• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

pat_00

Baozi recipes...

84 posts in this topic

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"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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:

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


Edited by sheetz (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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?


"You dont know everything in the world! You just know how to read!" -an ah-hah! moment for 6-yr old Miss O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The best recipe for steamed dumplings I have is from the book 'Serve the People' by Jen Liu-Liu (I think that's her name). The book is an account of her coming to China around the turn of the millenium and learning how to cook Chinese food. It's got a couple dozen recipes in it. It's a good book kind of in a Jan Wong (author of 'Red China Blues', my favorite book about China) style.

Ms. Jen also started a cooking school for foreigners here in Beijing (Black Sesame Kitchen) and is/was a contributor to the 'New York Times'.

If you're trying to replicate Chinese restaurant tastes, don't forget the Maggi Chicken Powder and a heck-of-a-lot of salt!

Hope that helps, Joe


Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I made baozi for the first time yesterday with leftover "semi-Asian-fusion-sorta-Thai-maybe" pork ribs I'd made over the weekend. I cooked down some finely chopped onion, and mixed in the shredded meat off of the ribs to let it warm up. The I put in a sauce of soy, sesame oil, cornstarch and dry Sherry. Let that thicken and reduce, and cool.

The dough was yeast, sugar, oil and water, then mix in flour and salt. Kneaded it in my KA, and let it rise for about an hour and a half. Rolled it out, filled it, and let it rise again for about 1/2 an hour.

The results....a solid B (with an "A" for effort). The filling tasted great. The dough tasted GREAT. The texture of the dough was spot on. I need to work on my rolling & shaping technique. I had waaaaayyy too much dough on the bottom of the baozi, and not enough on the top. I also didn't have a bamboo steamer, and tried to use one of those metal folding "petal" style steamers in a large saucepan. I didn't realize how much the buns would grow during steaming, so I ended up with pretty much one giant baozi. Neither of the recipes I was referencing was clear about if they were put in the steamer "nude" or if they went in with their little aluminum foil diapers (mental note, read the eG thread before attempting something new....), so I also had some serious stickage problems as well.

Although they sure weren't pretty after I pried them off the steamer and apart, I was still pretty proud of how they turned out. As I said, taste and texture was right there. And they really were pretty easy....I will absolutely make them again, *after* I buy a bamboo steamer insert for my wok.


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Erin: Did the bao mix you used in your blog have baking powder or did you add yeast?


Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Someone else mentioned the fact there is a difference between the doughs of steamed baos and the baked ones, there is also a difference in the doughs that go into different style baos. The dai bao or big bao generally is a bigger bao than the tea house dimsum variety...heavier, with a lot more filling etc., and generally made with yeast, although I add baking powder too. And, the whole thing is not sweet but savoury. The fou-fou dimsum variety is made with cake flour and baking powder. In these both the filling and dough are decidedly sweet.

To eliminate the mis-shapened and pinched appearance of your baos, use enough fresh yeast (or baking powder), process and let rise twice, make baos and give them enough time to rise and get plump, eliminating the creases and pleats,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't need no steenkin' holes, just 3" x 3" squares of parchment paper. Absolutely non-stick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Success, then. I've ended up with fused baozi before! Lesson learned for me - fortunately, I now have a double-layer steamer with plenty of room to spread. I'm trying Ben Hong's trick with parchment paper to deal with sticking.

Absolute success, I'm actually quite proud of myself ! Lessons learned for sure, and the parchment sounds like way to go. Well, that, and a larger steamer !


--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't need no steenkin' holes, just 3" x 3" squares of parchment paper. Absolutely non-stick.

Squares. Of course. Noted.

They sell specially-sized paper (with holes!) to fit into the bamboo steamers for that purpose. They're not cheap but cutting parchment paper into squares sounds pretty tedious. There's a hotel supply place here in Beijing that sells them, you could probably find them somewhere in the provinces.

The hotel supply place's HQ is in Shanghai, this is their web site: http://www.heconline.com.cn/. There's not an English-speaker in the huge place and they come across as not particularly caring about foreigners or providing a decent service (or both) but they stock a lot of stuff of acceptable quality at reasonable prices.

Personally, I have one of those metal pot steamers and use cheesecloth. Our nanny washes the cheesecloth afterwards and reuses it. I would probably just buy the inserts (and have been tempted to many times but I know it would just rub her sense of frugalitarianism completely the wrong way).


Edited by Big Joe the Pro (log)

Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tedious?? Let geometry be your friend.

Cut 10 strips of 12"wide parchment paper 3" wide, stack the strips, double, cut, stack again, double and cut again. Presto ! 40 pieces of 3X3. Total time =3minutes. NOT EXPENSIVE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I forgot to mention; there's a (rather expensive) series of cookbooks put out here in China called "Learn How to Cook Chinese Dishes" and they have a web site. The recipes of 75% of seven of the nine books in the series are online, including 'Rice and Flour Food' which is the one with the dumpling recipes.

This is the site: http://www.china.org.cn/english/food/26593.htm

I'm not vouching for the recipes, I have the books and some of the English definitely needs better editing, but it's worth taking a look and comparing to others in my opinion.


Edited by Big Joe the Pro (log)

Maybe I would have more friends if I didn't eat so much garlic?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
    • By Dejah
      [Host's note: This topic forms part of an extended discussion which grew too large for our servers to handle efficiently.  The conversation continues from here.]
       
       
      Supper: Yeem Gok Gai:

      Mock Fried Rice - grated cauliflower

      Baby Shanghai Bok Choy and ginger

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.