 hours to prepare the dough.
- While waiting for the dough to rise, start making the stuffing by chopping the scallions and ginger
- Chop the cabbage to the size of ½ of your pinky nail. Move the chopped cabbage to a mixing bowl
- Mix 1 tbsp of salt into the cabbage. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until cabbage has released some moisture
- Remove the cabbage liquid. Combine with the ground pork (or your meat of choice) in the same bowl. Add the chopped scallions and ginger to the pork and cabbage
- Mix in all the stuffing marinade ingredients to the pork except the cooking oil. Whisk the stuffing using a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add additional salt to taste if needed
- Drip the cooking oil in the meat mixture and whisk to mix. Seal the stuffing with plastic wrapper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This can be done in advance
- Once the dough is ready, transfer the dough to a flour-dusted workstation. Divide into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a log that’s about 1.5 inch in diameter
- Cut the log into 6 parts and shape each port into a ball. Make sure you coat the dough balls with a layer of flour. Press down the ball with your palm. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round thin wrapper with 4 inch diameter. When rolling, make sure the center of the wrapper is thicker than the edge of the wrapper. Repeat this step to make a batch of 6 wrappers at a time
- To fold the bun. Place 1 to 2 tbsp of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Try to stack up the filling so it’s at least 1 inch from the edge of the wrapper. Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed. Repeat these two steps to assemble the rest of the buns
- Place the buns on a bamboo steamer with parchment in between to prevent sticking. Don’t steam your buns right away but instead let them sit for another 30 – 45 minutes. This is an important step in making the buns soft and fluffy. The buns will increase in size
- Steam the buns for 15 minutes over high heat. Turn off the heat but do not open the steamer cover. Let them sit in the steamer for another 5 minutes before you take them out. Let them cool a little and serve hot as breakfast, snack, or appetizers