What is steamed bun or bao
Steamed bun or bao, is a type of filled bun or bread like (i.e. made with yeast) dumplings in various Chinese cuisines. There are many variations in fillings (meat or vegetarian) and preparations (usually steamed).They are also called baozi in China.
Today I am sharing a very unique recipe of steamed stuffed bun(bao) that needs almost no oil. I made them with all purpose flour or maida but you can substitute it with whole wheat flour. For the stuffing I used some steamed boneless chicken marinated with ghost pepper sauce and pickled vegetables for extra punch. These steam buns can be served as breakfast and also can be packed for your kids lunch box.
Preparation time: 2+ 1/2 hour(including resting time)
Cooking time: 30 min(10-12 min/per batch)
Difficulty level: medium
For the buns(bao)
- 2 cups All purpose flour
- 3/4 th teaspoon Yeast
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 teaspoon Baking powder
- 1 teaspoon Olive oil+ extra for brushing
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Black seeds or Kalonji (optional)
For the stuffing
- 200 gm boneless Chicken
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon Soya Sauce
- 1 teaspoon white Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot and sweet Chilli sauce + extra to taste
- 1 teaspoon hot Chilli sauce
- 1 teaspoon roasted white Sesame seeds
- Salt to taste
For the pickled vegetables
- 1/2 cup Carrot julienne(cut into thin strips)
- 1/2 cup colourful Capsicum julienne (cut into thin strips)
- 1/2 cup shredded purple Cabbage
- 1/2 cup white Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Water
- 3 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 tablespoon red Chilli flakes
For the mayo spread
- 2 tablespoon Mayonese
- 1 teaspoon red chilli sauce/tomato ketchup
For the buns first take 3/4th teaspoon yeast, 1 teaspoon sugar and 1/2 cup warm water to a cup, stir and set aside for 6 to 8 minutes to broom the yeast.
Sieve all-purpose flour or maida and baking powder to a mixing bowl.
Make a well in the centre and add the bloomed yeast mixture, salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. You can add any other vegetable oil in place of olive oil.
Mix well with the flour and slowly make a soft dough by adding warm water as needed. I use almost 1/2 cup of water to make the dough.
It is necessary to knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes to make it soft and pliable. Cover the dough and keep in a warm place for about 2 hours.
Let the dough rise and in the meantime make the stuffings. Take 200 gm of boneless chicken.
Marinate chicken pieces for 10 minutes with 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon hot and sweet chilli sauce, 1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce and salt. I used sauces shown in the pictures. You can use your favourite sauce.
After 10 minutes transfer the chicken pieces to a piece of aluminium foil and place it in a steamer.
Fill the steamer half with boiling water, cover and steam the chicken pieces for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes remove from heat and let the pieces cool.
When the chicken pieces become cool, cut them in thin strips.
Now for some extra punch to the chicken added 1 teaspoon of each(or as you like)hot sauce and ghost chilli sauce. Also, add 1 teaspoon of roasted white sesame seeds. Mix well and keep aside.
For the pickled vegetables take 1/2 cup of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of chilli flakes to a pan.
Bring to boil and cook until sugar dissolve completely. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool.
Clean and cut all the vegetables into juliennes. Also thinly slice onion for laccha.
Take the vegetables except for onions to a mixing bowl and add prepared vinegar mixture(cool).
With a fork mix well and keep in the refrigerator.
For the laccha onions add some red chilli powder and vinegar to the onions and mix well. Keep aside.
Make a spicy spread by mixing 2 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon hot chilli sauce. You can add tomato ketchup also in place of chilli sauce.
Now for the steam bun take out the dough which is now almost double in size.
Punch the dough and transfer to a dusted working surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
Make a soft log and cut it into 10 parts.
Make round patties out of each part.
Take one patty and roll into 10 cm diameter slight oval thick roti or sheet.
Spread 2-3 drops of oil and fold it into half.
Keep the bun to a folded piece of baking paper.
Similarly, roll all the buns in a half-moon shape. Keep them in folded butter paper or baking sheet.
Put steamer to the stovetop with water to boil.
Put some rolled buns to the steamer along with the baking paper.
Sprinkle some black seeds or kalonji on the buns, cover and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.
My steam bun or bao is ready now. They will puff after steaming.
Transfer to a dish along with the paper. Like this steam all the buns in batches.
When the buns cool down or at the time of serving to assemble everything and make beautiful looking delicious steam buns. At first spread, some prepared mayo to the bun’s cavity.
Stuff some steamed chicken pieces followed by pickled vegetables and laccha onion. Garnish with any herbs.
Serve them immediately with some more pickled vegetables and mayo spread.
They are so delightful and far more tasty than regular oven-baked buns.