This post was inspired by a recent book club meeting in which we discussed culinary traditions and family recipes that remind us of home. Last Saturday I had the pleasure of participating in one such tradition with my dear friend, Jamie. For years, she and her family have gathered in the kitchen to make Chinese steamed buns, also known as Hum Bao. We shared a fantastic evening of Hum Bao, Sichuan green beans, fried rice, local wine and birthday cake (felicidades, Tara!!!) with our lovely friends.
At the end of the evening we each broke open a fortune cookie. Jamie crumbled hers to reveal the following…(of course!)
Jamie, I was honored to take part in your tradition and I am grateful for your friendship. Thank you for sharing this little piece of “home” with us….
originally from: Anne & Lou Gehrig
1 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 lb pork (fatty cut, pork chops work well)
8 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp peanut oil
4 tbsp oyster sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chili-garlic sauce
2 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp green onion, minced
1/2 tsp 5 Spice Powder
1 cup minced green onion
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
2 pkg Rhode’s Bake N’ Serve Frozen White Dinner Rolls 12 count
Prepare frozen dough as directed on back of package allowing dough to rise for 3-5 hours.
Cut meat into 1″ thick strips. Place in BBQ Sauce thoughly coating meat. Place meat in shallow baking baking sheet, pour remaining sauce over meat. Roast in 350 degree oven about 45 minutes. (Cut into meat to make sure no longer pink in middle.) Let cool till able to handle, chop meat, including all fatty pieces, into 1/8″ pieces. Place all meat, pan drippings and sauce into bowl.
Prepare green onions and garlic.
Heat wok to hot. Add 1 tbsp peanut oil. When it is hot, add green onions and garlic. Stir-fry a few seconds. Now add all chopped meat, pan drippings and sauce. Thicken filling by adding a little of the cornstarch mixture. Turn out into small bowl. Chill thoroughly.
Using raised roll dough makes for about the perfect portion size for buns. Working with a bit of flour to avoid sticking to counter, flatten one roll of dough with your hand to a rough circle. Work to not handle dough to much to avoid making it tough. Place about 1 tbsp filling in center of circle. Bring up sides and ensuring that dough is fully sealed, tip: avoid sauce getting on dough at seal point as it will not allow seal to take place. Turn over (sealed side down), on gernerously floured cookie sheet, allow space in between buns. Let rise 30 minutes. Bring a large pot filled 3/4 full to rapid boil. Generously spray bamboo steaming rack with nonstick cooking spray, place buns on rack, make sure they are not touching. Steam 12-15 minutes in bamboo steamer, till dough is fully cooked, dough will look slightly translucent when done. (Can also be baked at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.) Will make about 24 buns.
You can also make your own dough:
CHINESE BREAD DOUGH (BAO)
1 tsp dry yeast
1 1/4 cu warm water
1 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cu white flour
Sprinkle yeast over water. Add sugar. Let rest about 5 minutes till dissolved and water has bubbles on top. Add sugar & stir. Slowly pour into flour, mixing well. Turn out onto well-floured board & knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 10 minutes. Lightly oil bowl. Turn dough a few times in bowl to cover surface with oil. Cover with dry towel & let rise until 2X (about 2 hours). Bread dough is now ready for use after adding 1/2 tsp baking powder. Incorporate into dough and cut into pieces for use.