Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have Sum Dim Sum!

The first time I had steamed BBQ buns (or baozi), it was at an international day event my elementary school was hosting. Teachers and parents (who didn't work, apparently) would cook mass amounts of ethnic, traditional recipes and bring them in for us kids to taste. Amazingly, on those afternoons, even the pickiest of eaters would at least taste everything there was to offer. Samosas, chow mein, cabbage rolls, haggis (I know!), souvlaki and even vegetable tempura were on the menu, as were these delicious, pork-filled balls of dough served piping hot from one of three steamer baskets that were working overtime to fill demand.

Years later, I decided it was time to reclaim that taste of my childhood... vegan-style. Ground soy crumbles (ah, yes, my beloved TVP!) and some diced water chestnuts stood in for the traditional shredded pork, and I made more of a "teriyaki" style BBQ sauce to rehydrate and bind the filling together. For the dough, I took a basic ratio I found on and switched it up to make it whole-wheat (with some gluten flour for structure). They freeze wonderfully too, for weeknight meals (but put them on a flat sheet to keep them from sticking together).

So, it may not be traditionally Chinese, but it is truly tasty!

Steamed Teriyaki Buns
Serves 4, about 16 buns
2 1/4 tsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water, divided
1 cups vital wheat gluten flour
2 cups whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp boiling water
1 tbsp ketchup (I have low-carb on hand, use what you have and like!)
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp each onion powder and ground ginger
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry TVP granules
4 oz water chestnuts, minced
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup warm water in a small bowl. Allow to stand 10 minutes, until foamy.
  2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer fitted with dough hook), combine flours, remaining water and yeast mixture.
  3. Mix well until hydrated, then knead (by hand or mixer) for 6-7 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  4. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and allow to rise 3 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, combine boiling water through red pepper flakes in a microwaveable bowl.
  6. Stir in TVP granules and microwave 1 minute.
  7. Allow to stand 15 minutes, until hydrated. Stir in water chestnuts.
  8. Punch down risen dough and turn out onto a floured surface.
  9. Roll into a log, and cut dough into 16 equal pieces, rolling each into a ball.
  10. Flatten each ball into a 3" circle.
  11. Cover the dough pieces you aren't working with to keep them from drying out.
  12. Place a heaping teaspoon of rehydrated filling mixture in center of each dough round.
  13. Gather up edges to enclose the filling, twisting edges together and pressing to seal (this takes some practice... keep trying!). Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  14. Line a steamer basket (either bamboo or metal works) with perforated parchment, cheesecloth or cabbage leaves.
  15. Place as many buns as will fit (at least 1" apart) on the lining.
  16. Place the remaining buns in the fridge or freeze for later cooking (to cook, thaw completely and proceed with recipe).
  17. Cover steamer and cook buns 20 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately.
  19. Leftovers can be refrigerated 1 day or frozen 1 month.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 472.0
Total Fat: 1.9 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 744.3 mg
Total Carbs: 70.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 13.1 g
Protein: 46.6 g

1 comment :

Thanks for the feedback!