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Baozi recipes...

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#31 nakji

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:22 AM

Baozi are done and delicious. I followed FD's instructions from "Revolutionary Cuisine" for spicy pork dumplings.

I doubled her dough recipe because I wanted to make enough for freezing.

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I also deviated from her filling recipe and added a cup of sauteed greens - some random greens that came with my CSA bag - as well as a half cup of chopped shiitake mushrooms.

Posted Image

The filling in this recipe has you beat in five tablespoons of cold water into the meat. Is that to make it more tender? Or to help it cook inside the dough?

Posted Image

I lined my steamer with some oiled cheesecloth, but there was still a bit of sticking. Does it matter how quick you pull them out of the pan in terms of stickiness? I thought the ones I left sit for a few minute more were harder to get out.

I was surprised how easy they were to make, and how non-fatty but delicious the fillings are. I love the street dumplings in my neighborhood, but I can't help but think that there's a reason they taste so rich. I'm thinking: fat.

They were so good even my husband, who is on record as baozi-neutral, snarfled several hot out of the steamer.

He has requested pizza-man, a la Japan, for my next attempt. No idea how I'd get the filling in, though.

#32 helenjp

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:37 AM

The water thing is something I've seen in Lion's Head meatballs too...I understand that it makes the meat soft and tender instead of forming a hard shrunken ball in the middle of the dumpling.

Pizza-man...I used a pizza-y flavored ratatouille or caponata when I made some. The word is anchovies...but I guess the word could also be ham etc.

Is the Dunlop book one you'd recommend for Chinese food in English? I've been using Japanese-language Chinese cookbooks for so long that I really want to know what's going on in English!

Edited by helenjp, 23 October 2010 - 01:38 AM.


#33 Dejah

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 06:43 AM

I like your additions to the pork filling, especially the shitake mushrooms as they are so flavourful.

The addition of water and beating it into the filling makes it "fluffy" or "fow" in Cantonese. Otherwise, the pork will become a hard, harsh lump of meat.

I put my baozi on a square of wax paper or cupcake paper liner. There is still a tiny bit of dough sticking to the paper but never enough to tear the bao on the bottom. My family will clean off the bits left on the paper! The cheesecloth may be too textured, so it may cause more sticking.
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#34 nakji

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 10:06 AM

The water thing is something I've seen in Lion's Head meatballs too...I understand that it makes the meat soft and tender instead of forming a hard shrunken ball in the middle of the dumpling.

Pizza-man...I used a pizza-y flavored ratatouille or caponata when I made some. The word is anchovies...but I guess the word could also be ham etc.

Is the Dunlop book one you'd recommend for Chinese food in English? I've been using Japanese-language Chinese cookbooks for so long that I really want to know what's going on in English!


Thanks for the pizza-man tip. Do you put cheese in yours?

I do like "Revolutionary Cuisine" and use it quite often; not sure how it compares to Japanese Chinese cookbooks. I find the flavours in this book really reflect the food I find in China, though.

I like your additions to the pork filling, especially the shitake mushrooms as they are so flavourful.

The addition of water and beating it into the filling makes it "fluffy" or "fow" in Cantonese. Otherwise, the pork will become a hard, harsh lump of meat.

I put my baozi on a square of wax paper or cupcake paper liner. There is still a tiny bit of dough sticking to the paper but never enough to tear the bao on the bottom. My family will clean off the bits left on the paper! The cheesecloth may be too textured, so it may cause more sticking.


I noticed that the pork filling was quite tender. It's a nice trick to know - if I'd tried to mock up my own filling, I never would have done that. The shiitakes and the cabbage really supplemented the filling, I thought - gave it a bit of crunch and depth of flavour. I think they sell dumpling steaming paper at the shops here, I'll have a look the next time I'm at the shop. There's also a dumpling "net" I've noticed for sale; it's what inspired me to use the cheesecloth in the first place.

#35 helenjp

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:26 PM

Pizza-man - I don't use cheese (been a while though). I recommend a caponata filling!

Thanks for the comment on the Dunlop book. If it's what you are seeing around you, that's a great recommendation.

#36 liuzhou

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 08:31 PM

I live in China and find my Chinese colleagues are always wanting to borrow Fuchsia's Sichuan book and ask why it hasn't been translated to Chinese. Not sure if recommendations can come much higher.

#37 nakji

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 04:07 AM

Yes, I've been extremely happy with both of her books that I've got, although I've been cooking from "Revolutionary Cuisine" for longer. I just picked up her Sichuan book recently. I'm now waiting with bated breath for her next installment. Dongbei? Yunnan? Fingers crossed.


I froze the baozi and had some reheated for lunch. What a great freezer staple for the winter! And the filling stayed fresh and soft. I can't wait to experiment with curry baozi, chicken baozi, pizza baozi, and the rest.

I wonder, if using ground chicken, should water also be incorporated?

#38 Dejah

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 02:51 PM

When I use ground chicken, I add water, a little oil, a little cornstarch, and diced onion. Chicken is leaner than ground pork, so I do add the above ingredients.
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#39 nakji

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 04:00 PM

Thanks. I think I'll use a little sesame oil, then to add flavour.

#40 liuzhou

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:05 AM

Dongbei? Yunnan? Fingers crossed.


I doubt it. But she does occasionally post here under the name Fiore, although not recently. Worth searching for.

#41 Toliver

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 09:47 AM

I put my baozi on a square of wax paper or cupcake paper liner. There is still a tiny bit of dough sticking to the paper but never enough to tear the bao on the bottom. My family will clean off the bits left on the paper! The cheesecloth may be too textured, so it may cause more sticking.

A local restaurant/buffet uses lettuce/cabbage leaves at the bottom of the steamer rack (I tend to think it's lettuce since the leaves are so thin after the steaming). I did notice the baozi still sometimes stick but if parts of the leaf come off with the baozi, it's all edible.

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#42 Amy D.

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:30 PM

A local restaurant/buffet uses lettuce/cabbage leaves at the bottom of the steamer rack (I tend to think it's lettuce since the leaves are so thin after the steaming). I did notice the baozi still sometimes stick but if parts of the leaf come off with the baozi, it's all edible.


Toliver beat me to it, I also found this tip in a restuarant some time last year and now always use lettuce leaves to line my steamer - haven't yet had any sticking issues.

#43 nakji

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:54 PM

That's a great tip, thanks. I got a whole pack of chives in my veggie bag this week, so we'll take a spin with those. Although I suppose they're more traditionally used for jiaozi fillings.

The baozi have really been working out as packed lunches this week, though. Right out of the freezer into my lunch bag, then a quick nuke in the microwave before eating. I think I'll make some instant miso soup nuggets this weekend to round it out as a meal, now that it has gotten cold.

I want to make two different kinds of filling, and mark them some way so I can tell the difference - Maggiethecat mentioned in another topic that a chopstick dipped in red dye can be used to put a red dot on the top of them, but I'm lacking red dye. What else could I use? A grind of pepper? Sesame seeds on top?

#44 CFT

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 03:33 AM

What about a dot of chilli oil?
Best Wishes,
Chee Fai.

#45 nakji

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 05:59 AM

That's the ticket~ I've got some bean paste that should have a healthy layer of chili oil on top. I'll give it a go and see what I come out with.

#46 Dejah

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:25 PM

Dark soya would do the same. My mom used a large diameter straw to make circles rather than dots. You could get real fancy and make the Olympic rings!

You got me going here, nakji. Got my char siu done and will be making my grandson's fav. tomorrow - char siu baozi!
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#47 nakji

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 07:52 PM

Char siu bao are my absolute favourite. There's a place around the corner that makes them with quite a lot of cassia in the filling, and I think they're the best ones I've ever tasted. Do char siu bao usually use baking powder as the leavening, or could you credibly make them with a yeast dough?

#48 Dejah

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 10:29 AM

I think the char siu baos I've had, made with yeast, were baked. Never thought to add cassia in the filling, but I suppose the 5-spice powder that I add, once in a while, would be similar.

I did the experiment today, some baos with lettuce as the liner, and others with my usual cupcake liners. I found the lettuce ones had more moisture on the bottom of the baos, giving it an "uncooked" appearance. There was nothing stuck to the bottoms other than the aroma of lettuce. They tasted fine and I tried a piece with the lettuce on. The only real drawback may be when you want to freeze the baos. Not sure how the wet bottoms would turn out - may become doughy? I think I'll keep using the paper liners.

Need to process the pictures then post. Hope I can figure out how as it's been a lonnnnngggg time!
Dejah
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#49 nakji

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 06:14 PM

So the lettuce stayed stuck to the baozi, like a paper liner? Somehow I thought it would stay in the steamer. I wonder if I oiled the lettuce, would that allow the baozi to lift off? Because I think you're right about them getting soggy in the freezer.

I'd love to see your pictures. I've never tried baked char siu, either - are they just prepared as normal and baked in the oven rather than steaming?

#50 Dejah

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 06:55 PM

No. Sorry. The lettuce came off with the bao but slipped off easily. But I could taste lettuce on the bottom of the bao. Not offensive, but not MY baozi... :raz:

I'm going to upload the pictures; at least; I'm going to try!
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#51 hzrt8w

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 10:56 AM

Is there something offensive about using paper as a liner for the bottom of these baozi's? Why go through using lettuce, and then oil the lettuce for making it non-stick?
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#52 hzrt8w

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

I'd love to see your pictures. I've never tried baked char siu, either - are they just prepared as normal and baked in the oven rather than steaming?


The baked char siu bao may be a Hong Kongers' creation? Combining the Chinese savory filling (traditionally using in steamed char siu bao) and the western/European/(English? Portugese?) bread making techniques.

The doughs are different though. I think if you are going to do a baked char siu bao you should use the western bread (baked) dough instead of the Chinese bread (steamed) dough.
W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"

#53 Dejah

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 11:51 AM

OK. I give up on posting the pictures, so I'll just put up the link to the album in imageGullet:

http://forums.egulle...838/6880-baozi/
Dejah
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#54 sheetz

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 12:41 PM

The baked char siu bao may be a Hong Kongers' creation? Combining the Chinese savory filling (traditionally using in steamed char siu bao) and the western/European/(English? Portugese?) bread making techniques.

The doughs are different though. I think if you are going to do a baked char siu bao you should use the western bread (baked) dough instead of the Chinese bread (steamed) dough.


Yes, I'm sure baked char siu bao must be a HK invention. For cantonese style steamed buns use a sweet baking powder leavened dough. You may also use a yeast leavened dough, but it should still contain some baking powder in it or else the buns will not be fluffy after steaming. Yeast leavened doughs will typically not be as sweet as baking powder leavened ones.

If you want to try a baked version use the "65C Water Roux" dough I described in this thread:
http://forums.egulle...ter-roux-bread/

Unfortunately, I haven't been doing much baking lately as I'm watching my weight.

Edited by sheetz, 31 October 2010 - 12:42 PM.


#55 nakji

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 03:39 PM

Is there something offensive about using paper as a liner for the bottom of these baozi's? Why go through using lettuce, and then oil the lettuce for making it non-stick?


Not particularly. I just haven't been to the supermarket this week, and don't want to make a special trip to go get the paper. Sheer laziness.

#56 Dejah

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 04:31 PM

Please help me delete if this attempt doesn't work!

http://forums.egulle...8_6880_7665.jpg
Dejah
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#57 Dejah

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 05:15 PM

Well, I may be beaten by imageGullet, but it can't beat my baozi :raz: :laugh:

Thanks for being so patient, and I hope you were able to see the pleats, nakji. They're not all so perfect, and really, after steaming, the pleats are not so distinct. Besides, I've never seen anyone examin the pleats before they wolf them down!
Dejah
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#58 Ben Hong

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:30 PM

Gung hei fat choi.

I had to revive this thread on baozi simply because while making a batch of buns I made a very, very useful discovery. Instead of using waxed paper, lettuce(gaakk), tissue paper, etc. I used parchment paper as a substitute when I ran out of waxed paper. Eureka! No more peeling paper off the bottoms, parchment just doesn't stick.

#59 nakji

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Posted 03 February 2011 - 10:41 PM

新年快乐!

That's a genius discovery! Thanks for sharing. I may have to go make some dumplings just to try it out.

#60 Kouign Aman

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 12:26 PM

When you do, would you please photograph the steps of prepping the dough to fill, filling it, then pleating it shut?
Did you flatten the dough into a circle, then just lift up like a purse and pinch?
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