I have been craving for bakpao (steamed buns with meat and vegetable filling) for as long as I can remember.
You cannot imagine how difficult it is for me to get a decent steamed bun anytime my palate cries out for one! The filling of the frozen ones are either too greasy or too meager. I could go to a dim sum restaurant, but there’s not one near my place that I could go to anytime. I would not want to burn a hole in my pocket just to get some steamed buns kilometers away. Arghh!
Well, if we are craving for something, then we have to make it ourselves, right? Even the Bible says so, “if you don’t work, you don’t eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10) 😀
Shortcut to Jubilation
I have been on the look out for easy-and-ready-to-eat-in-a-jiffy bakpao, but zilch! They all looked easy to make, nevertheless, it’s the TIME factor. The waiting process of proofing the dough took way too long. Uh-uh! Not for me, unfortunately.
I was at a Thai Mini Store – one fine day – and found the Salapoa Mix. Strangely, I have never noticed this pao mix before until then. I asked the Thai lady at the cash counter if the dough needed proofing before steaming the buns. Well, that was a very crucial question, for me, at least.
“Not necessary”, she said. Boy, I felt elated! I immediately took a packet home for a try-out.
I like a KISS instruction anytime. Keep It Short and Simple!
Just add water and cooking oil to the flour. That’s it!
The kneading process was quite therapeutic, however, I was not 100% sure how much or how far I should knead the dough. My guess was that when the dough became a bit sticky, I dusted some flour and continued kneading until the dough became more elastic and smoother in texture.
While the instruction says to make 12 buns, I stretched a bit further and divided the dough log and made 16 balls for 16 mini buns! Greedy me. LOL
I would love a char siu pao (barbecued pork steamed buns), but because I wanted a quickie, I made a minced meat filling.
Ingredients (the measurements are really up to you)Minced pork (or any minced meat of your choice, or omit the meat and make a vegetarian version) Grated ginger Grated garlic Sesame Oil Spring Onion Chopped carrots Chopped Shiitake Mushrooms (pre-soaked in hot water for 30 mins) Oyster sauce Shaohsing Rice Wine White pepper Salt or chicken granules to taste
Mix to combine the ingredients. I added some corn flour to thicken and bind the meat mixture.
Making it Right First Time!
The best part was seaming each dough ball to make the bun, pinching as I went along and ending with a little pointed peak like Tintin’s signature hairdo. 😀
From the 16 dough balls, I flattened each ball into a disc-like shape and filled the dough with the meat mixture, like so –
I do not have a proper steamer while my electrical steamer compartments were too small; hence, I improvised by using my biggest soup pot. I bought 3 steamer inserts from IKEA which fitted perfectly into the soup pot. Each steamer insert could fill 6 of my mini pork buns. No parchment paper? No worries. I used cupcake cases! Pretty, aren’t they?
I steamed the buns for 20 minutes and guess what? They were ready to eat! I could not believe what I had just achieved, but I did IT!!!
Those little gems were so addictive. They were gone within hours!
Okay, I made it right the first time, the way I wanted, by cutting a chunk of the waiting time, however, the only drawback was the ready mix dough was a bit too sweet for my liking. I guess it’s time I invested on time and patience to make bakpao the way it should be.
By the way, I just bought a bag of bapao wheat flour – the real McCoy *wink*
Have a great weekend!