Chinese Pao 猪肉白菜包zhū ròu bái cài bāo

cover.JPGChines Pao, or bāo zǐ in Chinese, are found all over China. It is a staple food for the wheat-eating North and maybe eaten as part of breakfast or snack in South. There’s a knack to wrapping bao zi, It is easier to watch a video on Youtube rather than follow the printed page. Once you’ve grasped technique, you may find it easy, and even therapeutic.

 Yields about 20 Buns,

Wrappers

  • 300g          plain flour 中筋面粉
  • 1 tablespoon        yeast酵母
  • 2 tablespoons   lukewarm water (40°C)
  • 1 teaspoon     baking powder泡打粉
  • 150g          water in room temperature

Filling

  • 300g           ground pork
  • 150g           Napa cabbage, minced
  • 1 tablespoon    ginger (minced) 姜末
  • 1 teaspoon      salt
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons    light soy sauce 生抽
  • 1 tablespoon     Chinese cooking wine料酒
  • 2 teaspoons      caster sugar 白糖
  • 1 teaspoon     sesame oil 香油
  • 1/3 teaspoon    white pepper 白胡椒粉
  • 1 tablespoon    cooking oil (optional)ingredients (2).JPG

Method

  1. Resolve the yeast in a two-tablespoon lukewarm water in 40℃. Place the flour, baking powder and resolved yeast in a mixing bowl and gradually add in the 150g water. Use your fingers to bring the mixture together and make a dough. Knead the dough for about 6 minutes till it is smooth. Cover the bowl with a plastic bag or kitchen towel. Rest for 30 minutes till the dough rises and doubles in size.IMG_9249.JPG
  2. Now make the filling. Finely chopped napa cabbage, add a pinch of salt. In five minutes later, you will see the cabbage become ‘watery’. Use your both hands to squeeze the water out. Then mix it with ground pork and other filling ingredients. filling.JPG
  3. To make the wrappers, cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll one piece into a long cylinder, then cut off 10 pieces of dough the size of walnuts, about 30g each. Dust them lightly with flour. Stand them cut-side up and press down them into discs with the palm of your hand. Roll each disc into a circle about 9cm in diameter – edges are thinner than center.Now let’s assemble to make the buns (Paos), place a wrapper in one hand, put a tablespoon of the filling(25-30g) in the center of the wrapper. Use your other hand to pinch the edge of the dough to enclose the filling. Fold the edges to the center around the filling while twisting so the bun is completed sealed.wrapping.JPG
  4. Place all the buns in a steamer basket – make sure there is space between them, as they will expand. Leave the buns to rest for 20 minutes – this is the 2nd rise for the dough.2nd rise.JPG
  5. Fill a steamer pot or wok with water. Place onto the stack of bamboo baskets or any the stainless steamer basket you would have. Cover the steamer. Turn to the high heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat. Don’t open the lid yet. Let it rest for 5 minutes then open the lid. Ready to serve.

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