Friday, March 6, 2015

Shanghainese panfried steamed pork buns

After procrastinating for months , I finally made these buns !  I was planning  on another attempt at Doreen's pumpkin buns but I forgot to buy pumpkin the day before tsk tsk ! As I've been hankering for panfried buns since I last saw the recipe at Jeannie's , I decided to make it instead . Okay , more like to practice how to pleat Chinese buns neatly , of course , I just can make buns without it but doesn't they look pretty with pleated top ?!

Shanghainese panfried buns are a popular street food in some Chinese cities , the pork-filled dough is panfried first then the water and flour mixture is added once the bottom of the buns turns lightly brown . This water and flour mixture makes the bottom crispy and the combination of the soft , fluffy dough , the deliciously moist pork filling and the crispy bottom is just a delight to one's taste bud . I guess that's why most people love it , including me . I've seen this travel and food show last time and they featured this shop in Shanghai , where local and tourists alike are queuing for this tasty snack .  

Unlike some Chinese bun recipe that I've seen online , this one doesn't need a long proofing time . I thought the first time I've made it ( this is my second attempt , I burned the bottom of the buns the first time I made it hee hee ! ) , that Jeannie has forgotten to write the instruction , " after kneading the dough , proof it until double in size " .

Because the weather here was a bit cool , 160°C , the time I made these buns , after shaping them , I prove it for 30 minutes and another 20 minutes before cooking . If it's hotter in your side of the world , the lesser time of proofing .  

There is more than enough filling / pork mixture in this recipe , I think it will be enough for 2 recipe of the dough skin but it depends on how generous you are when put in the filling . Actually , the filling in this second batch is a leftover from last time though I only filled 14 pieces instead 16 as I ran out of it . You can freeze leftover filling and just defrost it inside the fridge .

This recipe is pretty straightforward and once you get past the long list of ingredients , it'll be a breeze lol Anyway , I'm pretty sure that most of the ingredients are already in your kitchen cabinet .

So , what are you waiting for ?! If you love Chinese food , this recipe is worth making !

Please check original recipe @ Travelling Foodies via Jeannie / Baking Diary

For the dough skin :

250 grams all-purpose flour
scant 1 teaspoon instant yeast
15 grams sugar
135 grams lukewarm water
1 teaspoon oil

some cake flour for dusting

For the filling :

460 grams ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
3/4 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese wine
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon grated ginger

1/2 head cabbage
5 stalks spring onions plus extra for garnish
some toasted sesame oil

100 ml water mix with 1 1/2 teaspoon flour for cooking the buns

Vinegar sauce :

1 tablespoon ( or more ) red vinegar
1 teaspoon thinly sliced ginger
1/2 teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

* Prepare the filling : Chopped cabbage into small pieces , add a pinch of coarse salt and give it a good rub in a mixing bowl . Set aside for 15 minutes , toss it with a fork from time to time . 

* Chopped spring onions , set aside .

* Combine pork and the rest of the ingredients , from salt to ginger , in a mixing bowl . Use a chopstick and stir in one direction until mixture turns sticky or gluey or you can use a food processor , adjust seasoning according to taste . Cover bowl with a plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for later use . 

* Squeeze as much water as you can from the chopped cabbage and drain . Mix with chopped spring onions and set aside .  

* To make the dough skin : In a mixing bowl , whisk together the flour , yeast and sugar until combined , make a well in the middle and pour in the water and oil . Mix until it forms a shaggy dough then transfer in a clean work surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic , 8 to 10 minutes or do a window pane test .   

* Divide dough into 16 pieces at 25 grams each ( my final dough is 403 grams ) . Cover dough balls with tea towel and let rest for 30 minutes .

* Meanwhile , take out the pork mixture from the fridge and stir in the chopped cabbage and spring onions  .

* Lightly dust the work surface with cake flour , roll out a piece of dough into a ( roughly ) round shape , 3 to 3 1/2-inch ,  with a rolling pin , the edges should be  thinner than the center .

* Place a generous 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough , hold the edges and fold into pleats , twist the top to seal . I find it easier to pleat if I put the filled dough onto the working surface instead of cradling it into my hand . Place each piece of the filled dough in a nonstick pan ( brush pan with a thin coating of cooking oil ) ideally a 28-cm , cover pan with a tea towel . Repeat with the rest of the dough and the filling .

* Let buns proof for another 20 minutes .

* Place pan into a stove top and turn heat to medium  , pan fry , covered , for 6 minutes or until the bottom turns lightly brown . Pour in the water and flour mixture , turn heat to low and continue to cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until you can hear some cracking noise indicating that the liquid has totally evaporated  . 

* Sprinkle buns with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions ; serve immediately with vinegar sauce . You can steam the leftover , if there are any , and if you want a crispy bottom , you can pan fry it after steaming . 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Matcha panna cotta

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert means cooked cream , it's basically a creamy thickened pudding . This dessert is simple to make at home with just few minutes hands-on prep. I've tried Christine's recipe as I need to get rid of the matcha powder that I bought a long time ago . I'm so glad that I made this because it's not only looks pretty but tastes sinfully delicious to boot ! Of course , hers has 3 gorgeous layers but mine came out with just two , it's either I missed something when I made this or the cooler weather in this side of the world sets the mixture faster before it form into several layers . That difference aside , this dessert for sure will please even a die-hard matcha lover ! If you love matcha in any form , you'll gonna dig this light , refreshing , creamy and melt-in-your mouth panna cotta ! 

And because tomorrow is V-Day , why not make it for yourself and for that special someone ?! Okay , I'm still looking for a date , any takers ? lol 

Recipe adapted from Christine's Recipes 

Serves 2 

1 teaspoon gelatin powder
20 ml water 
1 1/4 teaspoons matcha / green tea powder
125 ml cream 
125 ml milk , at room temperature
30 grams sugar , more if you want it sweeter 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Pour the water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin powder , let soften for 5 minutes . Take out 40 ml of the milk  and mix with matcha powder , set aside . 

* Place the remaining milk , cream and sugar in a saucepan . Let simmer over medium heat , stirring , until sugar is completely dissolved , 2 minutes or so , tun off heat . Whisk in the soften gelatin , stir until gelatin is completely dissolved , about 1 minute . Stir in the matcha mixture and the vanilla , stir well to combine . 

* Strain mixture into a bowl , use a spoon to press down some small particles residing onto the sieve . Divide mixture into two 300 ml-capacity moulds . Let them sit for 30 minutes at room temperature for layers to form  then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours . To unmould , dip mould into a bowl of hot water for 2 seconds , then turn it upside down into a saucer / plate ,  Serve on its own or with any fresh fruit or fruit sauce / coulis . 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Steamed turnip cake / Loh bak goh

It so happens that I picked up this free Chinese daily a week ago and while I was browsing it , only the photos as I can't read Chinese , I saw this steamed turnip recipe . I wasn't planning on posting another loh bak goh recipe but when I saw another variation , more cornstarch compare to rice flour , I was intrigued heh ! In the recipe that I usually use , it's more rice flour than the other way around so I decided to make it to check whether it is more better than the one I previously made .

I often wonder how did they make those turnip cake that they serve at the Chinese restaurant . Compare to homecooked one which is a bit softer , the restaurant version is more of a sturdier version , compact yet still soft . I think they used more cornstarch than rice flour , this recipe is almost similar to the ones that you can have at some Chinese resto here .

I love turnip cake , so don't mind my rambling about its texture , okay ?! lol

I don't know if the procedure in making this steamed cake is lost in translation . I forgot to ask my translator whether the turnip is supposed to be grated rather than diced and yeah , I diced it ugh ! It took me about 25 minutes to diced the turnip , grating it will take about 5 minutes , darn ! But there was no noticeable difference in texture when you eat it . When I make it again , I'll reduced the cornstarch to 100 grams and use a bit more rice flour  , I find that it tastes a bit cornstarchy , for a lack of a better word . Oh , don't be stingy when greasing the pan , trust me , using that much oil will make getting off the steamed turnip cake out of the round pan so much easier , though you can get away by only using 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons .

Recipe adapted from Knorr newspaper ad or check Chinese recipe here . The procedure is slightly different for the original . Translation by Sofanfan

My slight modifications in red

1200 grams turnip , cut into small dices 1130 grams , peeled weight 
150 grams cornstarch 
75 grams rice flour  
250 ml water
3 pieces dried mushrooms , soaked and cut in small dices 
2 pieces lap cheong / Chinese sausage 3 pieces , two lap cheong and one yuen cheong 
40 grams dried shrimps , soaked and coarsely chopped 30 grams 
1 1/2 teaspoons chicken powder 1/2 teaspoon
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon sugar brown sugar
a dash of ground white pepper

1 tablespoon oil , for greasing the pan 

To garnish :

some diced spring onion
some toasted sesame seeds 

* Grease an 8 x 3-inch round cake pan with 1 tablespoon of oil , set aside .

* Heat wok , add in the Chinese sausage , cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until it renders some fat then add in the shrimps and mushrooms , cook for 2 more minutes . Transfer to a plate , set aside .

* In the same pan / wok , add in the diced turnip , water and sugar , cover and cook over medium heat , stirring from time to time ,  for 10 minutes or until turnip softens . Strain mixture over a mixing bowl and put turnip back into the pan .

* Combine cornstarch , rice flour , chicken powder , salt and ground white pepper and add it into the hot turnip water ; whisk together until well combined .

* Add the Chinese sausage mixture into the pan with the turnip , stir until combine then pour in the rice flour and cornstarch mixture , adjust seasoning , if needed . Turn heat to medium and keep stirring until mixture thickens , about 1 minute or so . Take pan off heat and transfer mixture into the prepared pan .

* Steam over medium-high heat for 45 to 50 minutes . Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top of the cooked turnip cake and leave it inside the wok , covered , to cool completely .

* Run a knife around the pan and transfer the turnip cake into the plate , top with some sesame seeds and sliced spring onion . Cut into slices and pan fry , serve with chili sauce or hoisin sauce . 

I'm linking this post to Cook and Celebrate : CNY 2015 . This bloghop event is organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids , Yen of Eat your Heart Out and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe