How to Make Baozi, Chinese Steamed Buns

  • October 11, 2018
 

how-to-make-baozibaozi-recipeOmeida Chinese Academy organized a culture class about making Baozi, or Chinese steamed buns!

What is Baozi?

Baozi (Chinese: About this sound 包子), or bao, is a type of filled bun or bread-like (i.e. made with yeast) dumpling in various Chinese cuisines. There are many variations in fillings (meat or vegetarian) and preparations (usually steamed). In its bun-like aspect it is very similar to the traditional Chinese mantou.Growing up with a Chinese mother, we normally referred to these steamed buns as “bao” or “bau,” or by their Hawaiian nickname of  “Manapua.”chinese-bao-ziTeacher Pheobe showed us how to make the Baozi, and how to steam them in a right way.chinese-vegetable-baozi

How to Make Baozi (Chinese Steamed Buns)

It is not so easy to make Baozi. You’ll need about 2 – 3 hours to prepare the dough.

  • While waiting for the dough to rise, start making the stuffing by chopping the scallions and ginger.
  • Chop the cabbage to the size of ½ of your pinky nail.
  • Move the chopped cabbage to a mixing bow.
  • Mix 1 tbsp of salt into the cabbage. Let sit for about 20 minutes or until cabbage has released some moisture. Remove the cabbage liquid.
  • Combine with the ground pork (or your meat of choice) in the same bowl.
  • Add the chopped scallions and ginger to the pork and cabbage.
  • Mix in all the stuffing marinade ingredients to the pork except the cooking oil.
  • Whisk the stuffing using a spoon until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Add additional salt to taste if needed.
  • Drip the cooking oil in the meat mixture and whisk to mix.
  • Seal the stuffing with plastic wrapper and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This can be done in advance.baozi-dough
  • Once the dough is ready, transfer the dough to a flour-dusted workstation.
  • Divide into 4 portions. Roll each portion into a log that’s about 1.5 inch in diameter.
  • Cut the log into 6 parts and shape each port into a ball. Make sure you coat the dough balls with a layer of flour.
  • Press down the ball with your palm.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a round thin wrapper with 4 inch diameter. When rolling, make sure the center of the wrapper is thicker than the edge of the wrapper. Repeat this step to make a batch of 6 wrappers at a time.
  • To fold the bun, place 1 to 2 tbsp of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Try to stack up the filling so it’s at least 1 inch from the edge of the wrapper.
  • Wrap the bun by folding the edge counterclockwise until the bun is completely sealed. Repeat these two steps to assemble the rest of the buns.baozi-chinese
  • Place the buns on a bamboo steamer with parchment in between to prevent sticking. Don’t steam your buns right away but instead let them sit for another 30 – 45 minutes. This is an important step in making the buns soft and fluffy. The buns will increase in size.Our students are trying to make the Baozi by rolling the dough. Though it is a traditional Chinese dish, not everyone makes it at home in China. Until a few weeks ago, I was convinced that nobody would ever have the patience to make these buns. was shocked by the fact that there were so many people interested in making the buns. I was surprised by the success of teaching my steamed bun recipe to the students and even started seeing dollar signs…

In many Chinese cultures, these buns are a popular food, and widely available. While they can be eaten at any meal, baozi are often eaten for breakfast. They are also popular as a portable snack or meal.making-baozi-chinese-recipeGood luck to them! Valerie seems did a very good job. This food, originally called mantou (flour head), became a typical food of the Chinese people. In some parts of southern China, for example Shanghai, steamed bread, either with stuffing or not, is still called mantou. But in the north, people started to call stuffed buns baozi, with bao meaning “wrapping.”Congratulations on Patti’s first Baozi ever! As opposed to baozi, jiaozi are much more like pasta than bread. They’re much thinner, meaning you can eat substantially more before feeling too full. The common fillings are the same, but you’re more likely to find unique combinations – lamb and carrot, egg and tomato – in jiaozi than baozi. They’re also cooked in several ways – steamed, boiled, or fried. They’re delicious on their own, but some soy sauce, vinegar, chili, and garlic will kick it up a notch. It’s a tough call, so let’s review the pros and cons of each.

Steaming Baozi

When steaming the buns, a sheet of parchment, wax or baking paper will suffice to line the surface of the bamboo steamer. The dough will rise and cook by the steam’s heat to acquire a glistening shiny coat when done. If you do find it hard to eat all of these buns at one sitting, then I would recommend storing them in airtight containers or freezer bags. Reheating the buns is a cinch, you can heat them up with steam just like they are cooked or microwave them covered in a paper towel.

 

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