It’s been a while since lil’ bun and I have made Asian inspired delights but it’s Lunar new year so we figured that it was about time to make traditional steamed buns. We ventured into one of mother deer’s recipe books for this recipe and even though we never made steamed buns before, we actually found the dough to be quite manageable.
You can make these buns savory by filling them with chicken or sweet by filling them with custard.
We decided to fill half of ours with red bean (brother deer’s favorite) and leave the other half plain (for a savory taste). If you aren’t a fan of filled buns, you can always leave them plain and make them mantou! My favorite way to eat mantou has got to be with condensed milk and just thinking about it makes me nostaligic!
Another popular lunar new year treat are rice cakes! These can be prepared baked or cooked on the stove top! Here are a few of my favorites:
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 220 mL warm water
- 1½ teaspoons yeast
- 3 cups flour (we used whole wheat)
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon ground sesame
- 12 squares of waxed paper
- Combine the sugar, yeast and warm water in a measuring cup and set it aside to foam for 10 minutes. While the yeast is foaming, sift the flour, ground sesame and baking powder into a large the bowl. Add the oil and yeast mixture into the flour. Stir everything together until a smooth dough forms and comes away from the bowl.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes until it's smooth and elastic. Let it rise covered for 2 hours in a warm spot until it triples in volume.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle and then roll the dough up as you would swiss rolls or cinnamon buns. Then cut the roll into 12 equal pieces. Place each bun seam-side down, onto a piece of waxed paper.
- Let them rise once more for 15 minutes.
- While they're rising, prepare your steamer. Place the buns into the steamer 2" apart and steam the buns for 10 minutes.