Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chinese Beef Buns

I LOVE Chinese food. And not just your typical dumplings and lo mein. I love to try new things and try and find rarer and more authentic dishes. One of my favorites is dim sum, it speaks to my love of all things tapas, and you get to try so many different things. Not living in a city, there are not a lot of places to find these exciting and delicious dishes. So when I was there Beef Buns over at Anncoo Journal, I knew I had to try and make them. I am so glad I did, the pleating is a little difficult, and this is definitely more time consuming than whipping up a stir fry or fried rice, but they are so delicious and immpressive it is totally worth it. The dough is so versatile too, I can't wait to come up with new filling ideas and try it again. The recipe makes 16 buns, I made half and froze the other half (before cooking), that way I can just thaw them and have them again, maybe I will steam the next batch. They look like little presents when you serve them, and the outside is like a tender roll, hiding a delicious meatly punch on the inside! So whip up a batch, and try something new, it's easier than it seems!

2/3 cup water, 110-120 degrees
1 /4 tsp dry active yeast
1 cup Bread flour
1 cup All purpose flour
1 tsp Icing sugar
1 tsp Salt
Canola oil for frying

2 chard leaves and stems
1 handful of cilantro
1 small onion
1 garlic clove
6 oz Ground beef
1 tbsp Corn meal
1 Egg, lightly beaten
1 tbps of soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper

Mix the yeast and the water until yeast is dissolved, and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Sift both flours, the sugar, and the salt into a large bowl. Add the yeast-water mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Form the dough into a ball and knead, adding in more water or flour as necessary to form a smooth but tacky dough (I needed 2 extra tablespoons of water). Knead for about 5 minutes until smooth. Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. To test the dough for readiness, poke it with your finger, if the dent remains and does not spring back, the dough is ready.

While the dough is rising, make the filling. In a food processor, chop onion, garlic, chard and cilantro until minced finely. In a medium bowl stir together beef, chard mixture, egg, corn meal, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cover and refridgerate until ready to use.

Cut the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a circle and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each pancake. Place a filled circle in your non-dominent hand and use your other hand to fold pleats in the dough to seal the buns, see this video for further instructions and a handy demonstration. I found that I got better with each bun. The hardest part is keeping the filling from touching the edges of the dough, if it does the dough does not stick as well and they are harder to seal. To cook the sealed buns coat the bottom of a pan with a thin layer of canola (or similar) oil and turn heat to medium. When the oil is hot and the buns, seam side down and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side. (adapted from Anncoo Journal)

Happy Eating.



  1. Mmm this sounds good! I'm gonna have to try my hand at Chinese buns. I haven't had one in AGES!

  2. Oooh I'll take good homemade Chinese over the buffet any day! These look delicious :)

  3. those buns look very tasty! I have never made anything like that, and I really need to start broadening my horizon. Thanks for the inspiration

  4. These are one of my favourite foods. I used to race across town at lunchtime for this delicious snack. Will have to try your version.

  5. I love dim sum. But making Chinese food is always so scary for me. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I hope I can muster the courage to try and make it.

  6. These look wonderful and not nearly as scary as I imagined. Thanks for sharing!


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