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What is it? Chinese food?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
When we lived near Lafayette, IN, we loved to go to a Chinese restaurant there. That was over three years ago and I can't remember the name. Anyway, they had these little kind of sweetish rolls stuffed with savories. The rolls were steamed and some were pink with little bits cut out to kind of resemble a porcupine. Others were white. I loved those and have never seen them at another restaurant before or since. They had no names anywhere around them so I am completely lost on what they were but would love to be able to recreate them. Any ideas?
post #2 of 13
What sort of savouries are you talking about? BBQ pork mixture? Ground chicken? Etc?

The rolls are basically a white wheat flour dough (leavened with either yeast or chemically). The pink colouring is produced by pink or red food dye. Usually, buns can be shaped to look like various things (such as in your case a porcupine) using scissors and various strategic cuts along the dough to create a raised effect.

These buns can usually be found in Cantonese-style dim sum restaurants (although most places won't have animal-shaped buns) and when I get home I can post a recipe from a Chinese Bun making book (although I fervently dislike having to read and translate simplified Chinese since my regular Chinese is poor enough as it is).
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was never exactly sure what kind of meat was in them. They tasted sweet on the outside with a spicy to salty mixture inside. I'm sure it was ground meat with maybe green onions, and other spices? I'm an adventurous eater. lol More often than not, I can't tell you what I eat when I go to an asian restaurant but I enjoy it!

Don't go to any special trouble. I wouldn't know where to start in trying to translate a recipe from any other language, even with two years of Spanish in high school. lol
post #4 of 13
Sounds like a BBQ pork bun, or Char-Shiu-Bao in Cantonese but I've never heard of it being a little spicey in the middle. Its basically done with rice flour dough rolled into a flat patty, with a dollup of shredded leftover BBQ pork, wrapped and steamed. Most Chinese pastry shops have the larger ones and the wheat flour dough baked versions while the dim sum places will serve you 4 minis. The BBQ pork is usually pork tenderloin roasted with an assortment of spices and a sweet sauce that almost resembles burbon sauce.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I don't know if that's it or not. I remember the filling was finely ground, kind of like the stuff they put into steamed dumplings but with a different flavor. Gosh, I wish I'd asked them all those years ago. It's really hard to describe it!
post #6 of 13
OK, I've looked both online and in this Chinese book I acquired when I was in Shanghai about Chinese-style steamed buns. Although my translation isn't perfect (I'll have to go home and get some of the vocabulary confirmed) I have a recipe for the mother dough that can be used to make all sorts of steamed buns. The kind of fillings you can put in it are practically endless as you can put both sweet and/or savoury things in them. I have to admit that since I don't have an appropriate vessel for steaming I haven't had the opportunity to test it yet,

Chinese-style steamed bun dough (bao zi)

500 g medium gluten wheat flour (all purpose will do fine, and the Chinese will typically used bleached flour)

5 g instant yeast

5 g baking powder

5 g sugar

250 mL water (summer use cold, winter use warm)

Basically the procedure for making the dough is similar to how you would many any other bread dough: Combine dry ingredients (if you are paranoid you can proof your yeast separately), then add water, mix and allow to hydrate. Knead until the dough is smooth and not particularly tacky. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes before you use apply it to making buns.

Here is a filling that is pork based and utilizes ground pork. It may be similar to the stuff you had. Another alternative to steaming buns would be to pan fry them until the bottom is golden brown, flip and cook until the other side is light brown, flip again, add water to the pan, cover with a lid and allow to steam until the filling is cooked (sorta like a bread potsticker)

"Fresh Pork Filling"

500 g ground pork (try for some fat in it)
400 mL green leafy vegetable "stock"
10 g salt
15 g sugar
0.5 g white pepper
15 g soy sauce
MSG (I kid you not, of course you may omit this)
sesame oil to taste (use very sparingly)

According to the directions you have to add the stock incrementally, so don't dump it all or you may find yourself with a very soggy mixture.

To stuff your buns with the mixture, rip off a piece of dough and roll it flat into a circle that is about the size of the palm of your hand and about half a cm thick. Put a dollop of stuffing in the middle, making sure to leave about a 1.5 cm border. Start bunching the dough to the top, making a fat teardrop by continually pleating shut the edge of the dough together. After the top is shut, allow to rest for 20 minutes then steam under a wok or pan of boiling water for approximately 12 minutes.
"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
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"If it's chicken, chicken a la king. If it's fish, fish a la king. If it's turkey, fish a la king." -Bender
Reply
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
That sounds great! Like you, I don't have any way to steam them either. I would probaby like this fried like you described. Thanks so much! I really think that is very similar to what I was trying to describe.
post #8 of 13

Jury rigged steamer

You don't have to have a proper steamer set-up if you want to try those dim sums. Just grab yourself a big pot - stock pot for example - lay a couple of chop-sticks across the bottom, invert a bowl over the chop-sticks, and place your plate on which you'll be steaming the dim sums on top of this. Fill with water to below the level of the top (which is actually the bottom) of the bowl, bring up to a rolling simmer, put in the dish with the dim sums on it, and cover with the lid. Or even more easily, put a colander inverted into the bottom of a stock pot and put the dish on top and cover.
Cheers!

DC
 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
Reply
post #9 of 13
Wow nice recipe! Thanks for this. I will be trying them soon!
post #10 of 13
At least in Boston area dim sum restaurants, Char-Shiu-Baos are primarily red rpast pork (char shiu) and the principal flavoring agent is Hoisin sauce.
Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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Don't mess with dragons. You will be crispy and taste good with catsup.
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post #11 of 13
Anybody who has taste buds would also love Tibetan momos (pasta shells stuffed with pork and seasonings and then steamed). Wish I could find out how they made it. I had 13 of them for lunch once yummmm Lemon grass was one ingredient.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you for that tidbit! I can definitely do the colander version or can pick up some chopsticks for the other one. That's what I like here! You ask a question and someone will give information on ways to do it at home without buying yet another gadget. Thanks!
post #13 of 13
Yeah and DC is a sweetie
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