This recipe uses a basic dough that can be used in other Chinese buns. Feel free to experiment with different fillings - vegetable, chicken - even something sweet for sweet buns! This makes 8 large buns (two buns is one serving). You can split the dough further if you want smaller buns.
2tbspsugar, optional - i like the buns a little sweet
1tspolive or vegetable oil, optional - to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl while rising
250gpork, fatter cuts is better for the filling
1stalkscallion or green onion, chopped
1tbsplight or medium soy sauce
1tspsugar, granulated or brown
1tbsprice wine , or other cooking wine
To make the dough
In a large bowl, combine flour, yeast, sugar, and salt and mix until combined. Be careful not to put the salt directly on top of the yeast when adding, as that can kill the yeast.
Slowly add in the water and mix until the dough starts to form. You can use your hands to press the dry bits together to form a ball.
Using the dough hook attachment of a hand or stand mixer, or with your hands, knead the dough for 9-12 until it's elastic and smooth. Shape the dough into a ball with your hands, drizzle a little oil over it (enough to coat the ball), and cover with plastic. Set aside to rise for 1 - 1.5 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
To make the pork filling
While the dough is rising, prepare the pork filling. Combine ground pork, with chopped ginger, scallions, soy sauce, salt, sugar, oyster sauce, rice wine, corn starch, and sesame oil. Mix well together using chopsticks.
Slowly add in the water, 1/3 at a time, and mix until combined. The filling should start to look mushy and sticky as the stirring breaks down the fat and protein in the pork.
Assembling the buns
When the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough again to remove the air bubbles until the surface looks smooth again (few minutes). Divide into 8 portions, or more if you're making smaller buns. Knead each of the portions for 1 or 2 minutes until smooth.
Flatten each ball with the palm of your hands, and roll it out to form the wrapper. Try to keep the center of the dough thicker (this is where the filling will sit) and the outer edges thinner.
Roughly divide the pork filling depending on the number of buns you're making. Scoop one portion onto the wrapper and fold the edges together to close. It doesn't matter if the folds don't look pretty, and it doesn't even need to be fully sealed - it will still taste good!
Repeat with the rest of the buns. Place the finished buns on individual pieces of wax/baking paper and let them rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Place the buns in a steamer, leaving enough space between them for expansion. Steam for 10 minutes, and let sit for 5 minutes in the steamer before opening. You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your steamer.
Remove from the steamer, let it cool down a bit, and enjoy!
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