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Baozi recipes...

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83 replies to this topic

#1 pat_00

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:48 PM

So, after a few months or so travelling around china, my housemates and I have a serious baozi addiction.

Problem is, after returning to Melbourne, we cannot find them anywhere. I've asked everyone, even my chinese lecturer, who told me that he hadn't found anywhere locally that does them properly, and i should make my own.

Now, the baozi I am talking about are the common street seller ones from shanghai, beijing, etc. The steamed chewy doughy balls with fillings like pork and gravy, green garlicky vegetable, pickled carrot, tofu and spinach.

Locally I can find the cantonese and vietnamese style baozi, but these have a sweet dough that is fluffy and crumbly, i suspect the difference is that they use rice flour as opposed the wheat flour.

Does anyone have recipes for this chewy delicious type of baozi?

PS. I have done a search and came up with nothing.

#2 Dejah

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:05 PM

The Cantonese baos are made with wheat flour, steamed, doughy, chewy goodness filled with pork, or chicken, or a multitude of different fillings. Mostly, it is with saucy char siu. :wub: There is a baked version too, but they are also made with wheat flour.

I'm sure there's a thread on char siu baos. Maybe one of our techie posters can find it for you. You can perhaps adapt it to the ones you're familiar with.
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#3 hzrt8w

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 09:11 PM

There is a thread on cook-off of "cha shao bao":

Char Siu Bao--Cook-Off II, eGullet Recipe Cook-Off Series

The recipes for the dough should be very similiar to "baozi".

And I don't think rice flour would work for making baozi.

Edited by hzrt8w, 26 February 2008 - 09:12 PM.

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#4 prasantrin

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:23 PM

Do you have any pictures of the specific type you're looking for? I'm having trouble imagining how the bao you're describing is any different from the bao I know of (which is not so uncommon).

#5 pat_00

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:02 PM

Unfortunately i don't have pics.

They look similar to char siu bao, only they are not as brilliant white and usually have a twisted pleat on top (similar to xiao leng bao).

The texture is definitely different. Char siu bao(at least what i've had locally and in HK) is crumbly and has more of a fluffy texture. The baozi i'm talking about are an off-white colour and are chewy.

maybe it's the wheat used for the dough? or baking soda vs yeast?

I'll give it a go with a char siu bao dough recipe, and see how close it is

#6 sheetz

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:23 PM

Yes, the chewier ones have yeast. The Cantonese styles ones don't.

#7 aprilmei

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 12:05 AM

Yes, the chewier ones have yeast. The Cantonese styles ones don't.

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I think the baked ones have yeast, the steamed ones don't.

#8 prasantrin

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 12:11 AM

Steamed ones can have yeast, too. At least I've seen recipes for steamed ones with yeast, baking powder, or yeast and baking powder.

I use junehl's recipe, and I love it. It uses baking powder, but I don't find it to be crumbly at all, but rather chewy. The chewiness might come from my crappy steaming job, though.

As for colour, the amount of whiteness probably has more to do with the type of flour (bleached vs unbleached) than anything else.

#9 sheetz

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 12:17 AM

That's right. The steamed yeast ones use both yeast and baking powder and aren't as sweet as the Cantonese style ones.

Edited by sheetz, 27 February 2008 - 12:17 AM.


#10 aprilmei

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 03:11 AM

I always thought the steamed ones were Cantonese? Or are we talking about different things?
I need to go home and look in Florence Lin's book.

#11 Fengyi

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 06:45 AM

Pat-00
I know what you mean - they form the basis of the cheapest lunch available to me at the office (Walmart sells them for 90RMB cents (about 13 cents US) each).
They are the main food staple north of the Yellow River - seeing bicycles with the HUGE steamers on the back is the Herald of the Lunchtime! :smile:

The dough is VERY different to the cantonese chasiubao! I agree!

There is usually both yeast AND baking powder in the recipes that I've found and also oil in the dough (some recommend bean oil specifically).
If you can google in chinese, there are several sites on how to make it. MAke sure you are googling Mainland china sites though - to make sure you get them right recipe because every bun/dumpling plus its dog is called baozi 包子
It is the same dough as that used for Huajua 花卷 (flower roll-bread) if you have a recipe for that.

The fillings can be what you make them - but I can recommend the Walmart Celery and Egg one (and I don't even like celery!).
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#12 stephenc

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Posted 27 February 2008 - 10:01 AM

The type of"bao zi" the original poster is referring to is commonly known as a shui jian bao (水煎包). They are are partially steamed and partially skillet fried, very similar to how a guo tie (鍋貼) or potsticker dumpling is cooked. Along the same lines, if it is simply steamed rather than skillet fried/steamed, they are simply called "bao zi" (包子). Shui jian bao are usually filled with chives or cabbage, though pork varieties are also popular.

Posted Image

For more information and tons of pictures, just google or google image search 水煎包.

#13 sanrensho

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 03:18 PM

The type of"bao zi" the original poster is referring to is commonly known as a shui jian bao (水煎包).  They are are partially steamed and partially skillet fried, very similar to how a guo tie (鍋貼) or potsticker dumpling is cooked.


Does anybody else make these (shui jian bao) at home?

I successfully made a batch of bao zi yesterday and want to try pan frying some. Do I just steam them for the same amount of time before pan frying? Is steam (water) ever introduced when pan frying these buns--as in pot stickers?

Edited by sanrensho, 03 March 2008 - 03:50 PM.

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#14 Fengyi

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 10:08 PM

I don't think that shuijianbao (or shengjianbao) can be made just by frying up regular baozi.
They are very different and the dough, in particular, is different so the results wouldn't be shuijianbao-like. However, they might still be delicious - so give it a try!
I still reckon that the orignal poster was talking about regular baozi - just becuase regular baozi are just SO much more commonly seen in Northern China than any other kind. Most places that I know that sell sheng/shui jianbao sell out pretty darn quickly because they are a more 'specialist' type of baozi. The regular boazi, though, are the most common food eaten while travelling around.

Plastic bag of baozi, squirt of hand sanitizer if needed and squat down munching.... oh the times I've done that when on a student budget here! :biggrin:
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#15 sanrensho

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Posted 04 March 2008 - 02:15 AM

I don't think that shuijianbao (or shengjianbao) can be made just by frying up regular baozi.
They are very different and the dough, in particular, is different so the results wouldn't be shuijianbao-like. However, they might still be delicious - so give it a try!


Thanks, I have been looking up recipes for shuijianbao and it appears to be even easier than baozi--fewer concerns about sticking and less room needed for steaming.

I think I will be trying it soon. The baozi dough recipe I tried uses equal amounts of baking powder and yeast. I liked the chewiness but the yeast flavor was a bit strong.

Edited by sanrensho, 04 March 2008 - 02:16 AM.

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#16 Ben Hong

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 10:24 PM

Sounds to me like the large dai bao that we are used to. The Vietnamese bao is very similar. Steamed yeasty dough.

#17 kangarool

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Posted 05 March 2008 - 10:44 PM

Unfortunately i don't have pics.

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Here are a couple pics of what I think you're referring to: Posted Image and Posted Image

These are some baozi I snapped when I had them for breakfast every morning on a trip to Beijing a few years back.

I've meant to try to make them at home but have never gotten around to it. Here's a recipe I think might get you close.

Finally, if you're ever in Footscray, have a look at 1+1 Dumplings & Noodles. They have them listed on their menu board, but have been out the couple times I've tried to order them. That shop seems very "real" chinese, so would be a good bet to make real baozi.

#18 pat_00

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 08:43 PM

Unfortunately i don't have pics.

View Post


Here are a couple pics of what I think you're referring to: Posted Image and Posted Image

These are some baozi I snapped when I had them for breakfast every morning on a trip to Beijing a few years back.

I've meant to try to make them at home but have never gotten around to it. Here's a recipe I think might get you close.

Finally, if you're ever in Footscray, have a look at 1+1 Dumplings & Noodles. They have them listed on their menu board, but have been out the couple times I've tried to order them. That shop seems very "real" chinese, so would be a good bet to make real baozi.

View Post

They look like the ones, but smaller maybe. The filling looks like the standard pork filing that's really common.


I actually go to uni in footscray. I've heard friends rave about 1+1, but haven't been yet.

The Da Bao i've had have a similar dough to the cantonese style baozi, shuijianbao are different to what i want as well, but looks like i'll have to try making them too.

Thanks for the info everyone, i'll try some of the recipes posted.

Edited by pat_00, 11 March 2008 - 08:47 PM.


#19 nakji

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 06:27 PM

Can we talk fillings? I pass by some baozi vendors on my way to work each morning. 4 yuan buys a half dozen, on days when I have time to stop. Which is pretty much never, these days.

The casings are chewy and wheaty, much like the ones pictured above. Not fluffy, like char siu bao or convenience store baozi.

I love the standard pork filling that I can get from them. But....they also have chicken and pine nut; smoked tofu and garlic chive; black sesame and peanut. I've also had a spectacular wind-dried pork, cabbage and chili oil one from a stand in Wu Yuan.

Right now, I don't need to know how to make them, but the day will eventually come when I won't be living here anymore. Are there any tricks to a successful dumpling filling? Or can you just make any kind of mix up, as long as it's relatively dry, and successfully stuff it in a baozi wrapper?

I'm tempted to experiment.

#20 annachan

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:03 PM

This thread is making me miss my grandma....she used to make them for us as afterschool snacks. I wish she's here to teach me how to make them. :sad:

Anyway, baozi was the one thing I rarely got to see her made. I am pretty sure that she did not use yeast in her dough as I would've had to get them for her at the supermarket and I didn't. Baking powder or baking soda is a possibility.

As for fillings, it's usually vegetable and beef or pork.

#21 nakji

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:30 PM

So the vegetable filling...was it just a selection of vegetables sauteed together? I was thinking finishing them in some rich chicken stock would make a cabbage stuffing more savoury.

The other thing is, all the pork dumplings here seem to have a teaspoon or so of rich broth that is exuded from the filling when they're steamed. I'm wondering if that happens naturally, or if it's the result of gelatin stock like in xiaolong bao.

#22 annachan

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:16 PM

For vegetables, Chinese chive is always popular. Preserved vegetables are also used. My grandma usually add a little meat in the filling for flavor and texture. There's a filling she used in a large steamed dumpling that may work for baozi as well. She stir fry together cabbage, carrot, garlic, pork and bean thread.

I remember the fillings were always moist, but didn't have juice like XLB. I think the baozi dough may get too wet if there are liquid inside. You can always try out a batch and see how that goes.

#23 nakji

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 11:38 PM

You're right of course, the only way to know is to try. I'm going to dig around for a recipe to use as a base for the dough. Baozi can successfully be cooked from frozen, right? Steamed once, and then frozen after cooled, you can heat them up again, I think.

#24 Dejah

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 11:37 AM

Yes. Baozi can be steamed then frozen. I used to make dozens at one time, froze, re-steamed and served as luncheon platters when I had the restaurant. Dim sum was not our regular fare but made to fulfill some special requests by regular customers.
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#25 nakji

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 05:46 PM

That's useful info. The problem with making baozi is that it's one of those things where you pretty much have to make a large batch, but with only two of us in the house, we'd never be able to eat our way through one in time.

I think the first filling I'll try to make is the cabbage, wind-dried pork, chili and yellow bean I tried in Anhui.

#26 Dejah

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 07:27 AM

For the restaurant, I made char siu baos. For family, I make two other kinds of filling: chicken,Chinese mushroom,lapcheung; curried chicken. If I have left over dough, I use 1/4 of a piece of lapcheung for each "pigs-in-blanket"...
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#27 nakji

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Posted 17 October 2010 - 03:43 PM

By Chinese mushroom, do you mean the dark, dried "flower" mushrooms? Mushroom baozi sound excellent.

Lapcheung "pigs in a blanket" - I'm making these for my next party. Any dipping sauce, or straight up? :biggrin:

#28 Dejah

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 04:51 AM

Yes. The dried flower mushrooms. Stir-fry diced chicken, onion, lapcheong, slivers of ginger, and rehydrated mushrooms in oyster sauce. I finish it off with a thick sauce of cornstarch and oyster sauce. Let cool, make into baozi.

For "pigs-in-a blanket" I should have said 1/2 a lapcheung instead of a quarter. No sauce is needed because of the full-bodied flavour of the lapcheung. Some people, like my husband, still wants sweet chili sauce, sirracha, or Saigon chili oil for his.
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#29 Will

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:01 PM

So the vegetable filling...was it just a selection of vegetables sauteed together? I was thinking finishing them in some rich chicken stock would make a cabbage stuffing more savoury.


Vegetable fillings - a common filling for dumplings or baozi would be something like this, all chopped together (food processor is easiest):
* some sort of green - in Shanghai, jìcài (荠菜), or "Shepherd's Purse" is very common (this is not the same thing as jie cai (type of mustard green) or jie lan (Chinese broccoli)). Generally can't find it fresh here, but should be available frozen. You should not get rid of the bottom part, even if it looks a little dirty - this part has the best flavor. You could also use napa cabbage or baby bai cai. If you're using fresh greens, boil them first.
* wood ear and / or shiitake mushroom
* doufu gan (lit 'dry tofu'; essentially baked / pressed tofu)
* bean thread noodles [optional]
* grated ginger
* zha cai or other pickled vegetable.
* toasted sesame oil
[and maybe some salt to taste if the zha cai doesn't make it salty enough]

Usually there's no garlic, chive, onion, or scallion in these because it's a common vegetarian filling, and Buddhist vegetarians generally don't eat these pungent foods, but you could add some scallion greens too.

My gf threw up the rough method she used for dumpling filling here:
http://www.runawaysq...fu-potstickers/

You can use roughly the same method for bao. And to be honest, I think pretty much any normal wheat bread dough will give Ok results.

#30 nakji

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 04:52 PM

Thanks. Actually, I live in Suzhou, outside of Shanghai, so I have the full range of Chinese greens at my disposal. I get my greens from an organic farm, and usually rinse and blanche pretty thoroughly. I've not seen 荠菜 at my local market, but that doesn't mean it's not out there. I'll have a look around for it.





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