This is my nephew, Christian’s, favorite bao! We simply call it “Dai Bao” (translated “Big Bun”) coz it’s like ye big. The size of a Big Mac, really. These days, it’s hard to find the Dai Bao. They are becoming almost extinct in this modern world of dainty dim sums. I call it the Dim Sum Evolution Theory! When my mom visits her grandchildren in Hong Kong, she brings a few of these Dai Baos with her from PJ. The bao is filled with chicken, shiitake mushrooms, lap cheung sausages and my favorite part – half a hard boiled egg.
Chef’s tip: Marinating the chicken with cornstarch gives it a velvety texture. The best way to determine if the chicken is cooked through is by using a thermometer.
1 portion of Basic Yeast Dough – see below
1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
1 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper, ground
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs, skinless, trimmed, vut into 1/2 inch strips
3 Tablespoons cilantro stems
2 pairs Chinese sausage, sliced
8 pieces shiitake, cut into half
4 hard boiled eggs, halved
8 pieces of 4 x 4 wax paper.
Prepare the dough
1. Make 1 recipe of Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns. Make sure you cover the finished dough with a damp tea cloth.
Preparing the filling
2. Mix all the marinade ingredients (oyster sauce, soy, sesame oil, wine, salt, pepper, sugar, cornstarch and water) together in a bowl. Add chicken and marinate 2 hours. Toss in the chopped cilantro stems.
3. Take a dough portion, work into a round ball about 2 inch in diameter. Flatten it into a 8-inch round with a rolling pin about ¼ inch thick. Make sure the edges are half as thin as the center.
5. Place 2 heaping Tablespoons of chicken into dough. Add 1/8th of the sausage, mushrooms and the half egg. Pull the sides to meet at the center, making a ruffled fold as you work. Pinch the top together and give it a twist to seal. Pinch off any extra dough at the top. Place onto a piece of waxed paper.
6. Place buns in steamer about 2 inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Allow buns to rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes.
7. Place steamer over the simmering water for 25minutes, or until bun is well risen or when a thermometer inserted into the bun reads 165F. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.
Serves: 8 buns
Basic Yeast Dough Recipe
This is a recipe for the dough of the fluffy white skins of the char siu bao and the shanghai cabbage buns. It’s truly versatile — you can use the same dough and fill it with sweetened mashed red beans or lotus seeds for a dessert treat. Or just steam it by itself to turn it into “man tou” essentially steamed white bread that is used to soak up the wonderful sauce of Sichuanese or Hunanese dishes. If you shape the bun into a flat disc, it becomes the base for peking duck.
The dough can be allowed to rise slowly, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using. If you are not using the dough straight away, punch it down and wrap tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.
3 Tablespoons sugar
½ Tablespoons active dry yeast
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons hot water
½ cup + 2 Tablespoons cold water
3 cups unbleached “00” or high protein bread flour plus additional for kneading
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 Tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons baking powder, sifted
Part 1: Making and proofing the dough.
1. Proofing the yeast: Dissolve sugar in hot water. Add cold water to make a warm solution (105 – 115°F). Dissolve the yeast in the sugar solution. Stir lightly, and let stand in a warm place until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 7 minutes. (If mixture doesn’t foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, and add yeast mixture and oil and stir to incorporate the flour until dough holds together and just come away from side of bowl. Add a little more water if needed.
3. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-3 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.
Part 2: Finishing the dough – Using the dough
1. Uncover the dough, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
2. Flatten it and make a well in the center. Sprinkle baking powder in the well, gather up the sides and fold to the center to incorporate the baking powder. Knead lightly for a few minutes till it becomes a ball again.
3. Divide the dough into two cylinders. Cut each into 4. Make 8 2-inch ball portions. Cover dough with a damp tea cloth as you work.
4. Proceed with dumpling recipes
Note: This basic dough can be used for char siu bau steamed pork bun recipes, plain steamed man tou recipes, shanghai cabbage steamed buns, chicken steamed bun recipes.Tweet
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