Steamed five spice pork buns 五香肉包
These are common street food in Taiwan and China. The northern Chinese are famous for their wheat-derived dishes (麵點), such as noodles, dumplings, scallion pancakes, etc. Steamed pork buns are very common on breakfast tables. The southerners later came up with their own more refined version -- Shanghainese soupy buns . The northern style (what I made here) uses pure yeast-risen dough. The result is these plump, fluffy, and big buns with a ton of filling. The southern version wants a smaller bun that has thin and stretchable skin while holding in meat juices. So the dough is modified with hot water (prevents a lot of gluten formation so it is more tender) before being fermented with a yeast starter dough. I think that will be a much tougher technique, especially the wrapping part -- the dough is so thin, and the whole thing is very tiny; any mistake will make the skin break and the juice leak out. So I am making these Northern style ones just to get the wrapping technique down. It is actually not as hard as I thought -- check out this cool youtube video. The trick is really first to roll the dough to a circular shape with the outer edges thinner then the center. This is really easier said than done. As one can see from my pictures below, the edges of my wrappers aren't very thin, and it made the wrapping much harder. I guess this will just have to take a lot more practice. But since this is the Northern style bun, it is quite forgiving in term of the rolling and wrapping technique. The end result was quite good even though this is my very first time making these.
The dough is turned with the left hand while the right hand constantly rolls the pin to thin out the edge
look at the whoppingly big filling! It has ground pork, scallions, grated ginger, five spice powder, ground white pepper, salt, sugar, and soy sauce
Starting to pinch the edges
Here you can see the edges of my dough was too thick
Just 12 minutes in the bamboo steaming tray and they are done