Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bahn Bao: Hot Steamed Buns

Bahn Bao fresh from the steamer
I love knishes, empanadas, ravioli, and bahn bao (Vietnamese bao, A.K.A. steamed buns).  Essentially if you wrap something tasty in dough and cook it, I'm a happy camper.

Until spending Christmas with my in-laws, the only one of that list I didn't know how to make was bahn bao, Vietnamese steamed buns.

The recipe is surprisingly easy - it took us less than an hour to make 12 giant fluffy buns filled with tasty things.

I can't wait to experiment with the fillings!


Dough

1 bag of steamed bun flour
1 cup of water or milk
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
 
Filling
1 pound ground pork
1 green onion, chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 chinese sausages, each cut into 12 round slices (24 slices total)
3 boiled eggs, each cut into 4 pieces (12 pieces total)
 
Tools
12 small squares of clean paper
Rolling pin
Steamer
 
Mix and knead dough and set aside for 15-30 minutes
While dough is resting, combine pork with green onions, salt, and pepper, then divide into 12 equal portions.
Knead dough for another 5 minutes and divide into 12 equal portions on a floured counter.
 
With a rolling pin, or by hand, press a dough portion into a 5"-6" diameter circle, place pork, an egg slice, two sausage slices, and several peas into the center.
Pinch the sides up to make a pouch, place on a piece of paper in a steamer tray.
Bahn bao with filling, ready for pinching
Repeat for all 12 dough balls, then steam the buns for 20 minutes or until pork is fully cooked.

Bahn Bao cooked (left) and raw (right)